Back when we did our initial survey of you — our brilliant readers — we asked you to share with us the certifications that you boast behind your name. As you well know, the mother of all certifications for accountants is the CPA. You hear about it in your college courses until graduation and the accounting firms put you under the gun to knock it out so you can make manager without delay. Becuse of this coveted status, Adrienne gives you the latest in CPA exam fodder every week in her >75 column. After dominating the CPA, your careers mosey along and eventually you may consider obtaining another certification. The motivation for more of the alphabet are many but most likely you'll want to hold yourself out compared to your slacker co-workers or maybe you're just obsessed with the notion of having as many letter combinations behind your name as possible.
Some of the more common certifications include:
• Certified Management Accountant (CMA) – Implemented by the Institute of Management Accountants, the IMA states "As many as 85% of accountants today work inside organizations, where expertise in decision support, planning, and control over value-adding operations are crucial elements of operational success."
• Certified Financial Manager (CFM) – A complement to the CMA, the CFM can be obtained by taking one additional exam in addition to the portions under CMA.
• Certified Financial Planner (CFP) – Among other requirements, a three part, 10-hour exam is administered three times a year for this certification.
• Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) – The Institute of Internal Auditors issues this global certification that "demonstrate their comprehensive competence and professionalism in the internal auditing field."
• Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA) – Sponsored by the ISACA, this is another global certification for information systems, audit, control, and security professionals.
• Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) – Issued by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, this certification involves a five day training program and a 40–60 hour exam. Although the thought of studying and testing for another certification may make you nauseous, it's worth considering if you're looking to make yourself a smidge more noticeable than your
competition counterparts. Vote in our poll and discuss any thoughts or experiences in the comments.