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Become a CITP: Certified Information Technology Professional

If you want to be mega popular in the accounting world, become a CPA, CITP.

The CITP—Certified Information Technology Professional—is beloved by employers because it means you’ve got the tech expertise they need to stay ahead. Combine that with the business expertise behind a CPA license, and bam, you could conceivably solve all of the company’s problems.

What it really means

The CITP is all about using technology to get better information. Think about it. Your average company today deals with a tremendous amount of financial information every day – on everything from shipping costs to energy consumption. And a lot of it has the potential to completely change the game when it comes to making decisions and getting ahead of the competition. For example, if your grocery store is able to conduct a financial analysis faster and more accurately than a competitor, it’s able to get the new hot product on the shelves faster and make money quicker.

CPAs with the CITP credential know how to make sure data is reliable, secure, accessible and relevant. They understand how technology affects an organization’s finances. And that’s a big deal to any company today.

What you’ll do

With a CITP, you’re a leader in information management. In any given day you might conduct a risk assessment, improve the systems to prevent fraud, evaluate reports or choose and implement new tech systems that will solve business problems. For most businesses, this is cutting-edge stuff.

Where you’ll work

Many large companies and organizations have CITPs working in their Finance departments. Large and medium-sized accounting and consulting firms also employ a large number of CITPs, due to the technology-centered nature of much of their work.

Is this for you?

Maybe you’re a recovering computer science major with a head for business. Or maybe you’re just one of those people who’s always had a way with technology. If you want to see just how far technology can take business –and your career– the CITP could be the right call for you.

Having the CITP certification means that your colleagues know they can look to you when they need to use technology to jump-start their business plans. Whether you work in an accounting firm or in the finance department of a business, it can make you a chief problem solver within the organization, putting you in the middle of the action – wherever it is. With companies depending on technology more every day, getting your CITP certification is just a smart career move for the long term.

Skills you'll need
  • Problem-solving abilities. The CITP puts you up against some of the toughest problems a company faces at the intersection of technology and accounting. You’ll need to bring a troubleshooting mindset, and a lot of specialized expertise.
  • Technical know-how. With a CITP, you’ll be dealing with technology at the nuts-and-bolts level—how systems work together, how to get systems up and running, that kind of thing. If you don’t enjoy technical challenges, turn back now.
  • Translation skills. We’re not talking about Spanish-to-English here. With a CITP you not only have to be fluent in the languages of accounting and technology, but you have to be able to translate across each one. That’s what makes you a super-valuable member of the team.
Lifestyle you can expect

CPAs who specialize in technology are a valuable commodity these days—it’s a very active field. Expect to work hard. Since you’ll be in demand, you’ll likely be called in on one hot project after another.

How to make it happen

There’s no exam for the CITP – but you do have to earn it. If you’re just starting as a CPA, the key is to start spending time applying your CPA expertise in technology settings. That means working more closely with the IT group, and joining projects that have a serious IT angle. You’ll also need to put some Continuing Education classes on your calendar to build your knowledge.

Three things you’ll need to get your CITP
  • At least five years of experience as a CPA
  • 2000 or more hours of experience putting your CPA qualification to work using technology (sounds like a lot, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up)
  • 200 hours of Continuing Education hours (same deal)

Not sure this is the best fit? Check out a list of all the paths you could take as a CPA.

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