CISA Exam June 2015

EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

I’m in the process of studying for the CISA exam. I hope to be fully prepared to take the exam this June 2015. I have goals of becoming an information systems auditor in the near future. I have my background in accounting and I want to make the switch from financial accounting into information system auditing. My work experiences include internships where I performed financial statements audits. I think the information system-auditing field has more potential for growth as the world is become more concerned about computer security. Does anyone have suggestions for passing the exam? I’m using the official guide from the test makers. Thanks! Also, I intend to sit and take the CPA exam during this year, but first want to complete (and hopefully pass) the CISA exam. I'm finishing my graduate degree in accounting soon.

Comments

  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Why do you want your CPA? Are you planning on doing anything in the public sector concerning the financials or taxation??

    The CPA would just be for show if your passion is in CISA. I get how the big four work with the CPA designation (it can be the make or break on partner and helps inflate their ratio of CPAs), but the CPA is quite an endeavor to perform once you're working 80 hours a week like a few of my friends in audit are.
  • EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi doobu,

    Yes, I need the CPA because I have already accepted a job offer with a big accounting firm in their audit practice. My plan is to take and pass the CISA so I can join the firm's IS auditing group. I have been reading the CISA review manual and really picking up the topics that are covered in the review. Yes, I know the life of working in public accounting, but there is great experience to pick up from working there. I know many individuals who are part of the IS auditing group who have both the CPA and CISA.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    EZ2015 wrote: »
    Hi doobu,

    Yes, I need the CPA because I have already accepted a job offer with a big accounting firm in their audit practice. My plan is to take and pass the CISA so I can join the firm's IS auditing group. I have been reading the CISA review manual and really picking up the topics that are covered in the review. Yes, I know the life of working in public accounting, but there is great experience to pick up from working there. I know many individuals who are part of the IS auditing group who have both the CPA and CISA.

    There's nothing wrong with that, I just want you to be prepared to spend a lot of your free time never seeing anyone for a couple months and it's very costly to keep doing retakes, let alone the initial purchase (it cost me 2000 just the first run with study materials). That exam is very tough. Inch deep, mile wide type of stuff. I've taken the exam and the material is much tougher than the CISA. I almost always recommend anyone in accounting get their CPA, if anything, just for show.

    I hope you do well on both exams regardless! A lot of the people I know who performed IS audits had their CPA before they transitioned to the IT audit side, not the other way around. They got tired of tax time, but audit has ramped up and is just as busy.

    Either way, confidence and persistence will push you through.
  • EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Are you saying the CPA is harder than the CISA?

    Yes, I understand the amount of time required to successfully prepare myself and I'm willing to input the required time and effort. Thanks for the good luck.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    EZ2015 wrote: »
    Are you saying the CPA is harder than the CISA?

    Yes, I understand the amount of time required to successfully prepare myself and I'm willing to input the required time and effort. Thanks for the good luck.

    Yes, the CPA is harder. You need to know so much more from so many sectors of your business degree (economics, audit, taxation, code look ups for taxes, bonds, weighted averages, VAT, inventory valuation, IFRS concepts, audit procedures, etc.).

    The CPA is designed to cover so many things and there's no real way to prepare for it other than read the books and do question after question after question after question after question. We had about 5500 questions total and doing them 3-5 times over might prepare you enough for any curve balls.

    You may study your ass off for bonds since that's your weakest area, then never get a question on them, but you'll get 30 questions on something your slacked on. It's a pain! :) But, very doable with slamming the questions. That's why I mentioned it's very hard to do anything but study for it, especially if you're working full-time. And if you're participating in actual engagements, you're not going to have much free time at all for months while including the CPA exam studies. Our Saturdays was an 8 hour study group for 3 months for financial.

    But each person is different.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,011 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I am thinking about going for CIA after passing CISA (if I pass and get an Audit Job) .. any information about CIA?
  • EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes sir, I understand the CPA exam is very complex and it will take many hours of hard studying to tackle that exam. I’m lucky that my employer will cover the study review books and the cost to the exams. I just have to input the effort and time into studying and passing the exam on the first try.

    My goal is to first complete the CISA before starting to study for the CPA. Since the CISA is only one exam compared to four exams for the CPA, I thought my time would be better spent studying for CISA while I’m still in school. I finish this May and after I can focus on taking the CPA exams.

    If my goal is to break into the IS auditing side of my employer, do you think it’s a good idea to take and pass the CISA? I think in passing the CISA it would show the IS audit manger that I’m driven and competent enough to be put into an IS auditing project.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you're going to be in IS auditing, CISA is the way to go, even if you have a CPA. The letters behind your name can tend to fluff your position in the accounting world, but some of the CISA credentialed guys I know are rather good at IT, one was even a network admin for a few years.

    I feel if you have some decent tech expertise and can understand business and auditing fundamentals well, you'll do fine. If that's what you're focusing on, the CPA is really irrelevant to your goals. The long term earnings may be the deal breaker, since the CPA is top earner in almost any CPA firm.

    IF you can manage to not study for it while working I highly recommend it. Most CERTAINLY recommend. The licensing, the state fees, the exam fees, the study material fees (which you could owe if you don't pass the exams!).

    It's good your employer will pay for it. A decent company who wants to train/empower their workforce will do so. But, if you're going to be in audit (now this is coming from a Deloitte point of view I've experienced) audit is SLAMMING. Especially with security and fraud being so prevalent. Good field, long hours, lots of time away from home. If you have kids, wife, girlfriend, etc., you will have little time for them when trying to put the appropriate amount of time in for the exams.

    We put in about 30 per week while in school. Just working part-time killed me, but it is doable if you're actually practicing what you're learning. I wasn't.

    The CIA exam is a great tool to have, too, but I'm sure it requires 2 years of audit work. A lot like the CISA but you won't get the credential until you've met the requirements. You're just in the "I passed the CISA/CIA. Please hire me."

    CPA was rough, especially while working full-time. Rougggh.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,011 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That is the plan, I pass the CISA / CIA and say "I passed the CISA/CIA. Please, please, please hire me." :D
  • EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes, I’m assuming most if not all the CISA holders are excellent at IT, but I hope in passing the exam I will have some knowledge when I switch into a staff IS auditing position. You have to start from somewhere :D I don’t start work until the Fall of this year and my goal is to take the CISA exam and after start studying for FAR and Audit portions of the CPA exam, which have been classified as the hardest parts of the CPA exam. I’m sure I won’t be able to finish all four parts before starting full-time, but I rather have two parts complete before starting work. I have no wife, girlfriend, or kids. lol

    I have heard stories of individuals who tried to study and take the CPA exam while working full-time and the stories I tell you are tough. It’s hard to work 50-60 hours per week and then come home right after to study for an exam like the CPA, which you said covers a mile of material. I rather go to the gym to workout than study if I’m working a schedule like that :D
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    EZ2015 wrote: »
    Yes, I’m assuming most if not all the CISA holders are excellent at IT, but I hope in passing the exam I will have some knowledge when I switch into a staff IS auditing position. You have to start from somewhere :D I don’t start work until the Fall of this year and my goal is to take the CISA exam and after start studying for FAR and Audit portions of the CPA exam, which have been classified as the hardest parts of the CPA exam. I’m sure I won’t be able to finish all four parts before starting full-time, but I rather have two parts complete before starting work. I have no wife, girlfriend, or kids. lol

    I have heard stories of individuals who tried to study and take the CPA exam while working full-time and the stories I tell you are tough. It’s hard to work 50-60 hours per week and then come home right after to study for an exam like the CPA, which you said covers a mile of material. I rather go to the gym to workout than study if I’m working a schedule like that :D

    Very true. Though, the 50-60 hour work week is like...rare to me. lol I don't know anyone in a big 4 working less than 70. It has it's down periods. Regional firms are the way to go, usually less hours.

    The hardest part of that damn CPA exam is waiting the month to see if you've been passed or not. My friend scored three 74s on audit and is wanting to shoot himself (75 is passing). You have no choice but to move on and study for the next section without knowing you've passed. Painstaking wait times.
  • EZ2015EZ2015 Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yea, you start seeing 70+ hours during busy season for any accounting firm, whether big or small.
  • hardik08hardik08 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello Frnds,

    I am looking to Appear for CISA in Sep'2015. would like to have latest CISA manual and other study material if any1 has with them.
    Also would like to know how it benefit to me after having 7yrs of Experience as Sr. Software Developer.

    Hows the job market for the same if i cleared.

    Thanks
    Regards,
    Hardik
  • dustervoicedustervoice Member Posts: 877 ■■■■□□□□□□
    hardik08 wrote: »
    Hello Frnds,

    I am looking to Appear for CISA in Sep'2015. would like to have latest CISA manual and other study material if any1 has with them.
    Also would like to know how it benefit to me after having 7yrs of Experience as Sr. Software Developer.

    Hows the job market for the same if i cleared.

    Thanks
    Regards,
    Hardik

    I think a quick search on Google will provide the answers for you. Along with reading the threads on this forum
  • ExamDestroyerExamDestroyer Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello, Joining this thread a bit late but hopefully it will revitalize and original participants will update progress. I'm a CPA, former Big 4 auditor, and former regional firm auditor. Now working as an internal audit/SOX compliance consultant on a contract basis wherever I can find interesting work. I hope my comments add some valuable insight to the previous questions when I add that the CPA exam is considerably more challenging than the CISA exam. No comparison. Sure, I agree that this comment may appear subjective to some and the degree of difficulty is relative to the candidate's experience. To put it into perspective I have always been about average on exam marks and I passed the CPA exam and became certified in 2013 after having failed two parts, so I sat for a total of 6 exams. This took me over a year to complete and easily over 100 hours of study time for each exam. My next aspiration for career development and to increase the demand for my services is to complete the CISA exam for which I am registered in June 2015. I began studying in January and after approximately 30 hours of study I already feel quite confident that I am prepared to take the exam. My advice for anyone considering both the CPA and CISA, or any other designation for that matter is to focus on CPA first. CPA is your key to becoming a recruiter's dream as you will become highly sought after and greatly improve your earning potential. After passing the CPA exam consider then working on CISA or other designations. Also it is highly advised to obtain study question software and practice answering question and becoming familiar with the exam's psychometrics, no matter which exam you are taking. Learning the reason that the incorrect answers are incorrect is often more valuable than knowing the correct answer and practice question software provides explanations for incorrect answers. I hope this helps and please return for comment.
  • bubble2005bubble2005 Member Posts: 209 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hello, Joining this thread a bit late but hopefully it will revitalize and original participants will update progress. I'm a CPA, former Big 4 auditor, and former regional firm auditor. Now working as an internal audit/SOX compliance consultant on a contract basis wherever I can find interesting work. I hope my comments add some valuable insight to the previous questions when I add that the CPA exam is considerably more challenging than the CISA exam. No comparison. Sure, I agree that this comment may appear subjective to some and the degree of difficulty is relative to the candidate's experience. To put it into perspective I have always been about average on exam marks and I passed the CPA exam and became certified in 2013 after having failed two parts, so I sat for a total of 6 exams. This took me over a year to complete and easily over 100 hours of study time for each exam. My next aspiration for career development and to increase the demand for my services is to complete the CISA exam for which I am registered in June 2015. I began studying in January and after approximately 30 hours of study I already feel quite confident that I am prepared to take the exam. My advice for anyone considering both the CPA and CISA, or any other designation for that matter is to focus on CPA first. CPA is your key to becoming a recruiter's dream as you will become highly sought after and greatly improve your earning potential. After passing the CPA exam consider then working on CISA or other designations. Also it is highly advised to obtain study question software and practice answering question and becoming familiar with the exam's psychometrics, no matter which exam you are taking. Learning the reason that the incorrect answers are incorrect is often more valuable than knowing the correct answer and practice question software provides explanations for incorrect answers. I hope this helps and please return for comment.

    Keep in mind these are techies you are advising. They are already finding it challenging to prepare for the CISA. Why would you think ANY of them would want to be in public accounting and move away from information systems? Ok, maybe some may want a change but I don't see a CPA forum on this website icon_cool.gif. I'm just saying.....IMHO, I'll be an IT auditor or IS auditor but I ain't taking no CPA buddy. My sister has her designation and I know the stress she went through...lol I'll pass on that one.
    Think Big Stay Focus: In the midst of all situations, think positive.:thumbup:
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,011 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I might consider CPA later, this is a "techies" forum but this does not mean that we all breath technology, when IT becomes a job that pays bills people might switch to better paying non IT jobs to pay more bills :D

    For me the current plan is
    Passed CISA > Find an Audit job > CIA "Certified Internal Auditor" > depending on the situation AAT "Association of Accounting Technician's certificate - I don't want to be one of those CPA's that can't tell the deference between debit and credit" > CPA.
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