As a practicing accounting professional, have you ever wondered what the benefits of gaining an accreditation in the field of information technology or what such a move might mean for your CPA firm? Technology is moving so fast these days that it really does pay to have a member of your staff with their fingers on the pulse, and that person could very well be you!
What is a Certified Information Technology Professional?
A Certified Information Technology Professional, or CITP, is a CPA who has undergone the necessary accreditation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in order to be deemed technologically competent in a range of business technology practices. Indeed, you could be considered an expert in the field of IT, having completed a number of hours’ practice across a wide variety of subject matters.
What does a CITP do?
It would, perhaps, be easier to list the aspects of IT that a CITP doesn’t deal with, as the number of responsibilities undertaken by such a position is rather extensive. Some of the areas you may wish to specialize in include:
- IT architecture and design: Assessing a firm’s current system and analyzing its use of protocol, software, and data handling in relation to design, and further training and governance.
- Technology strategic planning: Understanding a firm’s strategy and vision, assessing risk and opportunity, and identifying a business’s objectives and the feasibility of achieving its goals.
- System development: Assessing elements of acquisition, implementation and project management, overseeing projects from start to finish.
- Systems security: Understanding the importance of audits, compliance and control, being able to analyze risks and implement change, and testing controls to make sure everything is working as it should be.
- IT governance: Establishing risk thresholds, ensuring appropriate practices, complying with safety and security regulations, and protecting the interests of the firm and its shareholders.
As you can see, a CITP’s role is vast and varied, offering a great deal of job satisfaction.
How can this role benefit a business?
Unlike IT professionals who may know a little about several fields of information technology, or an incredible amount about one or two specific topics, CITPs boast technical expertise in a variety of areas; this makes them a valuable member of the team, and the go-to person when anything IT-related needs to be addressed.
Your firm, and its staff, will know that it can rely on you throughout a range of circumstances, and will have an increased sense of support simply due to your presence. More than that, though, the presence of a CITP will differentiate your firm from its competition, create an encouraged and productive workforce with a broader IT awareness, attract other highly skilled IT professionals, and demonstrate commitment to the IT profession. It will also instantly raise its profile as a company by demonstrating that it’s dedicated to its team’s development. IT certification will benefit not only you and your firm, but also your firm’s reputation.
In short, being a CITP ensures that your firm always has a breadth of experience and knowledge upon which they can call in the event of an issue, or even curiosity; businesses will always require such expertise when they’re handling data and computer systems. In addition, taking the time to earn a certification in such an industry will be invaluable to you as an individual, reinforcing your professional standing, and providing seemingly limitless opportunities for networking. Being a CITP will mean your firm has someone to turn to in every technical eventuality and will help you to further your professional reach.
If you’re considering becoming a CITP or already are one, we’d love to hear your take on the many benefits that such a role could or is playing for you and your firm. Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.
To follow through on the tips introduced in this article, be sure to download our free guide 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.