James Bourke
James Bourke

So You Like Technology

Why not think about getting your CITP credential?

November 23, 2009
by James Bourke, CPA.CITP

Are you a CPA with a minimum of five years of experience in practicing accounting? Do you have a passion for what you do and technology? Then the CITP Credential may be right for you!

A CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional) is a CPA who is:

  • Credentialed by the AICPA as an information technology professional.
  • Is recognized for their unique ability to bridge between business and technology.
  • Has achieved a combination of IT-related certifications, degrees, continuing education and business experience providing them with a wide range of documented IT competency

The CITP credential holder possesses a breadth of business and technology experience. The CITP Body of Knowledge represents the qualifying areas of information assurance and management knowledge for both business experience and life-long learning. The Body of Knowledge essentially contains the two areas of services as follows:

  1. IT Audit and Attest Services
  2. Financial Data Components, Analysis, and Reporting


So how can you benefit from the CITP designation? Given the growing technology needs to effectively and competitively run a public accounting practice, experienced CPAs who are IT professionals are a must. Having IT resources on staff is optimal to:

  • Help the firm’s leadership stay current on technology enablement.
  • Shape the firm’s IT strategy.
  • Guide the selection and implementation processes.

Hiring a CPA.CITP provides accounting and financial firms with an IT resource who possesses a combination of accounting and information technology experience.

CPAs with the CITP designation also benefit when providing IT consulting services. As the CITP credential is a competitive differentiator for the CPA providing consulting services, CITPs hold both technical and business certifications and are identified as accounting technologists — understanding finance and accounting issues as well as IT concepts. As a CPA and trusted advisor to clients, you have the ability to offer both sound business advice integrated with strategic technology advice and direction. In addition, in a marketplace in which professional standards are inconsistent, a CITP is a trusted professional governed by established professional standards, a strict Code of Ethics and state licensing laws.

CITPs in Industry

In today’s businesses, all financial information is stored, gathered and analyzed through the use of technology. IT and accounting are critically linked with each other.

Having a CPA.CITP on staff provides small, mid-sized and large accounting and financial organizations an expert who can translate technical information into results-oriented business language that key decision-makers can understand. CITPs generally invest a great deal in their education and training and tend to take ownership of their role in the business, with a stakeholder and enterprise orientation.

Why You Should Become a CITP

Only CPAs can be CITPs, further differentiating your unique blend of skills in the marketplace. As a CPA.CITP you can uniquely blend business acumen with IT expertise for your organization CITP is the mark of excellence for CPA business technologists who are leaders in industry, public practice, government and academia. In addition, with this newly acquired designation, you:

  • Move into new technology-related roles and opportunities;
  • Elevate the CPA business technologist to the executive level as an integral part of business planning;
  • Affirm your value as an IT specialist and increases your value to your employer or clients;
  • Share, debate, network and communicate with other CPA business technology experts; and
  • Create opportunities for additional billable hours by opening up services that in the past accounting and financial firms were unable to offer.

What else can the CITP credential offer you? As a CITP, you receive:

  • Automatic membership in the IT Section;
  • Network in an IT community for CPAs:
  • CITP Roundtables at TECH;
  • CITP Credential LinkedIn Group;
  • Access to CITP Marketing Toolkit and Updates;
  • Monthly benefit e-mails and other communications;
  • Valuable resources and content exclusive to CITPs on the IT Center Web site and
  • Conference discounts and special networking opportunities for CITPs at the annual AICPA TECH+ Conference or other educational conferences.

AICPA IT Section/CITP Credential
By phone: 888-777-7077 option 4
By e-mail.

How Do You Qualify?

You can qualify for the CITP designation if you hold a valid and unrevoked CPA certificate issued by a legally constituted state authority and be a member in good standing of the AICPA and complete the CITP application (PDF) and receive an evaluated score of at least 100 points. You also need to pay a CITP program enrollment fee.

After completing the application, you should reflect on your business experience, testing and learning over the past five years in the following areas:

  • IT Audit & Attest Services
  • Internal Control
  • Fraud and Forensics Consideration
  • IT General Controls
  • Auditing Techniques & Procedures
  • System Solution Management
  • Application Integration Management
  • Analysis and Reporting Techniques
  • Performance Management
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James C. Bourke, CPA.CITP, CFF is a partner at WithumSmith+Brown where he is director of firm technology. He is a past president of the New Jersey Society of CPAs and currently serves on AICPA Council and the Chair of the AICPA CITP Credential Committee. He was recently named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Profession.