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Set apart: CITP gives CPAs an edge.

Businesses must identify and evaluate technology skills when hiring IT specialists as employees or consultants. CPAs with a certified information technology professional credential from the AICPA can distinguish themselves by bridging business and technology in a manner that non-CPAs cannot.

This advantage is not lost on clients, who place great value in knowing that CPAs understand IT and are skilled at adapting technology to business more effectively because of their training as CPAs.

CITPs bridge the disciplines of IT and business and bring a better understanding of both the problems and solutions to businesses than specialists with other credentials that focus on a more narrow skill set. A CITP credential helps CPAs break through the clutter in the marketplace and show they are a better choice for businesses.

WHY BECOME A CITP?

Whether driven by the market or a desire for professional growth, there are numerous reasons to attain the CITP credential:

* While critical, the CPA license doesn't fully describe our skills. The CITP allows you to differentiate your unique blend of skills in the marketplace, positioning you as a CPA who can meet a broader range of client or employer needs.

* A CITP demonstrates that you value tech skills and identify yourself as an IT professional in the business community.

* As the number of CITPs increases, the business community will become more familiar with the designation and the skills we possess.

* A CITP provides access to a community in which you can share, debate, network and communicate with other CPA business technology experts. A CITP credential signals to other CITPs that you share a common focus on IT.

* A CITP is the mark of excellence for CPA business technologists who are leaders in industry, public practice, government and academia.

* Every organization needs a CPA CITP because they blend business acumen with IT expertise.

MYTHS VS. REALITY

You've probably heard some of the myths surrounding the CITP credential: CITP is only for IT consultants. You must be an active member in the AICPA's Information Technology Section to become a CITP. You must take an exam to become a CITP. Well, let's look at the reality:

Myth: CITP is only for IT consultants.

Reality: CITP will distinguish you as a business technologist regardless of whether you work in a public or consulting firm, or in industry. A CITP puts you on equal footing with others on an internal IT team, but your knowledge of business often gives you a leg up on your non-CPA colleagues.

Myth: You must be a member in the AICPA's Information Technology Section.

Reality: Any CPA who is an AICPA member can apply for the CITP credential. Those who become CITPs are automatically enrolled in the IT Section and receive additional AICPA benefits.

Myth: You must take an exam to become a CITP.

Reality: The requirements to become a CITP include work experience and lifelong learning. The exam is periodically offered to those who have met minimum requirements for the credential, but have not met experience or lifelong learning requirements. Most applicants have met the full requirements for the CITP credential without taking the optional exam.

For more details, visit www.aicpa.org/infotech/citp/index.htm.

MAKING THE MOVE

The process of becoming a CITP has been streamlined during the last year. In short, CPAs can qualify for the credential by:

* Being an AICPA member in good standing;

* Holding a valid and unrevoked CPA license issued by a legally constituted state authority;

* Signing a Declaration and Intent to comply with all the requirements for recertification;

* Completing the CITP Application and accumulating at least 100 points, which are earned based on your amount of business experience (in everything from IT strategic planning to systems architecture to security planning) and lifelong learning;

* Submitting up to three references, upon request, to substantiate business experience in technology-related services; and

* Paying a CITP Application fee of $500.

More details are available at the AICPA's IT Community website, www.aicpa.org/infotech. The CITP Application and CITP Handbook are available at www.aicpa.org/infotech/citp/citpapp.htm.

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If you have questions about the requirements, the application process or CITP exclusive benefits, e-mail CITP@aicpa.org or call the AICPA at (201) 938-3828, option 3.

BY ILENE EISEN, CPA. CITP

Ilene Eisen, CPA, CITP owns ieSolutions, a Monterey-based firm helping small to midsize businesses create accounting software systems. She also is a member of the CalCPA Management and Consulting Committee. You can reach her at ilene@ie-solutions.biz.
COPYRIGHT 2005 California Society of Certified Public Accountants
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Title Annotation:CITP CREDENTIAL; certified information technology professional; certified public accountants
Author:Eisen, Ilene
Publication:California CPA
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:748
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