Eric Greene: A CIA & Catalyst for Positive Change
Director, Financial Reporting
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
1. What prompted you to become certified?
In a world where trust is growing thinner but is ever more needed, the ability to demonstrate trust continues to expand as an essential skill. As noted in Stephen M. R. Covey’s book, “The Speed of Trust,” trust is about our character (integrity and intent), as well as our competence (capabilities and results). When we can demonstrate to others that “you can trust me,” great professional dividends can be gained. Especially in my role in finance and accounting, there is continually expanding oversight into the processes that provide trust over the reliability of the financial information that is being provided to stakeholders, both internally and externally. As such, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification gives me a strong foundation of ethics to demonstrate I have character and applicable knowledge and skills to show that I can be trusted. I knew that since the CIA is a worldwide recognized certification, I could communicate to other professionals that I am worthy of such trust by becoming a certified. In addition, the processes and controls that derive reliable financial and non-financial information are becoming more critical in an automated world, and I knew that getting certified would assist me in helping create world-class processes to benefit our company and stakeholders.
2. What IIA certification(s) do you hold, and why did you choose to pursue it (them)? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications, and if so, which ones and why?
The CIA certification (and other IIA certifications) are not just for internal auditors! I have never been an internal auditor, and based on my current career track, I may never get the opportunity. However, I believe the CIA adds tremendously to a professional’s ability to be a catalyst for positive change, to add value, to reduce risk, and to benefit a company in meaningful ways. I believe that if you are an internal auditor, working towards the CIA is a no-brainer. However, other cross-functional team members can get the CIA (and other IIA certifications) and add value in similar ways that internal audit does through their added expertise. (Though not IIA certifications, I am also a CPA, CMA, and CFE.)
3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?
The CIA certification gives me not only a professional advantage on my resume from others who don’t hold the certification, it also gives me clout with my peers and coworkers who understand that I am certified as a CIA, and that I have valuable insights to add in risk management, control design and implementation, operational improvement, and internal and external auditor processes. But more importantly, the learning and continuing education has provided a bedrock of understanding that allows me to work more collaboratively with others to improve processes, add value, and help our company reach its objectives.
4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?
Obtaining the CIA certification has boosted my visibility in my current career both within my company and also in my networking. Having CIA after your name helps others see your technical expertise, but also your professional commitment. With my other skills and certifications, the CIA has added to my ability to be collaborative and add value across different disciplines within the business environment. My CIA proves that I can add value to the company by understanding how a broader approach to risk management and value creation can be obtained through principles learned by the CIA certification process..
5. Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?
I now know how to apply certain best practices that I was not aware of previously. For example, knowing control assessment, control design, and risk management best practices helps me better understand business principles. The CIA certification has solidified my belief in the need for good governance, good controls, and good processes.
6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
I have yet to meet a CIA that regrets their decision to pursue this certification. However, I know of plenty of professionals that regret not pursuing further education or opportunities to grow. I believe the CIA will provide a great ROI on your career, even (in the rare situation) if you don’t want to be an internal auditor full time.
7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
I believe in being deliberate when seeking professional success. The intention should always be to drive your career rather than let your career drive you. It is also my belief that by being deliberate, we can achieve a great deal more in our careers by seeking what we want. We should run toward the gain instead of running from the pain!
8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
While reading “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth, this quote stood out to me: “There are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time ― longer than most people imagine. You’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people. Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.”
Eric Greene serves as the director of financial reporting at ZAGG Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah. ZAGG, a public company, creates screen and case protection for everyone’s favorite mobile devices and accessories to empower a mobile lifestyle. Currently, Greene is the lead in preparing SEC filings, developing and improving financial reporting controls and processes, and technical accounting. Prior to ZAGG, Greene obtained several years of “Big Four” financial accounting experience auditing large, publicly traded multinational corporations. He is also an alumni of the AICPA® National Leadership Academy; volunteers as an Advisory Chairman of the SEC Professionals Group located in Salt Lake City; and serves on the Utah Association of CPAs (UACPA) Professional Networking (ProNet) Council. He graduated from Westminster with master’s degrees in accounting (MAcc) and business administration (MBA); and also attained undergraduate degrees in accounting and finance from the University of Utah.
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About the CIA
As the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors and The IIA’s flagship credential for more than 40 years, the CIA sets the standard for excellence in the profession. Learn more.