Information Management and Technology Assurance (IMTA) is a unique feature and service of the American Institute of CPA (AICPA). It is designed to help certified public accounts (CPAs) better manage and protect financial information through technology and process improvements.
Who is the American Institute of CPAs?
The American Institute of CPAs is the premier organization that supports, trains and advocates for CPAs. They have an Information Management and Technology Assurance (IMTA) Section that is tasked with helping CPAs who want to incorporate more technology into their business while also protecting their clients’ sensitive information. The American Institute of CPAs guides CPAs through the process of setting up internal controls and procedures that will improve accuracy and business processes. CPAs are taught how to use data analytics and customized reports in order to evaluate and benchmark business performance and increase profits.
What are the Benefits of Joining the IMTA Section?
The American Institute of CPA’s IMTA division provides member CPAs with illuminating information about current and emerging IT risks, trends and security and privacy issues. They provide a wide array of tools and resources for CPAs, such as training, software solutions and best management practices. For example, they share updates on the best software technologies that protect data, such as anti-virus programs, and the most dangerous online threats, such as phishing emails that target their clients. However, the American Institute of CPAs also offers exclusive training for CPAs regarding Information Management and Technology Assurance professionals through their Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP).
The Certified Information Technology Professional Credential
The Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) credential is for CPAs who wish to specialize in business technology. The CITP credential encompasses a wide range of IT and information management concepts and skills. The five main knowledge areas include: risk assessment, internal controls, fraud considerations, business intelligence and testing and reporting. For example, CPAs will learn how to perform risk assessments regarding material misstatements or technology vulnerabilities. Internal controls will teach about both procedural and IT controls. For example, the CPA will be instructed how to enhance confidentiality, IT security and data integrity. Fraud considerations will cover the tools and techniques used to detect internal fraud. Business intelligence will train CPAs how to use technology to improve business processes and performance management. Finally, the testing and reporting content will cover auditing controls, procedures and techniques. Overall, the CITP credential indicates a technically trained CPA who can protect both their clients and company.
Sample Job Description for CIPT Accountant
CPAs who choose to become CITP certified will serve their accounting companies through ensuring that operational security is maintained for internal information systems. They must monitor and maintain effective system security protocols during all phases of the system and the patient account life cycle. CITP professionals will work with IT personnel to ensure that the best security features and safeguards are universally put into operation in the network. For example, they must make sure that no attempt is made to access restricted information, breach security mechanisms or monitor network activity. CITP professionals will also be expected to implement and enforce internal security policies and procedures with fellow CPAs. Related to this, they will develop and execute effective security education, training, and awareness programs. For example, this may involve sending email warnings to CPAs regarding current online fraudulent crimes or training new employees on the proper security protocols.
In the end, Information Management and Technology Assurance plays a critical role in protecting accounting data and ensuring accurate and efficient accountancy practices.