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Meet Thanh Nguyen: Internal Audit — A Future Beyond Finance

Thanh Nguyen, CIA, CRMA, CFSA, and CCSA
Associate Director, Risk Consulting
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

1. What prompted you to become certified?
I live in Vietnam where the profession of internal auditing is new and slowly developing. I’d really like to help promote internal audit to my country overall. But before I can do that, I need to develop myself as a professional. And, in my opinion, there is no better option than to obtain certifications from The IIA. That was the main reason I decided to become certified.

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?
I hold the CIA, CRMA, CFSA, and CCSA designations. The reason I pursued them was because I worked in financial services for a few years as an internal auditor and wanted to strengthen my knowledge in that area. These certifications help me make a statement to others about my knowledge and expertise. I will start to pursue QIAL in the near future as a way to continue to challenge myself through studying and working, as well as to help develop myself as a leader in internal auditing.

3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?
Earning certifications not only created many career opportunities, but also helped me get recognition from professionals around the world and gain credibility with my colleagues and clients.

4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?
All of The IIA’s certifications are valuable and very practical; as the world is constantly changing, they keep me in the right direction of career development through continuous improvement.

5. How has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?
Passing the exams required a lot of preparation in order to understand the concepts and how to apply them in practice. This process helped me develop my knowledge and skills significantly and tested me through daily work. Earning The IIA’s certifications also proves my commitment to the profession’s code of ethical conduct at the highest level.

6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
Try not to memorize, but rather understand the principal concepts. Also, utilize the recommended readings provided by the study guide authors, and follow advice from fellow professionals as a source of valuable resources. Always give your best effort to strengthen your name with three or four letters by earning The IIA’s certification(s)!

7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
Career planning and development have played a very important role in my professional growth. I have objectives for my career. With careful planning and professional development, I can identify the way I should go and keep going in the right direction. Without a plan, objectives are just a wish.

8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
I have a friend, and though we have lost contact with each other for a long time, I still remember her advice: “Future options are dependent on previous decisions. Even deciding to do nothing is still a decision and closes off all other options. It is no longer the matter of “if” but “when” you stand up and pursue your objectives.”


Thanh (Alan) Nguyen, CIA, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, is the Associate Director of Risk Consulting services at KPMG Vietnam. After earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance, he started his career in the management accounting field. Later, he developed a keen interest in internal auditing, motivated by the profession’s challenges and the need for continuous improvement to achieve effective performance. Thus, he began his study in internal auditing, starting with the pursuit of professional certifications from The IIA. In 2018, Alan became the first Vietnamese to receive an “Emerging Leader” award. Thanh has ten years of experience providing internal auditing services to a variety of companies in various sectors. He continues to sharpen his skills in governance, risk management, internal controls, and US Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 implementation.

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