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Life as a CPA

Life as a CPA (2): What is a CITP?

Diamond Head in the Morning

Diamond Head in the Morning

– Ty’s Summer Internship – Day 1 continued –

Driving from the Honolulu International Airport to ITK office was just amazing. I am sure it is nothing special for Donny, but what I notice is the stunning blue sky, gorgeous ocean view, and TONS of Japanese tourists. Wow, this is like a home away from home for me. Japanese signs, restaurants, and markets are everywhere. I already feel that this land of Aloha will feed me pretty good while I am here.

I met Donny a few years ago, and back then I had very minimal knowledge of what he does for living. I just knew that he does something similar to what I do – IT consulting. He seemed to travel a lot for business, carry deep knowledge on IT in general, but I was not aware of that he is actually a CPA.

Last year we had a chance to meet up in New York City as he was traveling the East Coast for business. I was telling him how hard it was to find a right internship position where I could fully embrace my IT background as well as Accounting education side. Then Donny asked me if I wanted to work with him. What? Really? I am sure he was joking at first, but needless to say I took it as a serious offer. He is a CPA who specializes in IT advisory, and he is based in Honolulu. What could be better than that? Luckily he also thought it was a good match, and I was able to get this opportunity. We are told that business school is all about networking, and I guess that is right. I was not expecting this connection to bear fruit like this.

That being said, I still have only a vague idea about what he does. He is not only a CPA, but he also has the CITP credential (Certified Information Technology Professional). I had never heard of it until I saw this designation in the signature of Donny’s email. Here is CITP promotional video from AICPA, which explains the field of CPA/CITP. (Donny is in the video too!!)

The ITK website also describes a CITP as:

“The CITP credential is a specialty designation of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), that identifies Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) with the unique ability to bridge between business and technology; meeting the strict requirements for a CPA license as well as additional training and experience in: technology strategic planning, IT architecture, business process enablement, system development and acquisition, IT audit and control, and IT governance.”

I see. So this CITP credential is the proof that he is actually a CPA that is an IT expert. He was the very first one to obtain this credential in the State of Hawaii, and currently there are only four CPA/CITP credential holders in the state. You can see what a niche this specialty field is.

As Donny’s car is approaching his office in a nice neighborhood in Kaimuki, I am just getting excited that I am about to see the real work of CPA/CITP IT advisory this close for such an extended period. Lucky me.


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