She’s Best of the ‘CIA’
She’s Best of the ‘CIA’
By Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter
Elisheba E. Manzano of Negros Oriental knows her numbers: she bested 25,000 examinees in 80 countries to garner the highest overall score in the recent certification examination for internal auditors, or the CIA.
Manzano, called “Apple” by her colleagues at Punongbayan & Araullo where she has worked for five years, was awarded the William S. Smith Gold Medal award by the Institute of Internal Auditors for garnering the highest score in the May 2007 examinations.
“It only proves to the world the Filipino woman can perform more than menial tasks,” the diminutive Manzano told BusinessMirror.
The 24-year-old lass from Candoni, Negros Oriental, added that the award earned for her “greater self-confidence and respect.”
Manzano, who graduated cum laude from the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod, would be flown to San Francisco in June next year to receive the William S. Smith Gold Medal.
“I’ll be receiving it with pride for the Filipino women professionals,” she said.
An internal auditor checks the whole accounting profess of a company, according to Manzano’s boss, Lilian Linsangan.
Linsangan, the head of P&A’s business risk services (BRS) group, explained that the internal auditor’s concern is more on risk management and how business decisions can help the company navigate in this sea of risks.
“The analytical process is of a premium among CIAs,” Linsangan said adding that there are 891 certified internal auditors in the country today.
The award, named after IIA’s first chairman of the Board of Regents, is the third for the Philippines after Duke Bajenting and Duchess Maria Blancia Cruz bagged the highest score in the 2004 and 2005 exams, respectively, since these were introduced locally seven years ago.
To note, Manzano’s first name is after Queen Elizabeth I.
Based on individual performance on the core exam parts (Parts I, II and III) that has 150 questions each, a candidate must make his/her first exam attempt and successfully complete all four exam parts in one sitting to be eligible for the award.
Part four of the exam, which has questions related to business administration, exempts certified public accountants like Manzano.
Still, according to P&A partner Juan Carlos B. Robles, the internal auditor certification doesn’t require examinees to first have a local CPA license.
“It’s even better to take the CIA because that license is applicable and recognized internationally; CIAs can practice anywhere in the world,” Robles, BRS partner, added.
But Manzano said practicing in a firm like P&A would help examinees – some 2,000 took the exams in the Philippines and only 308 passed – since some questions reflect particular cases that internal auditors would encounter or have encountered.
“The third part was more difficult because it contained cases upon cases,” Manzano said.
Linsangan explained this was because the questions were solicited from internal auditors across the world, specifically the 130,000 members of the Altamonte Springs, Florida-headquartered IIA.
“Hence, more often than not, the questions are not repeated every exam cycle [there are two a year],” Linsangan said.
For Manzano, eldest of three and daughter of government employees in Candoni, the secret is not only in liking the numbers but rising up to the challenges they represent.
“It’s believing anything could be done,” she added.
(As published on the front page of BusinessMirror, 6 September 2007)