Meet Eleanor Dayton CIA, CPA, ACA

Certification Spotlight

Eleanor DaytonEleanor Dayton, CIA, CPA, ACA
General Ledger Accounting Supervisor, Black Hills Corporation
Member, Orange County – California

1. What prompted you to become certified?

I was advised by a senior colleague at Mercury Insurance that one of the best steps I could take to advance my career was to sit for the CIA to get an overarching, internationally recognized internal audit designation.

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 certification and chose to pursue this designation because I enjoy learning and challenges.  

3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?

Having the CIA designation proves a high level of internal auditing knowledge and skills to employers and potential employers. The CIA certificate helped to solidify knowledge and skills that I had obtained through four years in the workplace as an auditor

4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?

My CIA designation has helped me to advance to a supervisory position. At the time of studying for my CIA exams, I was nervous I wouldn’t pass them. I ended up being awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence meaning I ranked between 5th and 14th in the world out of almost 70,000 exam parts (taken during the year). This award has helped my resume to stand out and caused me to be selected for my current job over controllers and other candidates with many more years of experience.

5. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?

For those considering obtaining an IIA certification, I advise you to go ahead. If you are anything like me, you will probably find it easier and do much better than you imagined.

6. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?

Guidance from my heavenly Father through prayer and the advice of friends and colleagues who care about me have played the greatest role in my career and given me the strength and courage to pursue designations and challenging jobs.

7. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). We were never meant to live for ourselves or for our own glory and will never reach our full potential while we do so. When we live for Jesus and have his help, the sky’s the limit!


Eleanor “Ellie” Dayton went to work as an internal and external auditor for PwC in Cambridge, England, straight out from university there. She achieved her ACA during that time and eventually moved to California, working for Mercury Insurance. She sat for both her CPA and CIA during this time. After achieving both, Dayton moved to South Dakota to work for Black Hills Corporation as general ledger accounting supervisor, where she co-manages a team of eight.