Do you want a career involved with conducting in-depth financial
analysis? Are you intrigued by the legal system and interested in
investigating fraud? If you said yes to all three, the field of
Forensic Accounting might be right for you. Forensic accountants
apply their expertise in the legal system through accounting,
auditing, and investigating to examine business fraud.
Specialized accountants, or certified public accountants, acquire
additional education in Forensic Accounting to identify evidence of
embezzlement, corruption, and general fraud. According to Dr. Niraj
B. Patel's published article in Research Review International Journal of Multidisciplinary, Forensic Accounting is "the use of accounting principles and
investigating techniques to ferret out fraud and theft."
Why Choose a Master's in Forensic Accounting?
Those with a degree in Forensic Accounting can work in a variety of
industries including Law, Businesses, Insurance, Finance, and of
course, Accounting. Forensic Accountants also within the justice system and law enforcement, whether it be litigation support or criminal
investigation. Qualified Forensic Accountants can analyze data, pay
attention to details, understand business fundamentals, and
demonstrate excellent computer and communication skills.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for accountants and auditors was
$69,350 per year in 2017. The BLS estimates that accounting jobs
will increase up to ten percent by 2026.
To become a Forensic Accountant, students must earn their
credentials as a Certified Public Accountant. The State Board of
Accountancy manages licensure in each state. There are other
specific certifications for Forensic Accountants, including:
- Certified in Financial Forensics Credential: The CFF Credential, offered through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, shows that a CPA has completed the CFF Exam through AICPA and has
at least the minimum continuing professional development coursework
in forensic accounting.
- Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate: Also offered by AICPA, this provides certification and 21.5 CPE
credits. It is also a beginning certification before earning the
- Core Forensic Accounting Certificate: Another AICPA certification, the core certification provides skills
in evidence, interview techniques, deposition, testimony, and
- Specialized Forensic Accounting Certificate: This AICPA certificate covers specialized areas of Forensic
Accounting, such as bankruptcy, intellectual property damages,
mergers, family law, and divorce.
- Certified Global Forensic Accountant Credential: Designation earned through the International Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants.
- Forensic Certified Public Accountant: Certification offered through the Forensic CPA Society through a series of five tests consisting of 20 hours toward one's
- NAFA Certification: A specialized certification of the National Association of Forensic Accountants.
- Certified Professional Forensic Accountant: The CPFAcct is one of four designations by the Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants.
- Forensic Accounting Certification: Prerequisite for receiving the ICFA Associate designation.
- Certified Professional Internal Auditor: This designation by ICFA is only available to internal auditors
with extra training.
- Certified Fraud Specialist: The CFS designation from the ICFA is for those with specific skills
for understanding methods, law, and the ability to resolve fraud
- Certified Fraud Examiner: The CFE credential is offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners to certify excellence in the anti-fraud profession.
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Department of Labor, the National Center for Education Statistics,
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