Ultimate Guide to
Careers in Forensic Accounting

Presented by: Online-Accounting-Degrees.net

forensic accounting This guide covers all the basic information about forensic accounting and answers common questions about the profession. It is the perfect resource for those wishing to unearth more about the profession and discover if it might be the right occupation for them. As many people don’t even realize that there is a type of accounting devoted to forensics, the first chapter addresses the essential question: what is forensic accounting? Through the guide you will learn about the types of companies that hire forensic accountants, what kind of education students will need, professional organizations for people in the profession, salary opportunities, and what to expect from the future of forensic accounting. Also contained within are also a number of “career profiles” that offer an inside look into the jobs of forensic accountants who work as fraud investigators, government agents, and in-house corporate litigators. Understanding all the ins and outs of forensic accounting is essential to deciding what to study in school and what profession to pursue after graduation. By doing comprehensive research about the profession early on, students and professionals alike can learn more about if forensic accounting is a career that will leave them financially, mentally, and socially satisfied.

forensic accounting
Most people have at least some idea of what accounting is (and know that if they hate numbers, they should stay away from it!). But not everybody knows that a subset of this profession, known as forensic accounting, exists. If you’ve watched news stories about high-powered businessmen being arrested for fraud or embezzlement, you’ve come into indirect contact with the work of a forensic accountant. The profession combines the organization and math skills of an accountant with the legal know-how and investigative skills of a lawyer or law enforcement official. The following resource links are helpful for gaining more in-depth information about what exactly forensic accountants do.

An Overview of Forensic Accounting
Characteristics and Skills of the Forensic Accountant
What to Look for in a Forensic Accountant
A Career in Forensic Accounting
Forensic Accounting Myths and Facts
Brief Video on Forensic Accounting
What is a Forensic Auditor?
FBI
Forensic accountants have opportunities in many different industries and with many different types of firms. Professional accountants with a knowledge of forensics can find work at anything from an investment bank to a law enforcement agency. Some forensic accountants even work for high-profile agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and dig up financial wrongdoing among terrorists and spies. They can of course also find work at the “Big Four” (the biggest international audit firms, which are Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG), other large accountancy corporations, or boutique firms. The links below offer more information about different employment opportunities for forensic accountants.

Career Path of a Forensic Accountant
FBI Forensic Accountants
Forensic Accounting – Routes In
More about the Big Four
The CSI of Accounting Jobs
Find Forensic Accounting Jobs
degree in forensic accounting
Forensic accountants don’t necessarily need to have a specific degree in forensic accounting, but at least a bachelor’s degree in general accounting is an absolute must. There are numerous educational programs out there that will train students in the ways of accounting, auditing, and analysis. Some schools may offer a concentration in forensics, or will at least offer a class or two focused on helpful topics, such as the analysis of financial statements. There are also a number of master’s degree programs in forensic accounting, but they are not a requirement for most jobs. The resources below offer in depth information about the requisite education for forensic accountants.

How to Become a Forensic Accountant
Licensing for a Forensic Accountant
Accountant or Auditor – How to Become One
Certified in Financial Forensics Credential Overview
Forensic Accountant Education and Training
Five Popular Reasons for Earning a CPA License
CPA Exam State-by-State Reference Guide
fraud investigation
People who commit fraud misrepresent themselves in order to deceive others and reap some sort of monetary gain. Fraud investigators seek to ferret out those who have committed this type of crime. They do this by examining financial documents, reviewing surveillance records, and interviewing both witnesses and suspects. As with other forensic positions, fraud examiners may need to testify in court at the suspect’s trial. Some people specialize in accounting fraud, while others investigate acts related to bank or insurance fraud. People in this industry work for a variety of companies, including insurance firms, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and private practices. The resources below offer a comprehensive look at this profession.

Fraud Investigator Duties
Fraud Investigator Job Description
Certified Fraud Investigator Program Overview
Forensic Accounting Fraud Investigations Practice Aid
Fraud Investigations Services from Ernst & Young
The Salary of a Fraud Investigator
Career Outlook for Fraud Examiners, Investigators, and Analysts
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Forensic accounting combines a knowledge of and expertise in numbers and financial documents with a keen legal sense and an ability to skillfully investigate crimes. Thus, forensic accountants are right at home with high-profile government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Each government organization has a team of forensic accountants who scrutinize financial documents and interview witnesses in the pursuit of white collar criminals who have committed illegal acts related to fraud, embezzlement, and theft. The links below are all great resources for anyone hoping to learn more about a forensic accounting career with one of these federal law enforcement agencies.

FBI Professional Staff Qualification Requirements
What Kind of Job with the FBI Could an Accountant Get?
IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent
Salary of an IRS Special Agent
How to Work for the CIA: Careers that Don’t Require You to Kill Your Friends
Career Opportunities at the CIA
corporate merger
When corporations are successful, they often end up either merging with or acquiring other companies. This process often requires the help of a forensic accountant to examine financial documents and make sure the two corporations stay within the letter of the law. Sometimes businesses end up in conflict with each other regarding everything from fraud accusations to asset adjustments to earn-out disputes. Because such situations require a professional with a unique blend of knowledge, including accounting, valuation, and legal issues, it is often the job for a team of forensic accountants. Check out the resources below for all you need to know about the role of forensic accounting in corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Merger and Acquisition Accounting Standards
Mergers and Acquisitions by Accounting Firms
The CPA’s Role in Quantifying Post-Acquisition Dispute Damages
How to Get Experience in Merger & Acquisition-Related Disputes
The Forensic Accountant’s Role in Litigation
Typical Forensic Accountant Roles in Anti-Corruption Due Diligence
An Accounting Expert’s Role in a Business Combination
corporate forensic accountants
Thanks to a number of corporate scandals and a push for more transparency and honesty on the part of corporations, forensic accountants have seen more work come their way. Forensic accountants who work for large corporations are responsible for interpreting and organizing complicated financial documents. They also act as internal regulators for the businesses and look to identify and fix any weaknesses that could be seen as a flawed financial practice. Corporations often like to have forensic accountants on staff because they increase both stakeholders’ and shareholders’ confidence in the company. The resources below offer a wealth of useful information on forensic accountants who work for corporations.

Corporate Governance and the Forensic Accountant
Roles of CPAs and Forensic Accountants in Corporate Investigations
Piercing the Corporate Veil: A Guide for the Forensic Accountant
Increased Regulation Drives Demand for Forensic Accounting Services
Corporate Governance and Forensic Accountants’ Role: Global Regulatory Action Scenario
The Role of Forensic Accounting in Solving the Vexed Problem of Corporate World
Regulations in Forensic Accounting
professional organizations
Professional organizations exist for a long list of professions, from nurses to businessmen to educators, and forensic accounting is no exception. Organizations like the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the National Association of Forensic Accountants, and the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute all provide services to people who are members of the association and are certified in the profession. Many offer classes in forensic accounting, provide members with ways to get certified, and do public relations work to promote the profession to the general public. Organizations exist all the way from the local to international levels. See the links below for more about professional organizations for forensic accountants.

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
National Association of Forensic Accountants
American College of Forensic Examiners
Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants
Study Compares Forensic Accounting Organizations
National Society of Accountants
American Institute of CPAs
salaries for forensic accountants
There is a wide range of salaries for forensic accountants, similar to the range one would see in any profession. Fluctuations in salary can be attributed to geographic region, education level, and job experience. Earning certifications can help accountants to maximize their income potential. In what industry a person works (such as for an in-house accounting firm, one of the Big Four, or a government agency) also affects income. Overall, the average salary for a forensic accountant is more than that of general CPAs, but there’s no guarantee that students will start out making a high salary. For example, forensic accounting interns will make much less money and earn raises with experience. See the links below for great resources about accounting salaries.

Forensic Accounting Salary Range: 5 Tips to Beat the Averages
Anonymously Posted Forensic Accountant Salaries
Accountant Salary from US News
Search for Forensic Accounting Salaries by State or Zip Code
Average Salary for Different Types of Accountant
Pay for Accountants and Auditors – Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accounting Salary Guide
forensic accounting services
The demand for forensic accounting services has grown dramatically in recent years. Corruption and scandal in years past, such as those affecting WorldCom Inc. and Enron, initiated a strong call for financial reform. Congress has passed multiple pieces of legislation requiring stringent regulations for corporate accounting firms as well as greater financial transparency for public companies. Forensic accounting services grew by an average of 8.7% a year from 2008 to 2013. Over the same period, the demand for traditional accounting services only grew by 3.4%. Take a look at the resources below for great information about job growth and career outlook for forensic accountants.

Accountants Uncover Opportunity in Forensics
Job Outlook for Accountants and Auditors – Bureau of Labor Statistics
Forensic Accountant and Fraud Examiner – Outlook and Growth
Forensic Accounting is a Career to Count on
High Demand for Certified Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting Experts Opens Doors
ACAA Careers – The Forensic Accountant
Forensic Futurama: Why Forensic Accounting is Evolving

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