The many jobs available as a forensic accountant make use of this profession’s investigative, highly-skilled nature. Those who spent their time in undergraduate and graduate-level classes learning about business law, generally accepted accounting principles, investigative accounting, and internal auditing, will find all kinds of positions that position them as investigators, researchers, enforcers of state and federal regulations, and experts in personal, corporate, and federal tax policy in a variety of different fields. For those who are still considering this occupation as one they might pursue, it’s worth understanding the most common types of jobs landed by skilled forensic professionals with significant experience in financial reporting and auditing.
Internal Auditors and Accounting Policy Enforcement Specialists
The most common profession pursued by those with degrees and certifications in forensic accounting is that of an internal auditor. These professionals are hired by businesses to act as a sort of preventative force that guards against unethical accounting practices and financial irregularities during regular reporting. Internal auditors typically spend their career going over the work done by the company’s more traditional accountants, looking for accuracy in earnings statements, cost declarations, financial reports, earnings expectations, and more. They’ll look for accuracy and transparency in corporate bank accounts, investment funds, and profit allocations, to make sure the company isn’t running afoul of GAAP, business laws, government regulations, or specific tax policies in the country where business is being done.
Public Sector Forensic Accounting Professionals
Those who wish to work for government agencies instead of large corporations will find plenty of opportunities awaiting them after they finish graduate-level coursework in forensic accounting and auditing. Typically, these professionals are hired most often by one of two federal agencies. The first of these is the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is primarily concerned with oversight of corporations and enforcement of laws regarding profits, business practices, accounting practices, and corporate ethics. If the government launches an investigation, forensic accountants will immediately start looking at how the books were kept, whether or not something is irregular, and whether or not that irregularity was devised as an intentional way to hide debts and losses, profits, or tax liabilities.
The Internal Revenue Service is another crucial part of the government where forensic accountants are in high demand. The IRS oversees taxes for both businesses and individuals, but forensic accountants will be primarily interested in how businesses filed their taxes, leveraged so-called loopholes, and claimed exemptions. Once again, if they sense something is wrong with financial reporting or tax preparation, they’ll be a key part of the investigation and hold companies accountable for their errors. They will perform these services for individual and small business tax returns as well, though this is a smaller faction of the forensic accountants hired nationally by the IRS.
Related Resource: Chartered Global Management Accountant
A Fast-Growing Field in the Public and Private Sectors
Forensic accounting is growing at a very fast rate, as an increasing number of businesses look to send jobs and tax money overseas, while others try to hide profits or losses and cause economic calamity as a result. Thanks to this type of business and economic environment, skilled accountants who seek certifications in forensics will have no difficulty landing a job auditing and investigating daily reporting activities. According to CNN, today’s jobs available as a forensic accountant in the public and private sector will therefore be as rewarding as they are intriguing, with great salaries and the potential for changing the very nature of the modern business climate.