Forensic accounting is major branch of accountancy that deals with certain litigation disputes. Similar to forensic science and forensic psychology, forensic accounting is a field in which fraud or criminal cases are investigated to extract evidence suitable for the court of law. The finding of accounting forensic specialists is extremely crucial for resolving cases that fall in the category of insurance claims, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, personal injury claims, and royalty audits. With so many transactions taking place between individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders, the risk of fraud is high. Thousands of dollars are lost every year through criminal activities. This has led to the growth of forensic accounting as a major sector. Those who are good with numbers and wish to pursue a career in law enforcement or criminal justice can consider this occupation as a suitable choice.
There are all kinds of degree programs available in the field of forensic accounting. These programs are being offered by renowned institutes all across the nation. One can pursue forensic accounting online as well, due to the growing popularity if online learning. From associate degrees to professional certifications, all kinds of forensic accounting programs are available online.
Masters in Forensic Accounting
A masters degree in forensic accounting is among the most popular graduate level qualifications one can pursue in this particular field. The program comprises of various theoretical elements and practical courses. These are geared towards providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, fraud and theft, and how accountancy principles are used to detect such issues. During the first few semesters or terms, emphasis is laid upon fundamental accounting subjects such as the following:
Principles of accounting
Further in the program, students acquire understanding of more advanced and career oriented subjects such as fraud detection, techniques of investigation, and malfeasance. However, the curriculum will vary slightly from institute to institute. Skill development is also a major part of forensic accountancy masters programs. Students learn how to practically apply accountancy principles to modern day fraud cases and develop analysis skills, decision making skills, and communication skills. This provides students an overview of what to expect in the professional industry. With a masters degree in this field, you can also seek other professional certifications such as the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
You can seek a job as a forensic accounting specialist, auditor, or even work as a financial examiner. There are organizations that hire such experts to work in their accounting department. On the other hand, if you wish to work with the federal government, you can seek employment in different law enforcement agencies. As a forensic accountant, you will be required to investigate financial fraud cases and work with other law experts. Forensic accounting is expected to grow in the coming years and can turn out to be a suitable career choice. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of accountants and auditors is $61,690.