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Online Forensic Accounting Degree Programs

Forensic accountants are the financial world's crime watchdogs. Using sophisticated technology and accounting and auditing procedures, they investigate white-collar crimes, help with the litigation of contract disputes and bankruptcies, and navigate complicated and possibly criminal transactions like money laundering. Additionally, forensic accounting professionals may be called upon to act as witnesses in legal proceedings.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting Degrees and Career Training

While there is no specific education or certification requirement to set up shop as a forensic accountant, accounting degrees and appropriate certification certainly increase your credibility and marketability among employers. Ideally, a forensic accountant would possess:

  • A bachelor's degree with at least a minor in accounting and preferably a major in accounting or forensic accounting. A master's in accounting program and/or licensure as a Certified Public Accountant is even better.
  • Certified Fraud Examiner or Certified Financial Forensic Accountant designation, obtained by taking and passing either the CFE or CFFA exam. Candidates for the CFE must have a bachelor's degree, two years of relevant experience, and the ability to pass a four-part exam. Related work experience may, in some cases, be substituted for the educational requirement.
  • Membership in the American College of Forensic Examiners or similar professional association.

Employment Growth in Forensic Accounting

The corporate accounting scandals of recent years have led to increasing scrutiny over corporations' financial reporting practices, and the establishment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This federal regulation forces companies to strengthen their internal financial systems and reporting accuracy, making them rely more on accounting professionals. Therefore, opportunities for accountants in all specialties are projected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

In particular, work opportunities in forensic accounting will grow. Companies' increased focus on financial crimes such as embezzlement, bribery, and fraud will definitely increase the demand for forensic accounting professionals who have received specialized career training in how to address and report such issues. Most accounting firms maintain separate forensic accounting departments specializing in insurance claims, personal injury claims, fraud, royalty issues, etc. Forensic accountants are also in high demand on audit committees, insurance companies, banks, police forces, and other government bodies.

Additionally, as companies continue to increase their reliance on technology, there will be a greater demand for professionals trained in monitoring and investigating technological security. A 2008 survey of 1,400 chief financial officers found that of all the career training they'd received--including finance, accounting, sales, marketing, and the law--information technology surpassed all of these in importance in their day-to-day work. For those who wish to pursue forensic accounting, accounting degrees often provide excellent career training in the latest reporting software and security programs, which should provide an edge in an employment search.

A Forensic Accounting Career

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics currently doesn't track salary or employment statistics for the specific field of forensic accounting, its 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that accountants in all specialties will experience faster than average growth over the next decade.

Pursue your Forensic Accounting major today…

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
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            • Partnerships with thousands of companies
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            • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
            • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
            • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
            • Michigan's largest independent college.
            • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
            • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
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            • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
            • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
            • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
            • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            • Provides a 24/7 myCampusLink system that lets students access their records, e-mail, communicate with faculty, and more.
            • Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Offers career education in nursing, dental, business, information technology, and more. 
            • Has 44 campus locations across 15 states, with online options as well.
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            • Gives students the option to enroll at any time and begin studies in the fall, spring, or summer.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 77.3 percent.
            • Ranked #39 in Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Reports
            • Has more than 50,000 alumni including several astronauts, CEOs, and 32 generals.
            • Offers a special tuition rate for active duty, selected reserves, National Guard service members and their spouses.
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            • Online school designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Commited more than $60 million in tuition savings in 2015 through scholarships.
            • Active-duty military, veterans, and Veteran’s Administration employees can save 15% on tuition.
            • Offers 24/7 student services, including financial aid help, course registration, and career counseling.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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