dcsimg
Table of Contents

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 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.

Forensic Accounting

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…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Matching School Ads
2 Program(s) Found
  • Students who qualify may apply for the Opportunity Scholarship, which can help lower education costs.
  • Offers career-focused, degree programs to over 70,000 students at over 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states.
  • Classes are offered year-round, with day and evening course options.
  • Online courses can be accessed from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
  • Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • 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.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 12 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899.
  • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services.
  • Offers counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline to students at no extra charge.
  • Gives students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
  • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
  • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found

Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University's dedicated, accomplished faculty works with small classes of students who are open-minded—and are seeking to grow as individuals. Everyone at Cal Lutheran is committed to helping each student pursue their passions to discover their purpose, and follow that purpose to transform their community—and the world.

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104