What is forensic accounting? “Forensic accounting” consists of “forensic”, which has the connotation of criminal or investigative techniques, and “accounting”, which is keeping track of all financial aspects of a business. Thus, a forensic accounting expert uses forensic accounting investigation to find and testify about criminal activities such as fraud, money laundering and terrorist activities related to economic and financial activities. Forensic accounting consultants might also offer resolution or mediation services to courts and attorneys.
A forensic accounting masters degree can lead to a career that is interesting, exciting and fulfilling. These programs are often available online and aimed at the working professional. Some campus or land-based programs might be offered during evening or weekend time periods. This page has information about the programs, where they can be taken, the prospects, and more. You may also like to check out the accounting masters page.
What do forensic accounting masters programs cover?
Attention to details, an understanding of the legislative system and the ability to follow investigative trails where there are numbers involved are the skills required for those interested in this type of accounting.
Some universities require an undergraduate degree in Accounting or Business Administration, others do not. In either case, the forensic accounting masters program will require coursework in criminology and forensic theory. Finding criminal activity is only one part of the job. The forensic accountant also needs to be able to present the information in an effective manner during trial proceedings. Courses should include learning about the judicial system, evidence gathering and management and techniques for interviewing.
What additional training or accreditation is required?
Graduates of forensic accounting are expected to remain current on legislation and judicial system decisions that affect their field of expertise. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) offers certification for those who pass a written examination. In order to sit for the exam, an applicant must have accrued 50 points in a system that ranks experience, classwork and degrees granted. Two years of experience in related fields such as fraud examination or prevention and a master’s degree qualify the individual to sit for the examination.
What are the career prospects?
The career field is one that masters graduates can find exciting, fulfilling and interesting. Forensic accountants examine financial records to determine if there are irregularities or discrepancies that could indicate evidence of deliberate falsification. Payroll accounts and income statements are reviewed to look for evidence that the firm or individuals might be attempting to embezzle funds. The use of technology to follow the accounting trails is part of the forensic process. The importance of this career field is growing in part because of the increasing number of federal regulations directed at the prevention of fraud.
Because graduates will have studied accounting or auditing, there are many types of job openings available. Graduate may also include coursework in economics or business administration, leading to even more opportunities to find work upon graduation. Jobs are available within large corporations, or a forensic accountant might choose to go into private practice. There are many government positions that come open within the justice system, treasury and other branches of bureaucracy.
Forensic accounting employment is on the increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a growth in the number of forensic accounting jobs of around 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. This is higher than for most careers and is especially important because of the downturn in many other fields. It is believed that the projected growth is largely due to the increase in the number and complexity of regulations affecting and preventing accounting fraud.
Fraud examiners earned a median annual salary of $57,150 in 2008, while accountants and auditors earned a median salary of $59,430. Competition for the jobs will remain strong, in spite of the growth of positions in the field. This is largely due to the higher educational and certification requirements.
List of schools and programs
- The Master of Professional Accounting program is specifically designed to meet the educational requirements of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
- Prepare for a leadership role in public accounting, corporate accounting, government accounting, and other fields.
- Stay abreast of changes to financial laws and regulations with a program that is regularly revised by industry experts to keep pace with current trends.
- Students in the Master of Professional Accounting program get access to Wiley CPAexcel’s Video Gold Medal Course at a significant discount to fully prepare for the CPA exam.
- Each of our courses is 100% online, with no fixed class times or locations. All you need is an internet connection. Wherever you are, you’re already on campus.
- Our programs are built for working adults. You complete coursework on your schedule, in your own time. Complete assignments and projects when it’s most convenient for you.
- Master - Professional Accounting
- Master - Finance
- Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees available in a wide range of fields.
- Flexible online programs offered in Psychology, Criminal Justice, Education, and more.
- Assigned Financial Services Advisors to help answer student financial questions.
- Servicemembers and their spouses can apply for the Ashford Military Grant to reduce tuition for all undergraduate courses.
- MA Accountancy
- MBA - Finance
- Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration.
- Students are instructed in relevant business skills like communication, mathematics, and management.
- Coursework emphasizes the development of project management, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
- Flexible, 100% online and campus based programs available.
- MS in Accounting
- MS in Accounting - Tax Specialization
- MS in Accounting - Government Specialization
- And more...
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Master of Science in Accounting
- Master of Business Administration - Accounting
- Master of Business Administration - Finance
- Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
- Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
- Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Master of Business Administration - Accounting
- Master of Business Administration - Finance and Investing
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.
- MS in Accounting
- MBA - Accounting