In the digital world, where data breaches are at an all-time high, fraud is rampant; there’s never been more demand for skilled financial professionals with solid computer forensics and accounting backgrounds.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 fastest-growing job sectors are forensics, investigations; computer systems support specialists, information security analysts, fraud experts, auditors, and accountants.
Why You Should Pursue a Forensic Accounting Degree
In order to understand the nuances of forensic accounting, you need to attend a quality school that offers advanced training in that specific field.
The degree program that prepares you for certification as a CFE or CPA will give you the in-depth knowledge base and hands-on experience necessary to begin developing skills that will set you apart from other financial professionals.
Macon State College forensic Accounting Program
The forensic accounting program at Macon State College provides students with the technical and practical knowledge, lessons, and skills they need to become successful members of their community.
This program offers advanced training in accounting and prepares students to sit for the CFE exam.
Courses and Requirements for a Forensic Accounting Graduate Degree Program
Students in a forensic accounting program will take classes such as:
Forensic Accounting, Fraud Examination, Advanced Fraud Examination, Advanced Fraud Examination II, and Computer Forensics.
Forensic accounting programs also have accelerated Bachelor’s degree completion programs that allow you to earn your CPA or CFE designation along with your undergraduate degree. It will enable students to gain real-world experience through internships.
A forensic accountant can provide expert testimony in court and assist in criminalizing individuals who have engaged in fraudulent schemes, embezzlement, and other unlawful activities.
Top 18 Forensic Accounting Degree Requirements:
Number one is understanding the federal and state laws that govern accounting.
Number two-a a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from an accredited university or college with classes in Forensic Accounting.
Number three: You must pass the Certified Public Accountant exam and be licensed by your state board of accountancy to work as a forensic accountant.
Number four– courses related to law and business such as criminal justice, fraud examination, insurance coverage analysis, trusts, and estates.
Number five is understanding forensic accounting software programs such as ACES or Forensic Tool Kit to be able to properly read the data being analyzed.
Number six– is a working knowledge of computer systems, including Microsoft Word for formatting documents and Excel for spreadsheets with formulas.
Number seven-you must have an excellent working knowledge of accounting principles and procedures such as Income Tax Laws, Corporate Accounting Procedures, And Cost Accounting Principles.
Number eight is understanding the ethical standards that govern forensic accountants, including maintaining confidentiality in all aspects of life; upholding professional integrity at all times.
Not engage in any conduct that would either be inconsistent with the standards of a forensic accountant or detrimental to society.
Number nine is understanding state laws governing accounting as well as federal law.
Number ten– it’s important you have good interpersonal skills such as communicating effectively with others, understanding and respecting diversity in the workplace, and problem-solving.
Number eleven is understanding how to use financial statements such as balance sheets, cash flow, income statement analysis.
Number twelve being able to read complex documents including legal records, case files on criminal cases or civil lawsuits involving accounting issues.
Number thirteen– being able to use statistical analysis and regression models such as linear, logarithmic or exponential.
Number fourteen– you must have the ability to make sound decisions even when faced with difficult ethical issues.
Number fifteen understanding how to maintain confidentiality in all aspects of life; upholding professional integrity at all times by not disclosing any privileged information or confidential information
Number sixteen is understanding how to use accounting software such as ACES or Forensic Tool Kit, Microsoft Word for formatting documents, and Excel for spreadsheets with formulas.
Number seventeen-you must be able to work well under pressure.
Number eighteen is being able to maintain high levels of integrity at all times by not disclosing any privileged information or confidential information obtained during the performance of your duties.
How to Become a Forensic Accountant
To be an accountant, you need to be trained in accounting and law enforcement or have worked in other related professions.
Most forensics accountants will also acquire their certification as Certified Public Accountants or Certified Fraud Examiners to have the skills necessary to work in the field.
Macon State College, Criminal Justice/Forensic Accounting
The CFE: Certified Fraud Examiner is an internationally recognized credential only available to those who completed at least one year of post secondary education are eligible for this globally recognized certificate. in a forensic accounting program accredited by the Certified Fraud Examiners International Alliance (CFEIA).
Check Your State Requirements For Fraud Examination
All students must complete at least one of the following areas, depending on their field of concentration: Accounting, Fraud Examination (300 level), Advanced Fraud Examination (400 level), or Computer Forensics (500 level).
Courses in this concentration focus on the investigation and prevention of fraud. Classes build upon knowledge and skills acquired in introductory courses and stress the best practices related to fraud examination.
Courses in this concentration cover applications of computer technology to crime scene investigations, including desktops and networks.
Forensic Accountant Job Description
Forensic accountants, also known as forensic accounting specialists, perform various tasks within a business or legal environment. Those tasks may include examining records, researching financial data, consulting with clients, and managing resources for companies and departments.
To become a forensic accountant, you must complete an accredited degree program in forensic accounting and pass both the CPA exam and the CFE exam.
Forensic Accountant Median Salary – $73,000 per year*
Required- Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or finance and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification.
Top 10 Most Affordable Forensic Accounting Schools & Colleges
1. University of Phoenix
With a forensic accounting degree from the University of Phoenix, you will be able to pursue a wide range of careers.
The Bachelors in Accounting degree at the University of Phoenix is specifically designed to give you a foundation that will set you apart from other college graduates when searching for a well-paying job in your chosen field of study: accounting and finance.
2. Liberty University Online
Forensic accounting is an exciting field that allows you to operate in a particularly unique environment. If you want to join a project that gets results and has a fascinating career that will continue throughout your entire career, then forensic accounting may be the right path for you.
3. Salem State University
The Bachelor of Science in Finance: Accounting Concentration program is designed to provide students with the practical knowledge necessary for careers in the financial industry.
4. California State University: Sacramento
Forensic accounting is an exciting field that allows you to operate in a particularly unique environment.
If you want to join a project that gets results and has a fascinating career that will continue throughout your entire career, then forensic accounting may be the right path for you.
5. Tulane University
Forensic accounting applies accounting skills to criminal investigations in law enforcement agencies and other legal environments such as governmental auditing, fraud investigation, and litigation support services.
6. Coastal Carolina University
A forensic accountant is a professional accountant who is qualified to examine financial records for signs of fraud. Their skills are invaluable in a variety of criminal investigations.
7. Drexel – University of the Sciences
The forensic accounting program at Drexel offers students an opportunity to develop the skill sets needed to become future leaders in financial services.
It is also a strong foundation in basic concepts and tools that will be employed by forensic accountants, investigators, and managers within various organizations.
8. University of West Georgia – Sam Newton College of Business
South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) offers a Bachelor of Science in Finance – Forensic Accounting degree. Students can focus in areas that support the accounting and investigative functions within the corporate environment in this degree program.
By focusing on core principles and fundamentals, students can qualify for a professional accounting position after South Georgia Technical College graduation.
9. University of Cincinnati
Bachelor of Science in Accounting Program at UC focuses on the core areas of business and economics critical to success in a career as an accountant.
10. Northern Illinois University – College of Business
Northern Illinois University’s Department of Management, with more than 80 faculty members, provides a high level of facility support to students.
A forensic accountant has the opportunity to work in many different careers.
The demand for forensic accountants is expected to grow as the global economy continues to recover. More firms are required by law to disclose information.
With a forensic accounting degree, you can learn the skills to help solve crimes and bring justice. You will also be able to manage finances to prevent fraud from happening.
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