Forensics is the use of science and technology to investigate and determine the facts in criminal or civil courts. Forensic Accounting uses technology and investigative techniques to expose fraud and illegal practices in the area of accounting, banking, money laundering, and any place else where illegal number crunching or manipulating might be taking place.
Most forensic accountants are CPAs within large firms, but the expansion of global marketing has created a continuously growing need for individuals who specialize in Forensic Accounting. Instead of taking four years to get an accounting degree with additional years of investigative training, you can get your degree in Certified Forensic Accounting on line in a fraction of the time.
Forensic accountants use auditing and accounting skills in their investigations, but the job also involves looking past the numbers and examining the business operation as a whole in order to detect irregularities.
In order to have a successful career as a Forensic Accountant, you need to be familiar with legal concepts and procedures. Your online education will teach you to analyze and interpret financial and business issues and to summarize them in reports which can be used in audits or in courtroom proceedings. You may never actually be in a courtroom, however, you can find jobs with insurance companies, banks, police departments, local government agencies or even with the various stock market exchanges. If you are accurate, timely, and dependable, it won’t take long to build a reputation and find the job you want wherever you want it.
According to Certified Fraud Examiner, Alan Zysman of Toronto, Canada, a forensic accountant needs to be persistent, creative, organized, self-confident, and should have a sense of curiosity and discretion along with sound professional judgment. Cases requiring a forensic accountant are complex but will never become dull or routine as no two cases are exactly alike. You could find yourself called upon to assist with a criminal investigation, business or partnership dispute, motor vehicle injury case, insurance claims, employee fraud, tracing of assets in a marital dispute, abuse of funds under the umbrella of “non-profit” or a host of other applications. You could be hired for a small business investigation or for a high profile case. For example, it was a forensic accountant who finally nailed Al Capone. You have to be attentive, communicative, and have a quick perception of details that might be missed by the average individual. In short, it takes someone with a high degree of intelligence with mathematical acuity and strong reasoning or deductive skills.
The degree in forensic accounting is a post graduate degree. You must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a CPA certification is actually preferred as well. Many start their career in the $30,000 range for salary, but if you are good, it does not take long to work your way into a deep six figure income. Start by finding an online school today.