Tag Archives: Forensic

The Training and Skills You Need to Become a Forensic Accountant

If you ask somebody what their job or profession is, and after they’ve answered, you will probably have a general idea of what they do. Common terms are something we associate with; it helps us to feel knowledgeable about the world around us.

What if I asked you this question, “Do you know what a forensic accountant does?”

Since I associate forensics with science and accounting with numbers, I would have to say they count and number bones. Well, if you thought that too, we’d both be wrong. A forensic accountant does use their knowledge of accounting, but they are also able to use investigation techniques to help solve financial and business problems.

Still sound boring?

Just wait.

What does it take to become a forensic accountant?

You will have to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. It will also help to be a CPA, Certified Public Accountant. You may want to add CFE, Certified Fraud Examiner to your list of credentials.

You will need to possess a strong attention to detail. Most people have this trait when working in this field, but having an investigative mind is an asset to your profession. It does take an education in accounting but it also takes somebody who has a desire to help solve crimes.

You could be working bankruptcy, money laundering, and even capital crime cases. Anything that has to do with business dealings, analytical research and being allowed to be curious while working is what sets you apart from a regular accountant. You’ll still be using your accounting skills but as more of an investigator.

Are you getting interested now?

Why would you want to be a forensic accountant?

Why not?

It would surely be one of those interesting careers that would cause people to ask questions once you’ve told them; and who doesn’t like to tell people about what they do for a living, especially when it is intriguing.

You would be working with legal issues such as money laundering and fraud. Forensic accounts often look over other peoples work too to see if any avenues haven’t been explored, they are always hunting for patterns. They are allowed to be investigative and still work within the scope of their profession. Since a forensic accountant deals with many legal cases, they can also participate as expert witnesses.

If you watch Law & Order: CI you may have seen a character named Leon Martel. He plays a forensic accountant on the show. Television helps to recognize unknown professional and there is no doubt that those who do work in this field know the importance of their contribution. There’s no guarantee that a spin off show will be produced based on this character, but its interesting to see what a forensic accountant does while assisting law enforcement.

It is sounding better and better isn’t it?

How rewarding is a career as a forensic accountant?

It’s very rewarding. You’ll be able to work for insurance companies, financial institutions, local law enforcement or even the FBI.

If you love to join this rewarding profession, I encourage you to do more research on the web. You can do this by visiting websites that cover the profession in more detail.

Note: You are free to reprint or republish this article. The only condition is that the Resource Box should be included and the links are live links.

Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth writes for Criminal Justice Schools. Get free scholarship report and learn to become a Forensic Accountant by visiting. See Also: Extra Income Secrets

Hot Career: Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting is not new to the job world. Forensic accounting is what helped Elliot Ness put Al Capone behind bars for tax fraud. The increasing amount of white collar crimes of embezzlement, securities fraud, banking and investment misappropriations, organized crime activities, and ponzi schemes have caused the increase in stricter accounting governmental regulations. With the increase in regulations, comes the increase in demand for applicants with strong knowledge of accounting procedures and financial experience coupled with strong analytic and investigative skills to enter the career field of forensic accounting continues to grow.

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting uses legal, technology, and investigative accounting and auditing techniques to either prevent or expose financial fraud and illegal practices. Forensic accountants work with government agencies such as local law enforcement, FBI, and the Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. These government supported forensic accountants investigate everything from money laundering and identity-theft-related fraud to arson for profit and tax evasion. Businesses, law firms, insurance companies, financial and other organizations also use the services of forensic accountants to expose or prevent internal fraud. These specialized forensic accountants may be involved in investigations in divorces, bankruptcy, and regulations accountability. Due to the nature of the work, forensic accountants are often called upon as expert witnesses. They also may work with professional organizations to develop auditing procedures and regulations, act as advisors to audit committees and assist in investment analyst research.

Education

Most forensic accountants have a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a CPA designation, and many have additional academic preparation in fields like criminal justice or law enforcement. Many colleges and universities now offer a graduate degree in Forensic Accounting.

Salary

Forensic accountants can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 a year in an entry-level position in the forensic accounting field. With experience, forensic accountants could see an annual salary of six figures.

Job Outlook

2008-09 Occupational Outlook Handbook: Increased focus on and numbers of financial crimes such as embezzlement, bribery, and securities fraud will increase the demand for forensic accountants to detect illegal financial activity by individuals, companies, and organized crime rings.

To know more about Forensic Accounting

at Accounting Schools visit www.accountingprogramsu.com for more details.

Forensic Accounting: Investigation of Fraud and Criminal Activity in the Modern Business World

Alarming sums of money are stolen from businesses each year by trusted employees.  It is estimated that in 2008, at least $6 Billion will be lost by businesses as a result of fraudulent activities.  Surprisingly, smaller companies suffer the majority of the losses.  This is due to their lack of funds to implement preventative procedures in concert with a generally stronger trust and more personal relationship with employees.  In order to prosecute those responsible for these crimes, it is important to understand the path leading to the fraud.

 

Forensic accounting is a rapidly expanding field involving careful investigative work, in depth financial analysis and an understanding of the legal system.  Forensic accountants must think on their feet and work side-by-side with law enforcement personnel in order to solve the puzzles surrounding fraud cases.  Frequently they are required to testify in court as expert witnesses and provide key evidence leading to convictions.  Evidence is gathered from books and other records including computers, hard drives, and email correspondence and computer records.  It is then carefully traced back to where the problem first began.  Forensic accountants act as detectives, lawyers, CPA’s and scientists.  These professionals often have highly developed deductive reasoning skills, familiarity with legal procedures, good writing skills and excellent public speaking skills.  They have the responsibility of convincing a judge and jury that the evidence they have gathered is solid.  Forensic accounting played a large role in convicting Al Capone for tax evasion.  It also figured prominently in exposing the Enron and WorldCom scandals.

 

As technology improves and the amount of money stolen from companies and corporations grows, the demand for forensic accountants has grown rapidly. Considered to be one of the fastest growing accounting jobs, it is predicted that this profession will be among the top twenty in the next few years.  Schools have begun to offer programs in this field to help meet the strong and ever increasing demand for forensic accountants.

 

In the computer age, fraud comes in many forms.  It is much easier for criminals to embezzle money without detection.  This is why forensic accountants typically need advanced computer knowledge.  They must be able to extract evidence from computer hard drives.  Business owners look to forensic accountants to help implement preventative measures.  Many businesses hire these professionals to examine documents and computers regularly so that the chances of a serious problem are minimized.  Forensic accountants also find employment in police departments, law firms and governmental agencies such as the FBI and the IRS.

 

While working for a law firm, there are a variety of legal disputes that a forensic accountant may assist in.  In divorce cases, assistance is needed in dividing assets.  Disputed assets are often investigated behind the scenes in order to determine the most equitable way to split them as well as determine if both parties are credible.  Forensic accountants also assist lawyers in bankruptcy cases.  Evidence is gathered to ensure that there is no suspicious financial activity surrounding the case.  Copywriting and patent infringement, insurance fraud, personal injury, and construction audits are among the kinds of cases that forensic accountants are often called upon to investigate. Police departments hire forensic accountants for many of the same reasons, especially to gather evidence for prosecution that will stand up in court.

 

Forensic accounting professionals express a high level of job satisfaction.  The profession typically offers excellent compensation ($100K+/year) and the investigative work is very intellectually challenging.  There is always something new and exciting to work on every day.  It is clearly extremely rewarding to be able to identify those responsible for stealing millions of dollars and in some cases for saving businesses.

 

Until more educational institutions start offering forensic accounting programs, employers often look for Certified Public Accountants, who are certified in Fraud Examination to fill forensic accounting positions.  It is preferred that the job candidates have accounting experience and a good knowledge of the law along with strong computer science, writing and investigative skills.  Background checks and reference checks are also necessary to ensure that new employees have a clear criminal record and a good reputation in the community.

 

Forensic accountants are vital to the survival of both large and small companies.  There will always be new work to do as technology advances.  People with an interest in accounting and detective work who are inspired to identify criminal activity and therefore prevent business failures should consider this as a career option.

                                                      References

Echie, K. (September, 2008). The Training and Skills You Need to Become a

 

       Forensic  Accountant. Retrieved September 30, 2008.

Gold, L. (August, 2007). Litigation Support: Can I Get a Witness? Accounting

 

      Today, Volume 21, No. 15. Page 1. Retrieved September 30, 2008 from:

 

       LexixNexis Academic Database.

Moncliff, J. CSI of Accounting Jobs. Retrieved September 30, 2008.

Ray, R. (October, 2007). Experts in Detecting Financial Misbehavior Match

 

        Wits With Fraud Artists in a Rapidly Growing Field. The Globe and Mall.

 

        Retrieved September 30, 2008 from: LexixNexis Academic Database.

 Russell, M (April, 2007). Be a Financial Detective. Retrieved September 30,

 

        2008.

Stone, J. (November, 2006). Forensic Accounting The Detective Breed of

 

         Accounting Careers. Retrieved October 22, 2008.

Winters, A. G. Forensic Accounting. Retrieved September 30, 2008.

 

            

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