Forensic Accounting: What It Is, How It’s Used


Forensic accounting and fraud investigation methodologies are different than internal auditing. Thus forensic accounting services and practice should be handled by forensic accounting experts, not by internal auditing experts. Forensic accountants may appear on the crime scene a little later than fraud auditors, but their major contribution is in translating complex financial transactions and numerical data into terms that ordinary laypersons can understand. That is necessary because if the fraud comes to trial, the jury will be made up of ordinary laypersons. On the other hand, internal auditors move on checklists that may not surface the evidence that the jury or regulatory bodies look for.

  • This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.
  • Learn about how to join NAFA and why to consider applying for membership.
  • If your undergraduate degree is in an area other than accounting, your curriculum will also include up to five fundamental courses .
  • Students with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can use this certificate program as a means of obtaining the necessary 150 hours of academic credit to qualify for a CPA license.
  • Forensic accountants analyze, interpret, and summarize complex financial data.
  • Explore our listings for on-site and remote accounting and finance job opportunities.

Explore common procedures, case types, and notable investigations in this guide. Forensic engagements will include a detailed and wholesale review of all documentation and electronic evidence available. The opinion given by the expert accountant must be reasoned, and backed up by evidence.

Becoming a CPA

And as the economy continues to grow, more workers in the field should be needed. Organization.Forensic accountants often juggle multiple investigations and dozens of different documents, and they need to remain organized throughout the process. This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills. Testifying in court.Based on your accounting knowledge and experience with the case, you can bring your expert testimony into the courtroom. Forensics careers at the FBI require intuition and curiosity to gather and analyze evidence in support of investigations.

What qualifications do you need for forensic accounting?

Forensic accountants need a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Employers often look for professional credentials like certified fraud examiner (CFE), certified internal auditor (CIA), and certified public accountant (CPA).

accounting more about financial aid, including grants, student loans, and other options, on the Financial Aid tab of our Graduate Admissions page. At least 33 hours in business courses, including at least one course each in economics, statistics, and finance. The program is carefully designed so you’re prepared to sit for the CPA exam. The 30 hours of coursework required meets the academic requirements for CPA licensure in most states. There are 10 courses that makeup 30 credits in the online MSFA program at Utica University. Glen Hansen, Ph.D., MBA, is program director for the online MS in Forensic Accounting program at Utica University.

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Data-mining programs automatically scan through vast volumes of data for new, unexpected, or implicit information or patterns. Forensic Accountants use various computerized software for data extraction and financial analysis. Forensic accountants identify illegitimate sources of money – money laundering practices and undisclosed bank accounts. Explore the Franklin University Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting to see how our flexible, online curriculum can give you job-ready skills—without taking time out from your career. The process of digging through all of a company’s or individual’s financial information can take months or even years and requires a team of specialized accountants that act like detectives trying to solve a mystery.

In the exam, you will also need to note whether the client requesting the forensic accounting service is an audit client, if so, this will present an additional and particularly important threat to objectivity; a self-review threat. The investigation is likely to involve the quantification of an amount, which will then be reviewed as part of the financial statements audit. Forensic accounting is an investigative methodology to follow money or proceeds, conducted under the premise that the results of the investigation may be used in a court of law. Regardless of the purpose of your engagement — civil or criminal — forensic accounting is usually all about following the money. Forensic accounting methods can be classified into quantitative and qualitative. The qualitative approach studies the personal characteristics of the individuals behind financial fraud schemes.

What Skills Does a Forensic Accountant Need?

Natasha has 19 years‘ experience in the accounting industry, with the past 14 years specialising in forensic accounting, litigation support services and business valuation. Natasha was the winner of the Australian Accounting Awards Accounting Consultant of the Year 2021. Natasha regularly provides training and presentations to solicitors, accountants and other professionals on a range of accounting, forensic accounting, business valuation and assessment of damages topics. She is also a guest lecturer in the forensic accounting courses at the Queensland University of Technology.


AlimonyAlimony is court-ordered financial support given to a spouse in case of divorce or separation and is given to the spouse with a lower level of income or no income at all. ShareholdersA shareholder is an individual or an institution that owns one or more shares of stock in a public or a private corporation and, therefore, are the legal owners of the company. The ownership percentage depends on the number of shares they hold against the company’s total shares. PayrollPayroll refers to the overall compensation payable by any organization to its employees on a certain date for a specific period of services they have provided in the entity. This total net pay comprises salary, wages, bonus, commission, deduction, perquisites, and other benefits. Access resources to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the anti-fraud community and beyond.

Career on the Rise: How to Become a Forensic Accountant

However, planning the investigation is likely to be similar to planning an audit or any other assurance engagement. An insurance claim would require determination of how much the client should claim from the insurer. The first step would be a detailed review of the insurance policy to determine ‘coverage’, ie what is insured and any clauses that might restrict the amount that can be claimed or invalidate the claim. Forensic accounting has been a regular feature in the Paper P7 exam in recent sittings but the examiner has commented that it is an inadequately understood part of the syllabus. As a first step toward your goal, read on to learn about controller salaries, skills and responsibilities.

  • White-collar crime is a nonviolent crime characterized by deceit to obtain or avoid losing money, or to gain a personal or business advantage.
  • Forensic accounting applies scientific techniques and accounting principles to detect fraudulent activities.
  • In these types of engagements the forensic accountant will review prospective financial information in comparison with reported outturn to evaluate the loss of profit arising as a result of the business interruption.
  • We help law firms, public corporations, nonprofits, governmental agencies, privately held businesses and individuals identify the facts and proceed with recoveries.
  • As an agreed-upon procedures engagement, the forensic accountant will normally prepare a report for the client that sets out their findings, based on the scope agreed in the engagement letter.
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