How to become a Forensic Accountant Forensic accountants, for all practical purposes, are financial detectives who make use of their investigative financial skills to audit and determine the accuracy of financial reporting documents. Forensic accountants are called in during ongoing or anticipated legal procedures against a business. What does a Forensic Accountant do? Forensic Accountants can work with non-profit, government organizations and law enforcement agencies as well as banks, accounting firms, insurance companies, private companies, police departments, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) etc. Their job typically includes: ● Investigating and analyzing financial reports using data-mining techniques in cases of concealment of debts and assets, embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, tax cases etc. ● Conducting interviews with the people who have been suspected to commit the fraud or who might have some knowledge about the fraud that’s occurred. ● Communicate their findings to those concerned and suggest measures to reduce the likelihood of further such cases of fraud. ● They might also be asked to assist in legal proceedings or could be hired by attorneys to investigate the financial trail of suspected persons engaged in criminal activity. ● They provide advice on financial transactions such as venture capital investments, contemplated mergers and acquisitions, purchase of bonds and stock and bankruptcy proceedings. How can you become a forensic accountant? Many colleges and universities offer various educational programs to become a forensic accountant. In order to become a forensic accountant, a student is required to have a bachelor’s degree with minimum 24 hour credit hours in accounting. The student always has the option of pursuing a bachelor’s degreefrom a college that offers a program in accounting with a forensic accounting focus.An example of a college that offers a bachelor degree program in accounting with a forensic accounting emphasis is California College San Diego. Student reviews of California College San Diego highlight the college’s accreditation, student services and much more. And as is true with any college, you should read a student review of California College San Diego to find out more about what they have to offer their students and how studying there might benefit you. Job outlook and salaries According to PayScale.com, the median salary for a forensic accountant is $60,923, making a career in forensic accountancy appealing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the all round employment opportunities for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 16 percent between 2010 and 2020. Those accountants and auditors who have received recognition as Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are likely to have the best job prospects. Forensic accounting can be a high-paying, enjoyable career with multiple potential employers. If you are detail-oriented, have a keen, analytical and inquisitive mind, forensic accounting might just be the career you’re looking for.
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