Monday 12 March 2012

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Forensic Accounting Degrees: What Are They?

Forensic Accounting is a specialized forensic degree in accounting.  This is usually a degree that students can obtain when they go for their Master’s Degree.  Most schools with this focused degree will require that students already have a bachelor’s and in several cases that they already have a CPA certification, too.  In this position it is also helpful to become a Certified Fraud Examiner or a Certified Forensic Accountant.

A masters degree in forensic accounting is a combination of regular accounting classes and a focus in forensic accounting.  Forensic accountants work away from the normal area of accounting.  They work on bankruptcy, divorce, fraud, and capital crime cases.  They will use their skills in accounting, auditing and investigating to analyze business and financial evidence and in many cases interpret it in court as a witness.

Students must not only be interested in accounting to consider a degree in this specialization.  The type of person for this career must have remarkable curiosity, attention to detail, persistence, creative thinking abilities, and excellent communication skills.  They must also have superb analytical and research skills.

Those interested in pursuing a degree in forensic accounting will have to take classes that are directed towards that particular field.  They will not take the normal every day classes that regular accounting majors will take.  They will get a thorough understanding of accounting and business principles.  In addition they will learn business laws and ethical principles that are essential in this practice.

For someone looking for this type of degree,  an average salary in forensic accounting is somewhere between $40,000 and $81,932.  Once they work their way up and gain some experience, salaries can be expected to rise into six figure incomes.

Students will still get to apply for the normal accounting positions, but they will be capable of finding positions in one of the fastest growing areas in accounting.  They can work in any area where investigative accounting is needed.  This includes private corporations or firms that deal with specific companies that are suspected or known for fraud and embezzlement.  They are also needed in government organizations such as police departments, the FBI, the CIA, and of course the IRS.

For those who have already completed a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and are considering pursuing this graduate degree, should consider taking classes online if they already have a job. There are now numerous online programs devoted to this field.  Those who work full time can finish their Master’s degree in their own time.


This degree is growing in popularity because of the way that information is traded in this country now.  Forensic accountants must become experts in digging up information.  They not only use investigative techniques but technology as well to crunch the numbers and look and the companies  as a whole to figure out if it is engaging in fraud.  They will have to deal with complex cases, but rest assured that they will never be bored as no two cases are ever similar for people who pursue forensic accounting degrees.

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