Discover a Forensic Accounting Degree

forensic accountant degree

Forensic accountants enjoy a very particular role in financial and tax institutions. While they may fit into particular specializations, all forensic accountants are responsible for preparing, collecting or otherwise analyzing financial information that will be used in a court of law. For instance, a forensic accountant may investigate personal injury claims, acts of fraud or insurance claims, among other things. In many situations they also give evidence to lawyers and court officials for trials.

With online forensic accountant schooling, you may learn what it takes to pursue a career analyzing financial evidence for use in trials. Moreover, online courses often allow students to study on their own time and at their convenience, making it easier for individuals with family and work responsibilities to study for a new potential career.

 
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Is an Online Forensic Accounting Degree for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online forensic accounting program:

  • Professional forensic accountants may work for private practices or public organizations, and the prerequisites for hiring may vary.
  • Some institutions may require workers to become Certified Public Accountants, which requires 150 hours of college coursework in almost all states and passing the four-part Uniform CPA Examination, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • To enhance job prospects specifically in forensic accounting, some also seek the Certified in Financial Forensics credential issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which requires additional experience and a separate examination.
  • Before signing up for online courses, make sure the work you do prepares you for particular state regulations and trains you to take the Uniform CPA Examination, as well as the CFF examination. Consider reaching out to employers to discuss the value of an online degree for more particular details.

Forensic Accountant Potential Salary and Career Paths 

There are many career paths you may choose to pursue after attending online courses in a forensic accounting program. While forensic accountants may primarily be taught to analyze and collect financial data specific for litigation, these skills often overlap into many other areas of accounting. Study some of the options that may be available using information from the BLS.

Accountants and Auditors[i]

Accountants and auditors largely review financial decisions and prepare taxes to ensure businesses, organizations and individuals operate to reduce costs, increase profits and work within the realm of the law. They organize files and prepare financial reports for review and analysis, making sure all data is accurate and up to date.

  • Check the BLS for median annual salary 
  • Job growth through 2022: 13 percent (as fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Financial Analysts[ii]

Financial analysts study organizational history, business trends and past investments to provide guidance to organizations about future decisions. They are often required to analyze company financial statements and prepare written reports. They frequently work for banks, pension funds, mutual funds, securities firms and insurance companies as well as other organizations.

  • Check the BLS for median annual salary 
  • Job growth through 2022: 16 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents[iii]

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents make a living carefully studying new legislation that affects tax filing policies and ensuring taxpayers are obeying the law when reviewing tax returns. When tax filers operate outside the law, these professionals conduct audits, collect overdue payments and more. They review financial information and will contact taxpayers to settle discrepancies and ask for additional documentation.

  • Check the BLS for median annual salary 
  • Job growth through 2022: -4 percent (decline)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

[i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1  |  [ii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm  |  [iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/tax-examiners-and-collectors-and-revenue-agents.htm