5 Key Courses in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting Program

Master’s Degree in Forensic Accounting: Key Classes

  • Introduction to Forensic Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Ethics in Accounting
  • Detection and Prevention of Fraudulent Financial Statements
  • Investigating with Computers

There are several key courses in a master’s in forensic accounting program that students will need to complete in order to graduate and earn their degrees. These classes are similar to most all forensic accounting programs on the master’s degree level, but the titles of the classes may vary a bit depending on the schools that students may choose. And five of the most common key classes required of these programs are described within the sections that follow. 

Related Resource: Top 15 Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting

1. Introduction to Forensic Accounting

One key course students will encounter in a master’s degree in forensic accounting program is Introduction to Forensic Accounting. This course introduces students to forensic accounting and fraud examination and how they are applied to both criminal and civil cases. Topics that are found in this course include common characteristics of fraud, methods of fraud prevention, fraud detection techniques, investigative techniques and procedures, information technology in forensic accounting, and common methods of asset recovery.

2. Business Law

Business Law is another key course in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting program. This course is typically a core course requirement of all types of business programs including forensic accounting. In this course, students will examine legal issues and regulations pertaining to businesses. Other areas of study include product liability, employment laws, contract laws and torts, internet laws, and the legal implications involved in conducting business abroad. Upon completion of the class, students will understand how business law relates to organizational decision-making.

3. Ethics in Accounting

Yet another key course required for master’s degree programs in forensic accounting is Ethics in Accounting. The main focus of this course is to teach students the ethical standards of accounting as set by the Accounting Professional and Standards Board. Common topics included in the syllabus of this class are ethical decision-making, ethical issues in accounting, ethical issues in business, theories of ethics, and managing ethical dilemmas. During the course, students may be required to evaluate various case studies pertaining to ethical dilemmas and offer their opinions as to how they would resolve the issues. 

4. Detection and Prevention of Fraudulent Financial Statements

Detection and Prevention of Fraudulent Financial Statements is also a key course that is often required for Master’s in Forensic Accounting programs. This class explores the many types of financial fraud and their impact on financial statements. Through intriguing case studies, students will learn how to identify and investigate various types of fraud schemes. Other topics examined during the course include fictitious sales and revenue, income smoothing, understatement of liabilities, analytical procedures, and risks of financial statement fraud.

5. Investigating with Computers

In today’s highly technical world, using computers to investigate financial fraud has become a necessity. Because of this, another key course that is required of forensic accounting students is Investigating with Computers. After completing the requirements for this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to conduct investigations using computers and other forms of technology. Areas of study in this course are accessing and investigating public records, locating and using fraud-related software, using data analysis programs to detect fraud, and using spreadsheets in fraud detection. 

Students who are looking to enroll in a forensic accounting program will need to complete a variety of occupational related coursework to earn their master degrees. And while there are other required classes, these five key courses in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting program will ensure graduates have the foundational knowledge for a successful career.