5 Popular Electives in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting Program

Master’s Degree in Forensic Accounting: Elective Courses

  • Tax Research Methodology
  • Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
  • International Accounting
  • Audit and Information Assurance
  • Federal Income Taxes for Corporations

Electives in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting program should be chosen carefully and should ideally enhance students’ chosen occupations. Elective courses are “free” courses that help to develop students’ knowledge and skills beyond the core requirements of their programs. Although there are often a broad range of approved elective courses for forensic programs, the following five courses are among the most popular today. 

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

1. Tax Research Methodology

One elective that can be quite useful in forensic accounting careers and that is often offered in master’s degree programs is Tax Research Methodologies. This course discusses the various methods used for federal tax research. Several other areas of taxation are covered as well, including primary sources of tax law, international tax laws, gift and estate tax laws, the Internal Revenue Service tax codes, and judicial and administrative interpretations. During the class, students will also learn about the rules and procedures involved with presenting cases to the IRS. 

2. Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting

Another popular elective in most Master’s in Forensic Accounting programs is Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting. This course focuses on standard accounting practices as they are applied to governmental and nonprofit organizations. Some of the things that students will learn during this class include financial reporting for government agencies and nonprofits, preparing financial statements for government and nonprofit organizations, analyzing and interpreting financial statements, and how to record such things as assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenditures according to the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board

3. International Accounting

Another elective that forensic accounting students may want to choose is International Accounting. With more and more organizations conducting business outside of the United States, knowledge in international accounting practices has become essential for today’s forensic accountants. Important topics included in this course’s syllabus are international accounting standards, theories and practices of international comparative accounting, regulations in international accounting, and consolidated accounts. Other areas of study include common issues in international accounting, international taxation, and international financial reporting. 

4. Audit and Information Assurance

Audit and Information Assurance is an elective course that is typically offered in most Master’s in Forensic Accounting programs. When forensic accountants perform audits, they must ensure that clients’ identities and personal information remain safe and secure. This course focuses on the many issues involved with information security as well as the most effective methods of maintaining information security. Topics covered in the class include information security management, information security technology, systems development, identity management, vulnerability management, and security incident management. 

5. Federal Income Taxes for Corporations

Sometimes titled Corporate Income Taxes, Federal Income Taxes for Corporations is yet another popular elective in accounting related master’s degree programs. After completing this course, students will understand common practices pertaining to federal income taxes for corporations and partnerships. Students will explore many important topics during this class including tax issues in corporations, theories of corporate income taxes, penalty taxes, effective tax planning methods, operational alternatives, liquidation of corporations, and redemption of stocks. The difference between federal income taxes for corporations versus partnerships is also examined. 

To earn a degree in forensic accounting, students are often given the option of choosing several free elective courses related to their chosen occupation. Although these courses may differ a bit from one educational facility to another, completing any of the most popular electives in a Master’s in Forensic Accounting program can prepare students for successful career paths in forensic accounting.

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