5 Top Careers in Forensic Accounting

5 Great Forensic Accounting Jobs

  • Law Enforcement
  • Risk Management and Corporate Security
  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Financial Consulting

Careers in forensic accounting involve investigating financial documents and transactions to audit financial records and potentially uncover evidence of wrongdoing. These careers require strong analytical skills and combine accounting with investigative techniques. Below are five professions that a forensic accountant might pursue.

1. Law Enforcement

People with an interest in criminal justice and good math skills might want to consider a career in forensic accounting as part of law enforcement. The FBI employs forensic accountants. They may work in Washington D.C. or at locations scattered throughout the country. Forensic accountants work with an investigative team to look at the finances associated with investigations and identify any activities or entities that warrant further investigation. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or substantial coursework in accounting is necessary for a position with the FBI. Additional professional certifications may also be helpful or required. In some cases, a forensic accountant for the FBI might be required to give testimony in court.

2. Risk Management and Corporate Security

Another top career in forensic accounting is working in a company ensuring compliance and security in financial affairs. Forensic accountants in risk management and corporate security might work in the financial sector, such as in a bank, or they might work for another type of organization. This career also involves keeping apace of changes in tax law, exchange rates and other global financial concerns. Risk management and corporate security may also require knowledge of industry-specific regulations as well as certification as a fraud examiner or in financial forensics. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a similar field is also necessary.

3. Accounting

People looking for careers in forensic accounting should not overlook accounting firms. Major accounting firms generally have a forensic accounting department, and they may have contracts with other companies that bring them in for audits, computer forensics and other investigations into finances. Forensic accountants with accounting firms may assist companies that are involved in business disputes or litigation. Additional certifications beyond a bachelor’s in accounting or related field are useful but not required.

4. Law

Law firms hire forensic accountants to consult on financial issues in house, do investigative audits and work with financial experts to provide testimony in court cases. Forensic accountants in law firms must have good communication skills because they may need to be able to convey complicated financial details in simplified language to people who are not experts. For this position, people may be required to have a fraud examiner certificate and experience in litigation and investigative audits.

5. Financial Consulting

Financial consultants may work with companies to audit and investigate financial transactions and look for evidence of fraud, corruption and embezzlement. Depending on the specifics of the situation, some financial consulting positions may overlap with law enforcement or the other areas of forensic accounting. For example, according to Newsweek, forensic accounting is one tool used by the Kenyan government to stop poaching. They may be required to interview people in addition to working with data. For this position, it may be helpful to have CPA certification.

Related Resource: Top 10 Master’s in Financial Planning Online Degree Programs 2018

There is far more to accounting to dealing with spreadsheets and budgets. The top careers in forensic accounting offer dynamic, challenging and rewarding work using a variety of skills in many different environments.

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