Best guide to Earning a Forensic Accounting Degree 2024

A forensic accounting degree will help you identify financial fraud. It plays an important role in legal proceedings and business risk management. Programs in forensic accounting address the fundamentals of accounting, quantitative analysis, and methods of detecting and analyzing financial misconduct. Keep reading our articles to know about  top popular courses, Cost , admission requirements and job facilities with salary.

 Forensic Accounting Degree

Forensic Accounting Degree Overview

With a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting with an emphasis in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, you can concentrate your accounting study on the examination of financial records to detect fraud.
Gaining a solid foundation in traditional accounting, a thorough understanding of the auditing process, and essential investigative abilities to recognize, record, and stop fraud and cybercrime are all possible with an online degree in forensic accounting.

After completing your degree, you will have the fundamental business knowledge and critical thinking abilities required to launch a lucrative career in the forensic accounting industry.
You can advance your career in forensic accounting since the core of the BS Accounting program is matched with the main content areas of the new Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, which will begin in January 2024.

Forensic accounting program offer mainly tow level course

Bachelor’s Degree:

In contrast to other programs in the field, bachelor’s-level forensic accounting programs concentrate on company law, fraud detection, and the legal ramifications of accounting. Bachelor’s degree holders in accounting can pursue a variety of job paths, while those with expertise in forensic accounting may find it easier to get employment in government, law enforcement, and legal businesses.

Concentrations in forensic accounting go by numerous names, including fraud examination. The following degrees in the field may be offered by schools:

  • Accounting bachelor’s degree with a focus on forensic accounting
  • Accounting bachelor’s degree with a focus on fraud investigation
  • Forensic accounting bachelor of business administration

Master’s Degree:

Master’s-level forensic accounting programs are significantly more distinct from other accounting specialties than bachelor’s-level ones. Financial statement fraud and advanced accounting systems auditing are two examples of the forensic components of accounting training that are emphasized in the majority of these programs’ courses.

Graduates of the master’s program in forensic accounting are usually eligible for more senior and specialized roles in the industry. The following are a few degrees that could be earned in this field:

  • Graduate-level coursework in forensic accounting
  • Master of Arts in Accounting: Analysis of Fraud
  • forensic accounting master’s degree
  • forensic accounting master’s degree

Why Choose a Forensic Accounting Degree?

A forensic accounting degree can result in a wide range of advantageous situations. Some graduates could discover that their jobs are more fulfilling financially, have greater meaning, or offer opportunities for growth. Some of the main advantages that many professionals in this sector enjoy are listed in the list below.

Career Options:

A forensic accounting degree can lead to a wide range of professions. Graduates can pursue accounting roles with an investigative and litigation bent in addition to conventional accounting roles.

Credentials:

Students studying forensic accounting have the option to obtain the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification in addition to the many accounting professions’ credentials, including the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

Career Development:

By obtaining advanced degrees, certifications, and ongoing education, forensic accountants can gain entry to highly sought-after roles in the field.

Earning Prospective:

Professionals with advanced forensic accounting skills may be able to secure higher-paying roles in the field. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) states that professionals who hold a CFE certification make 30% more money than those who do not.

Professional Demand:

There will be an increasing need for professionals with this kind of training as the business community grows more conscious of and vigilant against illegal behavior.

Top University’s Offering Forensic Accounting Programs

The top forensic accounting schools give their students excellent preparation for this challenging field. Earning a bachelor’s degree in forensic accounting can put one in a safe and lucrative field of work. There are many traditional on-campus forensic accounting schools, but there aren’t many online options. You must choose a reliable school if you want to acquire the knowledge and abilities required to be successful in this unusual accounting vocation. The top 05 accounting College in the United States with an emphasis on forensic accounting are listed below.

Florida Atlantic University
Online BBA in Accounting

Forensic Accounting Degree
Florida Atlantic University

The option offered by Florida Atlantic University may be a suitable fit for those looking to earn a degree in forensic accounting online. The FAU offering, which comes in first place on our ranking of the best 5 forensic accounting degree programs, combines convenient online delivery, reasonably priced tuition, and a top-notch curriculum. Additionally, students save money and time while obtaining college credit because the entire curriculum is offered online. The program’s alumni have gone on to work as certified management accountants, public accountants, forensic accountants, financial analysts, and more. U.S. News ranks FAU as the #272nd best national university. Offering are:

  • Business Valuation
  • Forensic Accounting,
  • Digital Accounting Forensics and Data Analytics,
  • Professional Accounting.

Tuition: $7,990

Brigham Young University
BS in Accounting

 Forensic Accounting Degree
Brigham Young University

A bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young is equivalent to a degree in forensic accounting. There can only be 275 students enrolled in the program, which has 64 credits altogether (not including general education courses). To apply, candidates must complete required accounting or management information systems courses. Additionally, they need to have earned at least a 3.0 in ACC 200 or ACC 300. Courses could consist of:

  • Financial Statement Auditing
  • Managerial Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • International Business

Tuition: $6,304

University of Florida
Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Forensic Accounting Degree
University of Florida

Through its esteemed Fisher School of Accounting and Warrington College of Business, the University of Florida grants degrees in forensic accounting. The curriculum aids students in learning a variety of business principles and practices while concentrating on the foundations of accounting. These are the requirements for a post-college job that works across a range of industries successfully. Prominent academicians in their fields teach the curriculum. The great majority have worked with financial institutions in the industry and have PhDs. For college credit, students enroll in courses in:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Economics
  • Finance

Tuition: $6,381

University of Maryland Global Campus
Online BS Accounting

 Forensic Accounting Degree
University of Maryland Global Campus

For those looking to earn a degree in forensic accounting degree online, the University of Maryland Global Campus is a great choice. This is because to its recognized curriculum, which is delivered by highly competent teachers, and its flexible online delivery format. Up to 90 transfer credits from other departments or schools may be accepted toward the 120-credit program with approval. It’s a great way to get ready for graduate school, work at different financial institutions, or industry exams. Students enroll in classes like these:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Auditing Theory and Practice
  • Fraud and Forensic Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Financial Statement Fraud

Tuition: $7,848

Franklin University
Online BS in Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting Degree
Franklin University

The online forensic accounting degree program at Franklin University has a strong emphasis on fraud detection. This program is intended for students looking for a demanding, effective, and adaptable accounting curriculum. It’s perfect for people who are too busy to attend classes in person or who don’t reside in a place where a college or university is located. In addition, more students just like taking classes online because they can study the material in-depth without being constrained by a set schedule. Students that are driven by themselves express great satisfaction with Franklin’s online courses. Students finish classes that address challenging topics like:

  • Embezzlement
  • Money Laundering
  • Financial Misappropriations
  • Tax Evasion
  • Data Analysis of Financial Information

Tuition: $9,577

Step to step Earning a Forensic accountant

Financial crimes are discovered and fraud is investigated by forensic accountants. Some people work in law enforcement, looking into offenses like embezzlement and illicit financial activities from both a criminal and civil standpoint. In addition, forensic accountants can study financial records to settle civil disputes as certified public accountants (CPAs) and fraud examiners.

Enroll in an Accounting Program

In order to be eligible for entry-level accounting work, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in the subject. Selecting an accounting course of study and finishing the application procedure may require several weeks or even months. Prospective students should seek out universities that offer a forensic accounting emphasis or a variety of electives in fraud examination and forensic accounting when assessing accounting programs.

Specialized Courses in Accounting 

Aspiring forensic accountants should enroll in as many forensic accounting courses as they can during their bachelor’s degree. Students might think about enrolling in courses that offer a major or specialization in the subject.

Obtain Your Bachelor’s Degree

The requirements for the accounting major and general education courses are typically fulfilled by full-time students in four years. Graduates of bachelor’s programs with forensic accounting concentrations are eligible for entry-level jobs in the industry.

Consider a Master’s Degree

The majority of entry-level accounting jobs require a bachelor’s degree as minimum education. Nonetheless, some employers favor applicants with graduate certificates or master’s degrees in forensic accounting. Students can acquire further expertise through master’s programs in forensic accounting. There are accounting credentials that require more credits than a bachelor’s degree, such as the CPA accreditation. A master’s degree can be obtained in two years, but passing the CPA exam in its entirety can take up to eighteen months.

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Requirements for forensic accounting degree program

Students in online accounting programs need to fulfill specific prerequisites. For example, the majority of schools mandate that applicants possess a high school certificate, GED, or an equivalent. Some may ask you to submit a brief essay as proof of your writing abilities, while others may ask for a phone interview with an enrollment counselor or admissions adviser, or a campus visit so you can look around and ask questions.

While some schools do not require any letters of recommendation or scores from standardized tests, they do require an entrance exam (such as a collegiate readiness assessment, in which you must display  your ability to handle college task). Many schools prefer to see SAT or ACT scores and at least one letter of recommendation.

Admission Process forensic Accounting Program

The application materials needed for each online accounting program are different. In general, candidates ought to have the following ready:

COLLEGE APPLICATION:

Transfer students must fill out and submit an online college application form to all schools. Some require applications to be submitted by a certain date, while others don’t. The application is available on the college official website.

HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT:

Given that the majority of online courses call for a high school degree. You must send your high school transcript as proof of completion if you have a GED or its equivalent. Make direct contact with your high school to obtain a copy of your transcript. You can get assistance from someone in the counseling office or from the registrar’s office.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

Professional references may be asked to write letters of recommendation for certain schools. Ask a teacher, professor, boss, or other person who can attest to your credibility for a letter of recommendation.

SAT OR ACT SCORES:

Official score reports from test administrators, such the College Board, a nonprofit that sponsors the SAT, are often delivered directly to institutions that request to see your SAT or ACT results. To request official test results to be delivered to your preferred institution, you must either phone or fill out an online form.

COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT:

Enclose certified copies of your academic records with your application for admission. For an official copy of your college transcripts, place an order with the registrar’s office at your school.

APPLICATION FEES (OR FEE WAIVER):

A non-refundable application fee, often costing between $40 and $70, is required by many colleges. Nonetheless, some universities waive application fees for certain applicants or do not charge one. If there is a cost, it will be requested from you when you submit your online application. Alternatively, you can pay by mail with a check or money order.

Forensic Accounting Jobs and Salaries

A degree in forensic accounting qualifies you for work in public service, auditing, accounting, and law enforcement. Career options and earning potential are influenced by education and experience.
According to May 2022 PayScale data, entry-level forensic accountants make over $59,000 yearly, while forensic accountants with greater expertise make over $100,000.
Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 7% increase in the number of jobs held by accountants and auditors, or approximately 100,000 new positions.

Forensic Accountant

To find financial malfeasance, forensic accountants examine financial data. Applying relevant state and federal regulations, they investigate and examine account histories, financial records, and transaction paperwork. In addition to compiling reports on their findings, forensic accountants might give depositions or take part in legal proceedings.

  • Education Requirement: A bachelor’s degree
  • Career Prospects (2020–30): +7%
  • May 2023 Average Annual Salary: $71,979

Forensic Auditor

Auditors evaluate financial operations, investigate and examine financial records, and support an organization’s efforts to maintain effectiveness and efficiency. Auditors may find methods to improve financial procedures while working internally for a business or organization. They make sure that financial laws and regulations are followed. External auditors are outside of an organization and are usually sent to an oversight body to review financial data.

  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +7%
  • Average Annual Salary (June 2023): $59,684

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Digital Forensic Investigator

Digital forensic investigators take materials from phones, laptops, and other devices and examine them. They might evaluate financial data on behalf of government organizations and law enforcement, and they might have forensic accounting expertise. Digital forensic investigators search for proof of financial crimes and money laundering, then notify the appropriate authorities of their findings.

  • Education Requirement: A bachelor’s degree
  • Career Prospects (2020–30): +7%
  • June 2023 Average Annual Salary: $66,698

Source : BLS, PayScale

Costs for Forensic Accounting Degree Program

Forensic accounting Costs for bachelor’s degrees differ. Tuition may be influenced by a school’s reputation. Although resident and nonresident charges may be taken into consideration, public universities frequently provide lower tuition than their private equivalents. For students who are residents or not, many online colleges charge the same tuition. Choose your forensic accounting program with lodging, books, fees, and transportation expenses in mind. The complexity of the situation makes it impossible to estimate with any degree of accuracy how much forensic accounting will cost to implement in your company. You should expect to pay an expert in this industry between $150 and $300 per hour, as a general estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What degree do you need to be a forensic accountant?

An authorized bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, forensic accounting, or a similar discipline is required for forensic accountants. Students can add criminal justice or law enforcement courses to their accounting degrees to personalize their education.

What is the difference between a CPA and a forensic accountant?

A certified public accountant (CPA) and a forensic accountant different in that the former is licensed to open businesses and frequently specializes in topics like financial reporting, taxation, and solvency. A forensic accountant blends expertise in accounting with investigative abilities.

Is a degree in forensic accounting worth it?

According to data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the annual compensation of a Certified Forensic Accountant might reach $147,000. So, it’s clear that going into forensic accounting is a smart career choice.

What degree should I get for forensic accounting?

Forensic accountants are expected to have a high degree of proficiency and are typically required to acquire a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting or a related discipline, such as finance, regardless of whether they work with government agencies, businesses, or individual taxpayers.

How many years does it take to become a forensic accounting  Degree?

It takes four years to six years to become a forensic accountant, which includes further study through master’s, certification, and/or on-the-job training programs in addition to the four years required for a bachelor’s degree.

 

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