Forensic Accounting Career Opportunities

  • By Matthew Briggson
  • December 16th, 2020

Forensic accounting is in high demand in both the U.S. and international markets. Forensic accountants possess a unique combination of accounting and investigative skills to discover, quantify, and prevent fraud. They are also called upon as expert witnesses in litigation to quantify damages sustained by a party in a legal dispute. 

As part of investigations, forensic accountants determine whether financial crimes took place including fraud related to securities, financial statements, insurance, and embezzlement. Smart organizations do not wait until a suspected fraud has occurred to call on forensic accountants. Instead, they rely on them to prevent fraud from happening in the first place. This can save a company millions of dollars and significantly reduce the risk of a tarnished reputation. 

Forensic accounting is often an integral component of a company’s internal audit strategy as it assesses risk in its internal control’s framework. Forensic accountants can identify vulnerabilities and recommend action items to reduce the future risk of fraud. External auditors should also possess forensic accounting skills as they design their audit plans to detect financial reporting fraud and asset misappropriation.  

Fraudulent schemes continue to get more complex with the evolution of technology. Digital forensics is a growing field that requires forensic accountants to detect fraudulent activity while relying on analytics and big data. Many organizations are adopting blockchain technology to transfer digital assets and information across decentralized networks. This technology continues to evolve and although its long-term goal is to increase safety, it can be susceptible to risk and vulnerabilities. This is a technology that forensic accountants should become familiar with as more organizations adopt it. 

Career Path to Forensic Accounting
A common path to becoming a forensic accountant is to start out as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and use the acquired skills and experience to transition to the world of forensic accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners organization offers the CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) credential. Although this credential is not required to work in forensic accounting, it can help professionals stand out by demonstrating their knowledge and experience in the field. In Robert Half’s 2021 Salary Guide, the projected midpoint salary of a forensic accountant for 2021 is $95,500. 

Training Opportunities 
Encoursa offers many different CPE courses on fraud prevention and detection and forensic accounting. Below is a list of a few on-demand options. You can click on any of the course links to learn more and sign up: 
Fraud Detection Tools
Current Fraud Trends
Accounts Payable Fraud Prevention Tactics
Social Engineering Fraud Schemes – How They Work 

  • Forensic accounting
  • forensic accountant
  • CFE
About the author
Matthew Briggson
Matthew Briggson

Matthew is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan and a co-founder of Encoursa.com, an industry leading CPE provider for accounting and finance professionals.

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