Forensic Accounting Jobs and Careers
The forensic accounting
field has vast opportunities in today's economic world in which various economic crimes are on the rise globally. According to the PwC's Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022, 46% of the organizations reported that they have experienced fraud in the last 24 months. This number is likely to continue to grow in the coming century with the advancement and availability of technology. This creates challenging and intriguing opportunities for forensic accountants and the like.
Fraud is known for being difficult to detect and combat; the average perpetrator is smart, well-educated, and in a position to readily hide their tracks. A forensic accountant's job is to find evidence of illegal behavior and assist in the prosecution of the fraudster.
Critical Skills in Forensic Accounting
- Attention to detail
- Written and verbal communication
- Writing reports
- Testifying in court
- Interpersonal communication
Forensic Accounting Tasks and Responsibilities
What are the typical tasks and things forensic accountants are involved in? A minimum of 1-3 years of accounting experience is required for most forensic accounting positions. Working as a general accountant gives many forensic accountants this experience. The following are typical forensic accountants' responsibilities:
- Perform forensic research to track down finances and locate assets that can be recovered.
- Perform a forensic examination of financial data.
- Compile forensic accounting reports based on financial data.
- Prepare litigation-related analytical data and testify as needed.
Forensic Accountants Jobs
Forensic accountants can work in diverse organizations and/or companies, including:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Law offices
- Consulting firms specializing in risk consulting
- Public accounting firms
- Forensic accounting departments/divisions
- Banking companies
- Insurance companies
- Other Financial Services companies
- Government organizations
Forensic Accountancy Careers
We can make a distinction between external and internal investigators and auditors. Both categories are typically working in sectors like Banking, Insurance, and Financial services, Government and Public Administration, Healthcare. But any other industry sector is also possible.
Forensic Accountants' Income and Compensation
In the US, the median income for a certified fraud examiner (CFE) is $96,000, according to the 2020 ACFE Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals. Non-certified fraud examiners receive a median pay of $74,000. From 2019 through 2029, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 4% increase in accounting (including forensic accounting) jobs, or roughly 125,700 job vacancies per year.
Forensic Accountant Certifications
Forensic accountants typically have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in forensic accounting, accounting, finance, or a related discipline. A background in criminal justice or law enforcement is advantageous. Many employers urge employees to get the CFE credential and/or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant license (CA).
Forensic accountants can obtain a number of professional degrees, including:
- CFA certification: Chartered Financial Analyst
- FMVA certification: Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst
- FRM certification: Financial Risk Manager
- CFP designation: Certified Financial Planner
- CAIA designation: Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
Forensic accountants can get a license such as:
- CFE: Certified Fraud Examiner
- CPA: Certified Public Accountant.
⇨ This is what I could find. Please add your comments on working in the field of forensic accounting
and help making this summary more complete.
George A. Manning, Ph.D, CFE, EA (2011), "Financial Investigation and Forensic Accounting", Third Edition.
Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022, PwC.