Southwest Minnesota State University
Southwest Minnesota State University offers a BS in Accounting in Forensic Accounting & Fraud Investigation. This is a minor degree, available on campus. To complete this degree, students need to have a high level of technical knowledge and a skillset of critical thinking and decision making. As a graduate of the program, students will also be academically ready to take the Certified Public Accountant examination, the Certified Management Accountant examination, and the Certified Internal Auditor examination.
The complete program only takes about 2 academic years and is 120 credits. Students do need to have a 2.25 GPA or higher while earning their first 64 credits of the degree and to graduate with the BS degree. SMSU does accept a total of 40 transfer credits from an accredited institution. This degree is also suitable for students interested in clerical or paraprofessional work in the accounting field.
Admission Requirements For Forensic Science Degree Programs
Admission requirements vary among forensic science programs and degree levels. Most programs prefer applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA at the high school or college level. Moreover, some schools may require applicants to submit standardized test scores from the ACT or SAT. Additional materials may include copies of official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a letter of interest or statement of career goals, and an application fee.
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As of January 2022, the average forensic accountant made about $70,490 per year, according to Payscale. These professionals investigate accounts for discrepancies and evidence of fraud. They may testify in trials or proceedings and lend their expertise to cases involving finance or banking activities. Forensic accountants can also work in civil matters, such as divorce proceedings.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2020 and 2030. This rate is comparable to the average projected growth rate for all occupations during that period. Prospective forensic accountants need a bachelor’s degree in the field, which usually takes four years of full-time study to complete. Most online bachelor’s in forensic accounting programs require around 120 credits.
Students can complete the degree they need at a top online school to start working in forensic accounting. Read on to learn about program requirements and how to land the best job in the field.
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University Of Alabama At Birmingham
Online Bachelors in Accounting
Through its Collat School of Business, The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a forensic accounting degree online that can be completed in four years. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and was named top 10 in diversity in the United States by The Princeton Review. Courses are taught by the same leading business and accounting faculty that teach on-campus courses. Students learn foundational accounting principles as well as specialized courses in auditing and crime detection and prevention that prepares them for careers in forensic accounting. UAB is ranked #153 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,568
University Of Notre Dame
Bachelors in Accountancy
At Mendoza College of Business University of Notre Dame, students gain the preparation they need for application to forensic accounting jobs, as well as other careers in the industry. The undergraduate degree in accountancy prepares students for graduate school or entering the workforce. According to the programs website, accountancy undergraduates achieved a 98 percent placement rate last year. Courses offered through the program cover various topics useful for forensic accounting careers. These courses include audit and assurance services, data analytics in accounting, ethics in accounting, federal taxation, and tax assistance program. University of Notre Dame ranks 19th in best national universities and 26th in best value schools. In addition to school rankings, the institutions accounting programs rank #7 in the country.
Undergraduate Tuition: $55,553
Undergraduate Tuition: $51,830
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The Top Online Bachelor’s In Forensic Accounting Degrees
An online bachelor’s in forensic accounting leads to lucrative careers in financial forensics, assurance services, and auditing. Use this guide to compare the four best 2022 programs, based on academic quality, reputation, and program availability. Learn how we develop our rankings here.
- Delivery Format: 100% online
Florida Institute Of Technology
The Florida Institute of Technology offers a masters in accounting and financial forensics that prepares students for the challenges of modern forensic accounting. The degree program recognizes the risks associated with modern technology and tools that may impact fraud and criminal cases associated with business. It prepares students to handle the potential concerns that may arise and ensures that they also know the basic skills used for non-criminal investigation.
A key way the Florida Institute of Technology differs from other programs is its focus on preparing students for the realities of their careers. It does not only ensure that students know how to recognize cybercrimes, tax fraud, and traditional accounting crimes. It also teaches students non-criminal investigation skills to help businesses through valuation and related services. That allows a student to develop specialized skills based on his or her goals. The Florida Institute of Technology prepares students for the CPA examination during their online masters degree studies.
Degree: MS in Accounting and Financial Forensics
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Best Forensic Accounting Degrees
The best Forensic Accounting campus bachelors degrees have many opportunities for students interested in forensic accounting. Have you ever wanted to be a high-tech detective? Investigating white-collar crimes like fraud and embezzlement? Then forensic accounting is the right BS degree for you. In recent years, these crimes have risen, creating more opportunities for students interested in forensic accounting. Now, with the demand for forensic accountants rising, this is the time to get your bachelors degree!
Many programs of this sort are available online. However, if you are looking for a more one-on-one interaction with top experts then choosing from these campus programs is the way to go. Also, many offer more incentives and benefits than if you chose an online program. For example, community involvement with your peers. Schools have clubs or organizations to join if you choose to take the course on campus. Also, it may be easier to do projects or assignments with classmates than if the student took this program online.
Below are the top 15 Campus Bachelors in Forensic Accounting degrees for students wanting to learn in the traditional classroom setting. Each one provides the tools needed to become a successful Forensic Accountant.
What Are The Best Bachelors In Forensic Accounting
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Forensic Accounting Career Path
To become a forensic accountant, one must have obtained a minimum of a bachelors degree in accounting, but most forensic accountants have a masters degree. Numerous schools also give students the option to pursue an undergraduate degree in forensic accounting. As a student studying to become a forensic accountant, you can expect to take a number of courses in the following areas:
Many schools also offer programs for a forensic accounting certificate, which includes courses such as:
- Interview Techniques and Legal Aspects of Fraud
- Principles of Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
- Investigating with the Computer
- Detection and Prevention of Fraudulent Financial Statements
These programs will allow the student to qualify to sit for the Certified Forensic Accountant exam and the Certified Fraud Examiners exam. These are globally recognized credentials in the anti fraud and accounting profession.
AICPA offers an online program for already registered CPAs interested in forensic accounting that would result in a Forensic Accounting Education Certificate. Although it is not required, a number of employers encourage forensic accountants to become a Certified Fraud Examiner, Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant.
May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for accountants and auditors represent national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data Accessed May 2021.
Choosing The Best Forensic Science Degree
Theres really no best forensic science degree program out there. Rather, its better to think about the best fit for your personal and academic needs. Each school comes with its own set of strengths based on the specialties of its faculty members and access to resources.
In that way, look for programs whose curricula will provide you with training in areas of forensic science that interest you. One of the tell-tale signs is if a school offers an official concentration or elective classes in a specific topic that you like, such as fire science, forensic chemistry, or biotechnology.
Secondly, a school thats a good fit also fits your budget and desired learning format. In addition to finding tuition rates that work for you, make sure you find a fully online or hybrid, asynchronous or synchronous, and standard or accelerated program that caters to your learning style.
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What Are The Best Online Schools For Forensic Accounting
Finding schools that offer forensic accounting requires legwork. Some use alternative names for their degrees. Most schools grant a degree in Accounting with a concentration, specialization, emphasis, or minor in Forensic Accounting.
We utilized Internet research combined with college and university website information. We owe our understanding of the field to the Forensic CPA Society and the American Board of Forensic Accounting.
Statistics come from U.S. News, the IPEDS database from College Navigator, and ThePrinceton Review. Final rankings include the average net price of tuition after financial aid.
Below are the top seven Forensic Accounting programs in the United States.
What Can I Do With A Bachelor’s In Forensic Accounting
Forensic accounting is an increasingly popular major for its enticing combination of accounting and investigation. White-collar crime continues to increase around the world, creating demand for these professionals. Students with excellent organizational, analytical, and critical thinking skills make the best forensic accountants.
Graduates with a bachelor’s in forensic accounting can become forensic accountants, financial examiners, and internal or external auditors. Most graduates earn CPA licensure or pursue other professional certification to enhance job prospects.
Most accountants work in accounting, tax preparation, payroll, and bookkeeping services. Others work in fields, such as finance and insurance, the government, and corporate management.
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Forensic Accounting Job Description
A forensic accountant will analyze and investigate financial evidence to look for signs that a crime such as embezzlement, securities fraud or bankruptcy was committed. Forensic accountants are not responsible for determining fraud rather they identify inconsistencies and anomalies by providing the who, what, where, how and why so that the court can determine fraud.
Forensic accountants, who are often times referred to as investigative auditors, fraud investigators or forensic auditors, may be asked to:
- trace funds
- prepare reports of financial analysis findings
- present financial findings reports in court as an expert witness
In a recent survey conducted by the AICPA the most essential characteristics for a forensic accountant to have are:
- being analytical
- effective oral communication skills
Other traits that are beneficial for a forensic accountant to possess include being objective, credible and independent.
Doctoral Degree In Forensic Science
The most common doctoral degree in forensic science is the PhD. A doctorate of philosophy in forensic science gives you the chance to further refine your skills and become an expert in a particular area of the field. As part of these programs, you’ll complete a variety of required and elective classes, most of which you’ll choose with the help of a faculty member based on your academic interests.
Bear in mind that, like all PhDs, the PhD in forensic science is a research degree. These programs best serve students who are interested in pursuing high-level research jobs or academic positions at colleges or universities. The PhD is not for the faint of heart and often requires about 3-6 years to complete. Be sure to get some advice from a trusted advisor or faculty member before applying to PhD programs.
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Are Forensic Accountants In Demand
Almost all forensic accountants are CPAs. There are benefits to becoming a Certified Forensic Accountant. Individuals with this designation will enhance their personal reputation while demonstrating a high level of knowledge, skills, and commitment to the field. In many cases, this is a differentiator in a competitive job market, and meets employer qualifications. According to the U.S. Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for forensic accountants jobs is expected to rise 10% through 2028. This means the number of accountant positions available will exceed the national average over the next decade. As a specialty area, the need for forensic accountants will also rise.
The Top 10 Best Online Master’s In Forensic Accounting Programs
University of Scranton Online
University of Scrantons Master of Accountancy with a Forensic Accounting Concentration program consists of 30 credits, takes 12 to 18 months to complete, and prepares you for CPA licensure and the CFE exam. Your courses are taught by faculty who are CPA-certified industry experts and experienced field practitioners. The Master of Accountancy core curriculum consists of foundation courses, advanced electives, and a capstone course, whereas the forensic accounting specialization includes classes like Advanced Auditing and Occupational Fraud & Abuse. Students with a nonaccounting bachelors degree can enroll in an accounting bridge sequence to prepare for the Master of Accountancy program. As a Jesuit university, University of Scranton is guided by the principles of integrity and ethics.
Things to consider:
- Academic calendar: Traditional semester
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Forensic Accounting Career Outlook
Even in the wake of the financial recession, forensic accounting remains a thriving field with ever-growing demand and a steady increase in pay.
According to an IBISWorld report, forensic accounting revenue in the U.S. is expected to grow 6.8% per year until 2017.
Due to stricter financial regulations, the call for greater financial accountability and a large number of new companies, demand for forensic accountants has been predicted to grow significantly by many professional surveys. What is more, 83% of respondents to an AICPA survey highlighted computer forensics as an area of accelerated growth.
Out of the almost 300,000 new jobs predicted to be created between 2008 and 2018, forensic accounting is one of the top growth areas, especially in the private sector.
With an average salary of $80,435 per year and a projected increase in pay, forensic accountants have bright perspectives ahead in terms of both job opportunities and pay.
Will Employers Trust An Online Accounting Degree
Yes. Individuals who have received an online accounting degree from an accredited program that has recognition from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in forensic accounting accreditation gives employers the confidence to trust students matriculating through these programs. Taking the time to get an accounting degree takes a certain level of dedication that does not go unnoticed by employers. For students who obtain their degree online, they understand the challenges that may occur not being in a traditional classroom setting.
With technology being at the forefront of how businesses operate, employers embrace those who choose to attend online programs as an alternative to gaining additional credentials that are useful to their progression within their current industry, or in gaining new skills to move into a different career path. Technology makes it easier for students to choose an institution that not only offers what they need, but may have a better reputation within the industry.
There are a number of online accounting degree programs from some of the top universities in the nation. Obtaining a degree from an accredited institution of this nature adds credibility and integrity for the school, the student, and eventually the employer. In the modern work climate, the need for flexibility in obtaining a degree of choice is needed. These programs provided the foundation and backing to be competitive in the workforce.
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About Forensic & Fraud Accounting
Some of the most highly sought-after “detectives” are actually forensic accountants and fraud investigators. Thats because white-collar and organized crime drains billions of dollars from our economy each year.
In your classes, you’ll develop an eye for detail and build a foundation in accounting and legal concepts. Get real-life experience analyzing information based on real fraud crimes. The Forensic Accounting Stakeholder Board, made of experienced forensic accountants and fraud examination specialists, advise your professors on the best material for your courses.
A career in this field has specific eligibility standards to sit for a licensing exam. Before you start your degree, read our ineligibility policy.
Becoming A Forensic Accountant
Forensic accounting is a specialized accounting career that focuses on analyzing financial information to detect if a white collar crime has taken place within an organization. Accountants who choose to go into this type of investigative accounting combine their understanding of the law with their knowledge of finance and accounting. Forensic accounting has become a growing field in recent years because of an increased awareness for financial discrepancies within corporations. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accoutants, forensic accounting is one of the most rapid growing, niche specialties in accounting and there will continue to be a high demand for these professionals.
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Forensic Accounting Employment Opportunities
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners credits the need for more forensic accountants to the heightened intolerance for fraudulent activity. Thus, forensic accountants are no longer solely needed in an accounting firms forensic division, but are finding employment in a number of other settings, including:
- government agencies
- financial institutions
- consulting firms
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary specific for the specialized field of forensic accounting, the highly focused nature of this profession makes it among the highest paying accounting jobs. The upper end of the BLS pay scale for accountants was $97,530 $128,680 as of May 2020, which is likely representative of what forensic accountants are earning.