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Forensic Accounting Degree Online

A bachelor’s in forensic accounting is a program designed to prepare aspiring accountants to work in the exciting field of forensic accounting. This degree qualifies graduates to work for public, private, and government entities in various auditing roles, including Auditor, Forensic Auditor, Fraud Examiner, and many others. This degree also lays the groundwork for further education in the accounting field, such as a Master’s in Forensic Accountancy.

Why Pursue a Forensic Accounting Degree?

This degree program is the type of specialized degree needed to become competitive for auditing and forensic accountancy positions at the entry to mid-level. Employers appreciate candidates who are already prepared with the accountancy training needed to be successful and self-sufficient in an auditing or forensics role. Graduates therefore have exceptional career prospects. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that accountants and auditors earn an average annual salary of $61,690.1 However, in specialty fields within accountancy, salaries may be higher. According to Robert Half Accounting and Finance, Forensic Accountants earn an average annual salary between $63,000 and $102,000 to start.2 In addition to competitive salaries, the career outlook for accountants and auditors is positive. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that job growth for all accountants and auditors will reach 16% between 2010 and 2020.1

Degree Prerequisites and Requirements

To enroll in this degree program, students should have obtained a high school diploma or GED. Selective programs may also require candidates to have earned a minimum GPA for high school courses, typically 3.5 or higher. Students may also need to take the ACT or SAT exams to be admitted into a forensic accountancy degree program.

Typical Coursework

This degree program is highly specialized, and students should be prepared to take courses in accounting, auditing, forensics, and mathematics during their course of study. Students typically also take more general courses in business and other subjects. Common courses include:

  • Auditing
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Accounting Information Technology
  • Business Law
  • Fraud Investigation Techniques

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates can work for private companies, public accounting firms, or even in government. Deloitte LLP, a division of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, is one of the best known public accounting firms in the US. Deloitte has many opportunities for entry and mid-level auditors and forensic accountants. Eide Bailly is a growing public accountancy firm with over 40,000 clients. Thanks to its steady growth, Eide Bailly is regularly hiring audit and forensic accounting professionals. CohnReznick is another public accounting firm that is experiencing strong growth. CohnReznick’s forensics team has a history of taking on high profile cases and its audit team deploys rigorous standards while sharing input on federal auditing rules changes. CohnReznick offers many opportunities for accounting graduates.

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References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm
2. Robert Half: http://s3.amazonaws.com/DBM/M3/2011/Downloads/SalaryGuide_RobertHalf_2013_US.pdf