Masters Degree in Forensic Accounting
An MBA in Forensic Accounting degree is a master’s level degree for career accountants wishing to focus on fraud detection and prevention. The knowledge acquired through this course of study equips students to deter, find, and create reports financial crimes for executive management teams, investigative agencies, and others. Forensic accountants also frequently make presentations to and testify before courts of law. This degree also educates students on communications and management principles, as in a traditional master’s of business administration degree program.
Why Pursue an MBA in Forensic Accounting?
With this degree, accountants can work at advanced levels in investigating fraud and implementing best practices for fraud deterrence for businesses and in government. This degree fulfills the 150 credit-hour requirement to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam in most states. Additionally, salaries for forensic accountants are competitive. According to Robert Half Accounting and Finance, forensic accountants can anticipate a starting salary between $63,000 and $102,000 per year.1 Those with this degree are better prepared to assume management roles within forensic accounting, which may lead to higher salaries.
Degree Prerequisites and Requirements
Candidates for an MBA Forensic Accounting degree program should have already completed a bachelor’s degree. Most programs prefer that candidates’ undergraduate study be focused on accounting, finance, business, or a related field. Since this is a post-graduate degree, graduate level exams may also be required, such as the GRE or GMAT. Selective programs may require a minimum GPA for undergraduate study; 3.5 or better is a common prerequisite. Additionally, candidates may be asked to provide letters of reference and/or a personal statement.
Typical Degree Coursework
The coursework undertaken for this degree covers the fields of business, accounting, management, and communications. This prepares students to work at high levels of responsibility with professionalism and deep subject knowledge on the rules of accounting, business, and criminal justice. Typical courses include:
- Forensic Accounting
- Business Ethics
- Audit Risk
- Fraud Examination
- Computer Forensics
Career Opportunities for Graduates
Graduates of this program typically choose to work in business or in government, and there are many career opportunities for these graduates in these areas. The US Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is one of the best-known government agencies that hires accountants and auditors with this degree. The SEC offers employees advanced training, challenging work, and competitive benefits. By becoming an Examiner with the SEC, individuals can help investigate alleged fraud through forensic accounting. RGL Forensics is a specialist forensic accounting firm, working in the insurance, legal, corporate, and public sectors. Forensic accountants at RGL are enabled to work on diverse projects with a special focus on professional development. Forensic accountants can apply to RGL’s many career openings. Meaden & Moore is a well respected accounting, assurance, and consulting firm with nearly 100 years of experience. Its Investigative Accounting Group works in forensic accounting and fraud services, among other related specialties. The firm regularly posts openings for forensic accountants for its offices nationwide.
1. Robert Half: http://s3.amazonaws.com/DBM/M3/2011/Downloads/SalaryGuide_RobertHalf_2013_US.pdf