Forensic Accounting utilizes accounting, auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into a company's
financial statements. Thus, forensic accounting provides an accounting analysis suitable for court. Forensic
accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers and deal with the business reality of a situation. They are
frequently used in fraud cases.
Forensic Accountants combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills in various litigation support and
investigative accounting settings. Forensic Accountants are employed by public accounting firms’ forensic accounting
divisions; by consulting firms specializing in risk consulting and forensic accounting services; or by lawyers, law
enforcement agencies, insurance companies, government organizations or financial institutions. Due to heightened
awareness and growing intolerance of fraudulent activity, demand for Forensic Accountants is rapidly increasing.
The CFE credential provides Forensic Accountants with the technical knowledge necessary to perform effective
investigations. In contrast to auditors, who typically take a more consistent and standardized approach to their work,
Forensic Accountants must determine which areas, people or functions of the organization require their attention.
Because fraud is usually hidden, this process can be difficult and time consuming. The CFE credential ensures Forensic
Accountants have advanced knowledge of typical fraud schemes and data analysis techniques so that they can perform
investigations efficiently and strategically.
Most Forensic Accounting positions require at least one to three years of accounting experience. Many Forensic
Accountants obtain this experience by working as a general accountant. Some responsibilities unique to forensic
accountants includes to performs forensic research to trace funds and identify assets for recovery, conducts forensic
analysis of financial data. They also prepares forensic accounting reports from financial findings and Prepares analytical
data for litigation and testifies as needed.
They may work with businesses, nonprofit organizations (including government and law-enforcement agencies),
estates, individuals and others who require forensic-accounting services. Forensic accountants work in a variety of
environments. They spend most of their time in an office in front of a computer observing financial information they
have obtained regarding a criminal case. They also work with criminal investigators, police officers, forensic scientists
and other agents involved in a criminal case to help piece information together and determine what information needs
to be found.
Entry Level Education
- Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree in Commerce.
- Many companies encourage obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Public Accountant (CPA),
and/or Chartered Accountant (CA).