Start Your Career in Forensic Accounting

by A Guest Author

A career in forensic accounting deeply involves a love for numbers and for solving puzzles. Follow the trail the numbers provide, then dig deeper to find the underlying path to ultimate truth. Trace transactions through both the domestic and international financial worlds. Verify assets and gather evidence of criminal activity. If any or all of this brief overview excites, you start your career in forensic accounting and find the true bottom line for a lifelong career you enjoy instead of just having a job.

Basic Job Description

Forensic accountants, also called financial forensic specialists or financial investigative auditors, engage in accounting endeavors whose ultimate result rests in legal proceedings. To that end, they not only investigate accounting practices and standards used by individuals and businesses but also must be prepared to testify in court regarding their findings. In a very basic encapsulation, forensic accountants prepare and examine financial records, maintaining the "for legal purposes" standard within the word, "forensic."

Forensic accountants can work in the general accounting field or in specialized accounting areas, but all positions are subject to giving testimony in such legal actions as criminal trials, tax court proceedings, probate issues or insurance, royalty, bankruptcy or divorce situations and more.

Enveloping such operational fields as economic theories, electronic discovery, fraud deterrents and statutory audit specialties in addition to gathering of evidence, forensic accountants enjoy one of the widest fields of applicability in the accounting career field.

Qualities of Successful Forensic Accountants

Dedication and attention to detail always list among qualities of excellent forensic accountants. Added to those are such elements as effective public speaking, excellent mathematical skills, effective writing ability, complex problem solving and sound judgment. You must have the ability to coordinate efforts with others, to listen actively and well and to work independently as well.

Bearing in mind the legal records implication, you must also be organized and effectively evaluate the importance of data. One missing byte of information can result in a far different outcome than comprehensive information would allow.


For many accounting specialties, a bachelor's degree in accounting usually suffices for an entry-level position. To start your career as a forensic accountant, most positions require a full Master of Accounting degree. The basic degree is identical around the United States, save one exception: Forensic accountants substitute the generic or general electives with added influx of Forensic Accounting courses.

All the options to the standard Master of Accounting degree are available, but the focused courses also uniquely qualify you for this greatly needed accounting specialty. You start your career in forensic accounting with this specialty degree focus.

Areas of special attention within forensic accounting career training include legal processes and applicable laws, giving testimony, public speaking, English, psychology, computers and electronic investigations and investigation documentation as well as economics and accounting.

Job Salaries and Outlook

The last salary and outlook estimates for accountants and auditors the Bureau of Labor and Statistics published are for the year 2010.

The top salaries in the median range averaged $61,690 per year, noting an hourly equivalent of $29.66. The government noted a projected increase in demand for forensic accountants of roughly 16 percent. The data page notes this is fairly equal to other occupations, but other estimates on job outlook list average job growth closer to 10 percent, making forensic accounting a specialty whose growth may be higher than average.

Make a difference: Start your career as a forensic accountant at an accredited school.

About The Author

Aaron Alexander wrote this article on behalf of Forths Forensic Accountants, who offer a variety of forensic accounting services.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

leia February 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I would like to say great blog! Thanks!


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