What do they do?: Forensic accounting involves examining financial records and statements to determine if crimes such as fraud and embezzlement are involved. They work in a variety of settings such as police departments, accounting firms, IRS, FBI, and CIA. Forensic accountants meet with government representatives, attorneys, or clients to gather information about a case. They do research and create a plan for their investigation. They may search bank statements, credit statements, journals, ledgers, and databases.
Education level required?: Education you need is a high school diploma or GED; bachelor's degree in accounting; and 12 months on-the-job training with a forensic accountant; or earn a graduate degree in forensic accounting. A good course in college includes one year of accounting courses, one year of general business courses, and two years of liberal arts courses. Many universities offer a master's degree in forensic accounting or in business administration with a concentration in forensic accounting. As a graduate student you take courses in sociology, psychology, and law enforcement. You also take courses in criminal and business law, business and finance, information systems, and communication.
Future outlook for career? Between 2008 and 2018, experts predict the creation of 279,400 new accounting jobs in total, with forensic accounting as one of the top growth areas. Some reasons why this occupation is going to have job openings is because changes in financial law, new government regulations regarding corporations, Stockholders demanding greater accountability from businesses and because there are always new companies and existing businesses that are hiring new employees.
Salary range? Salary is based on education, experience, and how good you are at what you do. The more certifications, degrees, and years in this occupation the more income you will gain. When just beginning, starting salaries range $40,000-$60,000and experienced forensic accountants range $125,000 and $150,000.