The way to get started with forensic accounting is to earn a Bachelor’s degree in a field like accounting. This Bachelor’s degree is a regular four-year course that is available at most universities and colleges, and many universities are now offering this Bachelor’s degree as long distance learning program online.
Your next step would be to get prepared for the Certified Public Accountant exam in order to become a CPA. There are many online preparatory courses that are available to assist you in passing your exam.
Once you clear the CPA exam and earn a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, you can formally start practicing as a forensic accountant. However, in order to get started in the best way in the field (and of course, to earn the best salary) you should also consider going to graduate school. These days, a Master’s Degree in Forensic Accounting is also available in two forms – as the traditional Master’s degree and as an MBA program with a focus on Forensic Accounting. Earning this graduate degree will serve many purposes – one being that it can further train you to work in the field and will also serve to fulfill the educational requirements that are required for you to maintain your unique CPA status.
Apart from this, you will also be able to find extra coursework in other areas like criminal justice and law enforcement, which can be of great help, and legal training will also be of use. In addition, you could also go ahead and pursue a CFE accreditation or a Certified Fraud Examiner accreditation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. This accreditation is nationally recognized and is very similar to the CPA exam.
Lastly, you could also pursue a CrFA accreditation or a Certified Forensic Accountant accreditation. This is a relatively new accreditation in the field of forensic accounting and most forensic accountants don’t have it, giving you an edge over the rest. While the industry continues to grow and expand, however, this accreditation may also become standard.
Yes, forensic accountants are experts that use a unique combination of experience and education to apply auditing, accounting and investigative skills in order to uncover the truth, assist in investigations and form legal opinions. If this sounds interesting to you, then you should seriously contemplate making Forensic Accounting your career – you will never regret it!