Bachelor’s in Forensic Accounting Program Guide

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By Meg Whitentoon

Published on June 8, 2021

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Forensic accountants help law enforcement investigate financial crimes, such as fraud, extortion, and embezzlement. Earning a bachelor's degree in forensic accounting provides the unique skills in math, analytics, and fraud detection that students need to launch careers in this field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2019 and 2029. These professionals earn a median annual wage of $73,560, well above the median annual wage for all occupations.

An online bachelor's degree in forensic accounting can provide a fast track to lucrative forensic accounting jobs in public accounting, insurance, and government settings. The following guide explores the multifaceted bachelor's degree in forensic accounting and its benefits.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting?

A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting prepares students to work with legal and law enforcement colleagues to investigate and detect fraudulent financial practices.

A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting prepares students to work with legal and law enforcement colleagues to investigate and detect fraudulent financial practices. Schools often offer a choice of on-campus or online bachelor's degrees in forensic accounting. While some students may prefer completing their bachelor's degree on campus over four years, others may seek an accelerated path to graduation through an online program. An online bachelor's degree in forensic accounting can also offer set or in-state tuition rates.

Since employers prefer candidates with professional experience, many programs require an accounting internship. Graduates can pursue the certified public accountant (CPA) credential or gain experience first through an entry-level accounting position.

Beyond CPA licensure, many programs also include preparation for other specialized certifications. Professionals can potentially earn a 31% higher income than non-certified competitors through certifications like the certified fraud examiner credential.

What Will I Learn in a Forensic Accounting Bachelor's Program?

Schools may offer a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) in forensic accounting. Generally, BAs incorporate more liberal arts coursework than a BS degree, which emphasizes technical skills. Both types of forensic accounting programs explore intermediate and advanced accounting, federal taxation, business law, and financial statement analysis.

Many programs offer forensic accounting as a concentration of a general accounting degree. Students can pursue professional certification after earning a bachelor's degree in forensic accounting or go on to earn a higher degree toward career advancement, such as an MBA in finance, accounting, or a forensic accounting specialization.

Courses

Interview Techniques"

This course trains students to conduct an interrogation, examining verbal and nonverbal signals, ethics, laws, and best documentation practices.

Fraud Examination"

Students explore detection methods and methodologies of fraud examination in this course. They also learn to implement fraud prevention strategies and document their findings.

Computer Investigation"

This course covers computer programs and software often used to perform basic accounting tasks and investigate digital fraud in forensic accounting cases.

Federal Taxation"

In this course, students learn the federal tax-filing process for individuals, employees, and investors. Covered topics include internal revenue codes, exclusions, and deductions.

Auditing"

A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting often emphasizes auditing skills. In this specialized course, students learn to examine financial statements for equities, assets, and liabilities.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is an increasingly popular major for its enticing combination of accounting and investigation. White-collar crime continues to increase around the world, creating demand for these professionals. Students with excellent organizational, analytical, and critical thinking skills make the best forensic accountants.

Graduates with a bachelor's in forensic accounting can become forensic accountants, financial examiners, and internal or external auditors. Most graduates earn CPA licensure or pursue other professional certification to enhance job prospects.

Most accountants work in accounting, tax preparation, payroll, and bookkeeping services. Others work in fields, such as finance and insurance, the government, and corporate management.

Popular Career Paths

Forensic Accountant Auditor Financial Analyst Financial Examiner Claims Adjuster

Popular Continuing Education Paths

Master's in Forensic Accounting MBA in Finance Master's in Taxation Master's in Business Intelligence Programs Master's in Computer Forensics

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in forensic accounting can command high salaries based on their particular skills and experience. All accountants earn a median annual wage of $73,560. Students may also become tax examiners, claims adjusters, or financial analysts, earning median salaries ranging from $55,000-$85,000.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Programs

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in forensic accounting?

The National Center for Education Statistics recently reported the cost of a four-year degree at more than $27,000. Students may look into earning an online bachelor's degree in forensic accounting, many with set or in-state tuition rates, to offset the financial burden of a traditional degree.

Is a forensic accounting degree worth it?

Forensic accounting programs qualify graduates for stable careers in accounting and finance. An online bachelor's degree in forensic accounting can offer students accelerated paths to graduation to launch their careers.

How much do forensic accountants make?

According to the BLS, accountants and auditors make a median annual wage of $73,560, with the highest earners in finance and insurance drawing a salary of over $78,000.

Are forensic accountants in demand?

The BLS projects 4% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2019 and 2029, commensurate with increasing globalization, a fluctuating economy, and complex tax regulations.

What companies hire forensic accountants?

These professionals enjoy long-term opportunities in nearly every industry and field. Forensic accountants with CPA licensure and technology skills should hold an advantage over competitors for accounting jobs.

Feeling first-day-of-college jitters? Learn what to expect and how to prepare for the first day of class. Looking for a good school in the Southwest? Check out our list of the top 10 online colleges in the southwestern United States. Students can make college life easier by bringing 10 documents that are essential for study, work, and other aspects of student life.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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