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Forensic accountants investigate accounts and financial transactions to find discrepancies and determine if any fraud occurred. These professionals often testify in court during fraud cases to help juries understand their investigation.
A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting prepares students for careers in forensic accounting, accounting, and auditing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that accountants and auditors will experience 4% job growth between 2019 and 2029.
This guide offers a look at the best online bachelor's in forensic accounting programs. The following sections explain what to expect from a bachelor's program, including example courses and potential careers.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|1||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|2||University of Northwestern Ohio||Lima, OH|
|3||Utica College||Utica, NY|
|4||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|
|5||Franklin University||Columbus, OH|
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Programs
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|Burlington, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Champlain is a small, private college based in Burlington, Vermont, with two international locations in Montreal and Dublin. Champlain takes a career-driven approach to higher education, focusing on the development of professional skills, keen reasoning abilities, and life management skills. More than 60 of its innovative programs are available online.
Students pursuing an online bachelor's in accounting can select from four concentrations, including forensic accounting. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in auditing, principles of finance, business law, and fraud examination. Champlain's asynchronous delivery format allows students to access coursework 24/7, with part-time and full-time enrollment options available.
A minimum 2.5 GPA is recommended for admission. Applicants must provide official transcripts, a professional resume, and short answer essay responses.
University of Northwestern Ohio
|Lima, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
The University of Northwestern Ohio is a private, nonprofit institution best known for its leadership in the automotive and diesel industries. Approximately 4,000 students attend each year, pursuing degrees in business, health, technology, and professional studies.
UNOH offers all of its accounting classes in an online format and many of its other courses in the evening, making it easy for busy students to complete their bachelor's in forensic accounting. Required courses include criminal law for non-legal majors, introduction to digital forensics, and accounting information systems.
The 180-credit, four-year program prepares graduates to sit for the Certified Fraud Examiners Exam. Admission requires high school transcripts and placement testing. New students must attend an on-campus orientation.
|Utica, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
UC is an independent, private institution located in central New York with an annual enrollment of over 5,000 students. Among its more than 20 online offerings is a bachelor's in fraud and financial crime investigation, one of the only programs of its kind nationwide.
The 120-credit curriculum requires courses in crime theory and investigation, financial accounting, and information privacy. Students can focus their degree by selecting a concentration in financial investigation or fraud prevention and detection. Graduates find work as financial examiners, fraud investigators, and forensic accountants.
Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA on high school transcripts and a minimum 2.5 GPA for any transferable college coursework.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with annual enrollment numbers exceeding 90,000. The vast majority of SNHU students take classes online. More than 200 certificates and degrees are available in this flexible format, including an online bachelor's degree in forensic accounting.
The 120-credit curriculum combines general education, business core courses, and accounting courses with a concentration in forensic accounting and fraud examination. Four concentration courses provide training in fraud investigation, detection, and prevention techniques. Students can complete SNHU's accounting degree entirely online with the convenience of asynchronous course delivery.
Applicants must provide a transcript release form for all attended schools and a high school diploma.
|Columbus, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Franklin University is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, encompassing a main campus in Columbus, several locations throughout the Midwest, and convenient online classes designed for working adults. The 124-credit online bachelor's in forensic accounting is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Forensic accounting students complete business and major courses that cover business law, finance, and fraud investigation techniques. A final forensic accounting capstone requires students to plan and report the results of a fraud examination. Asynchronous course delivery maximizes scheduling flexibility.
Prospective students who either hold a college degree or provide official documentation of high school graduation are eligible for admission. Franklin accepts up to 94 transfer credits.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Program?
Students with excellent analytical and critical thinking skills often thrive in these programs.
Online bachelor's in forensic accounting programs typically require 120 credits and take four years to complete. Students with excellent analytical and critical thinking skills often thrive in these programs.
Forensic accountants must communicate clearly with both management and employees. They must also prepare and deliver reports on their findings. As a result, these programs help learners develop research, communication, and organizational skills.
Forensic accounting is often available as a concentration within a general accounting degree. In some cases, colleges may offer a bachelor's in forensic accounting with concentrations in areas like auditing.
Students interested in becoming a certified public accountant usually need to complete extra credits to qualify for the exam. These requirements may add another semester or a summer session to students' time in college. Many students choose to complete a master's in forensic accounting or a related field to meet requirements for CPA certification.
Some online bachelor's in forensic accounting programs require an internship with an accounting firm or in an accounting department. Some programs provide internship placements, while others require students to find their own internship.
Learners can enroll in a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Both tracks offer crucial classes in accounting and financial practice. However, a bachelor of arts includes more classes in the humanities, while a bachelor of science offers more classes in math and science.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Program?
Online bachelor's in forensic accounting programs require general business classes, such as business ethics and business law, as well as accounting courses, such as auditing and financial management. Bachelor of arts programs study forensic accounting through more of a humanities lens, while bachelor of science programs focus more on math and science.
- Business Law
Business law classes examine legal regulations for businesses, including portions of the U.S. tax code. Students may also learn about commercial litigation and nonprofit law. This course teaches students how to watch for upcoming legislation that may affect corporations and business practices in the future.
In this course, students learn about advertising and how it shapes business strategy. Students develop crucial communication skills to reach their clients through the web or print. This class also teaches students how to create marketing campaigns for different types of companies by studying past marketing campaigns. Business-oriented programs often require accounting students to take this class.
Students in this class learn how to track a company's finances, keep records, and perform financial analysis. This course explores how the economy and investments can impact a company's future. Students learn essential skills in budgeting and reporting financial data in an easily understandable way.
- Business Systems and Analysis
In this course, students explore the intersection of information technology and business systems. Students learn how to automate data collection and organization to help with analysis and report writing. The class teaches students how to evaluate the best tools for systems analysis in different scenarios.
- Strategic Management
Students in strategic management classes learn how to analyze a company's strengths and weaknesses. By studying real-world examples, students learn to set objectives and create management strategies that improve the productivity of employees. Students often complete group projects to develop communication, organizational, and managerial skills.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Degree?
A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting prepares students for entry-level positions in accounting and finance. Graduates can find work in accounting firms and the accounting departments of businesses and nonprofits.
The BLS found that accountants and auditors made a median annual salary of $71,550 in 2019. The BLS also projects 4% growth for this field from 2019 to 2029. Of course, career outlook and salary potential differ depending on the location of the job and the employee's level of experience.
See where a bachelor's in forensic accounting degree can take you. Learn more about accounting careers here.
- Public Accountant
Public accountants typically work for an accounting firm and engage with multiple clients or individuals. Public accountants often focus on a specialty like auditing or taxation and work with specific clients in their firm. Most companies require these professionals to pass the certified public accountant exam.
- Management Accountant
Management accountants work directly with company management to provide insight and analysis of internal finances. These professionals often act as risk analysts for management, offering advice on the best path forward for investments, budgeting, and staffing decisions. Management accountants need excellent communication and analytical thinking skills.
- Internal Auditor
Internal auditors evaluate their company's finances and ledgers to look for inconsistencies and fraud. These professionals must maintain objectivity and typically operate independently of other accountants within the company. Internal auditors ensure that their company follows business regulations and maintains excellent financial records with no discrepancies.
- External Auditor
External auditors work for the government, accounting firms, and law firms to perform reviews of a company's financial records and bookkeeping. These professionals search for discrepancies and ensure that no fraud takes place. External auditors must remain impartial in their findings and use analytical thinking skills to conduct their investigations.
- Financial Examiner
Financial examiners need expertise in business law and financial regulations. These professionals ensure that banks and other financial institutions follow all applicable regulations. Financial examiners may examine balance sheets and investigate employees, including management, in the course of their duties. Examiners may also advise on the risk level of loans.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Forensic Accounting Programs
- Is a bachelor’s degree in forensic accounting worth it?
A bachelor's degree in forensic accounting can lead to stable employment and a good job outlook. The BLS projects that accountants and auditors will experience 4% job growth between 2019 and 2029, a rate comparable to the national average. Graduates can find careers with accounting firms and in auditing departments of businesses.
- What can I do with a bachelor’s in forensic accounting?
A forensic accounting degree can open the door to many different careers in accounting and finance. Most forensic accountants examine financial records to find inconsistencies and fraud. Graduates can become public accountants, internal and external auditors, financial examiners, and management accountants.
- How many forensic accounting majors get jobs?
According to the BLS, many accounting careers will experience job growth over the next ten years. The BLS projects 5% growth for forensic analysts and 3% growth for budget analysts between 2019 and 2029. Many forensic accounting majors find careers in these growing fields.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in forensic accounting?
The BLS found that accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $71,550 in 2019. Financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $81,590 in the same year. Keep in mind that salary outlook differs based on location and experience.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in forensic accounting?