Masters in Forensic Accounting Programs are specialized accounting programs that may help graduate students, accounting and security professionals cultivate the accounting skills necessary to develop expertise and competency to investigate fraud or embezzlement and to analyze financial information for use in legal and court proceedings. If you have a Bachelor's degree in accounting, this may be a great way to leverage your analytical skills and create a potential career niche.
As a student of forensic accounting, you have the opportunity to focus your master’s degree on the exciting and often complex integration of accounting, audit, legal and investigative skills in the prevention, detection and investigation of financial fraud and dispute resolution. Masters in Forensic Accounting programs usually take 1 to 2 years, and may involve hands on learning, graduate admissions testing and accounting experience. The typical prerequisite for admissions is a Bachelor's degree preferably in forensic accounting, business or finance.
Forensic accounting, or financial forensics is a specialized area of accounting that uses accounting skills such as auditing to investigate fraud or embezzlement and to analyze financial information for use in legal proceedings. In a Masters in Forensic Accounting program, students may learn how forensic accounting principles can be applied to complex financial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies and contract disputes. Furthermore, you may study how results of forensic accounting reports are used in court cases to prosecute white-collar criminals.
Forensic accountants are professionals who work with law enforcement personnel and lawyers to assist in investigating and prosecuting individuals for crimes such as financial
fraud or other illegal activities. The two major areas in this discipline that a specialist helps with are litigation support and investigative accounting. An example of litigation support is quantifying economic damages such as the loss created by a breach of contract. Investigative supporting might cover a variety of areas such as insurance or securities fraud or employee theft. Particularly with investigative accounting, the forensic accountant is part detective and searches for clues to solve a mystery. Forensic accountants also provide support in other interesting areas – for example cybercrime.
At the master's degree level, forensic accounting programs are most often found as a Master of Science in Forensic Accounting (MSFA), or an Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in forensic accounting. Choosing a program should reflect whether you are interested in emphasizing expertise in accounting in general with knowledge in forensic accounting, or making the focus on forensic accounting itself.
If you know you are interested in a campus-based program, you can initiate for masters in forensic accounting schools by location using the city, state or country tabs on the GradSchools.com site. If distance-learning is more feasible for you, choose to search through online masters in forensic accounting. Some of the sponsored listings might include Masters in Investigations, MS in Accounting with a concentration in Forensic Accounting/Fraud Investigation, MS in Accounting – Forensic Accounting, Executive Masters of Accounting in Forensic Accounting or MBA-Forensic Accounting Programs.
Students in a master’s degree program in Forensic Accounting might expect to cover important principles in legal, business and accounting. In addition to coursework, forensic accounting programs often include a practical and hands-on component that includes simulation exercises to help students put their acquired skills to use. Depending on the employer and job, forensic accounting graduates may also be required to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This may help you when you start the process of reviewing programs.
Some of the coursework that students might find in a Master of Science in Forensic Accounting (MSFA) program may include:
FACT: “Forensic” means “suitable for use in a court of law”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for accountants will grow by 11% between 2014 and 2124. If you would enjoy combining your knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques, start reviewing masters degrees in Forensic Accounting on GradSchools.com today!