Forensic accountants working on a case
Mar 12, 2019 | Tiffany McKee

The job outlook for Forensic Accountants is strong as fraud continues to increase and evolve. A 2018 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners report found that a typical organization loses five percent of annual revenue to fraud each year. It is the job of forensic accountants to uncover evidence of these illegal activities and provide actionable findings to bring perpetrators to justice. Demand for investigative accountants is predicted to grow by 20 percent while the accounting field as a whole is expected to rise by 13 percent according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stevenson University Online’s Master of Science and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Forensic Accounting programs address the need for skilled professionals with knowledge regarding financial reporting and fraud prevention.

Certified forensic accountants earn on average 25 percent more than their uncertified colleagues. The Stevenson University Online Forensic Accounting programs provide students with the necessary accounting and auditing skills to investigate and analyze financial evidence and to interpret, summarize and communicate their findings in a court setting. Our graduates are equipped with necessary skills in the areas of asset protection and financial reporting. Our forensic accounting professionals are prepared for success in a wide variety of industries including government agencies, accounting firms, legal firms, corporate security, and consulting firms. Read below for details about each industry.

Government Departments

Forensic accountants help protect and track mission critical assets for government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, and IRS. Stevenson graduates are trained to find crime by tracking financial findings and search for evidence of criminal conduct. Our trained professionals have experience with summarizing and communicating their findings in a courtroom setting. Responsibilities for government roles include:

  • Investigating financial history
  • Creating financial profiles of suspicious individuals
  • Tracking illicit funding sources and gathering evidence
  • Compiling financial investigative reports
  • Testifying as expert witnesses

Accounting Firms

Stevenson graduates are employed by accounting firms of all sizes as demand expands. Forensic accountants utilize the auditing skill-set while providing the investigative abilities of a detective. Professionals have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as fraud examination and litigation support. Typical job functions include:

  • Quantifying financial losses due to crime
  • Collecting evidence and uncovering fraud
  • Translating data into actionable analysis
  • Testifying in court

Law Firms

Forensic accountant duties include examining documentation of financial transactions to determine business value and revealing fraud through detailed analysis. Litigation often involves overlapping and complex accounting and legal issues. By having a certified forensic accountant on staff, firms are able to offer clients more advanced services and cost savings. Functions of these professionals include:

  • Conducting investigative audits
  • Simplifying language of financial findings
  • Acting as an in-house consultant
  • Finding financial experts for testimony

Corporate Security & Risk Management

Graduates of the master’s and certificate programs in Forensic Accounting are able to effectively identify risk areas and present organizations with improved fraud prevention practices. Forensic accountants in this industry review business processes to determine security threats and provide strategies on how to manage risk. Professionals design processes to strengthen internal controls to protect stakeholders. Responsibilities include:

  • Auditing financial statements for risk
  • Ensuring organizational compliance
  • Protecting financial assets
  • Analyzing external influences on profits and operations

Financial Consulting Firms

Forensic investigators assist in translating complex financial issues into concise analysis. Our forensic accountant graduates are prepared to assist clients with interviews, offer oral or written testimony, and conduct analysis of books and records, fraud analytics, e-discovery, and digital forensics. Professionals have deep technical knowledge and also serve as monitors and independent reviewers. Other tasks for this role include:

  • Reconstructing financial records
  • Addressing embezzlement allegations
  • Assessing corruption and vulnerability to fraud
  • Conducting interviews

The Stevenson University Online Master of Science in Forensic Accounting trains professional to assess fraud risk, evaluate financial evidence, and effectively communicate conclusions during legal proceedings. Developed for experienced working professionals and recent college graduates alike, Stevenson’s graduate program is offered fully online. Courses are taught by practicing forensic accountants and center on synthesizing auditing, accounting, computer, and investigative analyses into clear, defensible conclusions. Stevenson University Online also offers an 18-credit, online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Forensic Accounting. Our graduates receive distinctive learning experiences to prepare them for successful Forensic Accounting careers.

Forensics, Law, & Criminal Justice