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Degree Overview: Associate of Forensic Accounting

Majors Overview June 2, 2013

In this article, students will learn more about the associate degree program in forensic accounting, as well as gain information on certification options, career prospects, courses, and requirements to make an informed decision about their education.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Forensic Accounting Degree

An A.A.S. in Forensic Accounting degree program prepares students to work with financial data to prevent financial wrongdoing, identify white-collar criminals, and investigate crimes by setting up secure auditing and accounting systems. Community college’s department of business or criminal justice usually offers these types of degree programs. The associate degree program generally takes two years to complete, if students are enrolled full-time. Students are required to have a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma to enter into the associate degree program in forensic accounting.

Program Course Topics

In the associate degree program, students will take a mix of accounting, criminal justice, and business courses. Program course topics may include the following:

•Asset recovery
•Legal elements of fraud
•White collar fraud
•Fraud examination
•Organizational audit procedures
•Financial principles
•Managerial accounting
•Financial accounting
•Personal income tax
•Criminal justice

Career Options

Individuals are required to obtain a bachelor degree in accounting in order to work as an accountant, but with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate and a bachelor’s degree, individuals will qualify for various careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Students can pursue the following career options:

•Accountant
•Auditor
•Internal fraud examiner

Professional Certification and Continuing Education

Students can transfer credits earned in an associate degree program to a four-year bachelor degree program in accounting that is offered at most universities in the United States. The bachelor degree program usually offered as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration with a focus on accounting, and universities typically offer these degree programs through their School of Business. Other possibility is a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in forensic accounting. The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential is offered to individuals who qualify by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). First, individuals are required to join as an associate member, and then they are required to submit a recommendation form, academic transcripts, and a CFE examination application. The certification will be valid unless an individual allows their membership in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners to lapse.

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