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Graduate Certificate Programs in Forensic Accounting Overview

Majors Overview May 4, 2015

Get information about graduate certificate programs in forensic accounting and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

Information on Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate Programs

In addition to accountants, graduate certificate programs in forensic accounting are also useful to law enforcement officials, business owners, fraud examiners, and lawyers.

Forensic accounting graduate certificate programs are available through many schools in wholly online or on-campus formats. Basic auditing and accounting principles augment these programs. Students could be taught to detect financial corruption or individual fraud within an organization; accordingly, students’ analytical abilities are honed.

Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program in forensic accounting may have to complete a project; real-life fraud investigations may have to be performed in such projects. Program graduates can seek professional certification offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners by passing a multiple-part exam.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants to some schools are expected to submit minimum graduate test scores or a minimum grade point average. Submission of letters of recommendation and a personal essay may also be requirements.

Coursework

Students need three to four classes to complete graduate certificate programs in forensic accounting. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Financial statement analysis
•Legal support strategies for forensic accountants
•Understanding corporate policies and processes
•Examining foundations in financial fraud
•Examining computer files

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 13% has been predicted for accountants and auditors, including forensic accountants (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these workers brought in an average annual wage of $63,550, with the top 10% of employees earning $111,510 per annum in that year (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Forensic accountants can pursue continuing education to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field by obtaining an industry certification. For example, a Certified Fraud Examiner title is offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners to individuals satisfying minimum education requirements after they obtain membership to the association and successfully take a four-part exam. Similarly, a Forensic Certified Public Accountant designation is offered by the Forensic CPA Society. Certification is only maintainable through completion of continuing education requirements.

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