Forensic accountants are the investigators of the accounting world, utilizing their critical abilities to cover cases of fraud, mistakes, ethical concerns and other often neglected areas in traditional accounting.
Forensic accounting is a growing profession, and one of the reasons for its increasing necessity is that we live in the post-Enron world, one where companies can no longer afford a scandal.
CPA and Forensic Jobs Are in Demand
CPA level accountants will always be in high demand, particularly if they specialize in a specific field. This is a trend that has been observed to be growing. Forensic accounting is a unique specialty, and will be of high interest to a company that wants to thoroughly analyze its books. Working in this field, not only has excellent earning potential, but also an exciting atmosphere with beneficial effects for the economy.
Most accountants work a set number of hours, but as you might figure out, the work project is paramount and in the event of a high profile case, there might be a deadline involved. This may require longer hours. The industry is a welcoming one, and yet it does involve some social skills.
You have to work with other professionals in a variety of departments, from IT specialists to the legal department to the executive level. In fact, your ability to prove certification, experience, and knowledge as a CPA will directly affect your salary.
Certification and Pressing Beyond the Standard
Seeking out certification is the best possible move, and this involves putting it a number of hours and then contacting the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The organization, not to mention your employer, will scrutinize the school you graduate from, ensuring proper accreditation and the degree.
CPAs are also obligated to pass a standardized test and continue to meet high standards every year, thereafter certification. To increase the likelihood of being hired try to attend the many seminars, events, classes and other supplemental learning programs that are given to CPAs.
Forensic accountants make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, though the most experienced and trusted professionals can command a salary of $150,000 per year or greater. The size of the business cannot be underestimated, as this will directly reflect the available salary. Locations, especially big cities with huge economies, are the best option to aim for.
Having knowledge of new accounting laws will certainly paint you in a positive light to employers, who are not merely interested in basic accounting and auditing skills, but also want to know that you keep up to date with all the legal requirements that control the profession.
For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is important to the field and has actually created more jobs than is traditionally required. The stricter the laws, the greater the need for career professionals with training.
You need not limit your options, since workers are finding career openings in multiple sub-fields, such as law enforcement, government offices, the IRS, non-profit companies, banks and doctor’s offices.
The market is booming and the work is exciting when compared to the traditional bookkeeping job description. If you have the will to excel, this is a great career choice.