Schools and Colleges with Forensic Auditing Programs

Forensic auditing, also called forensic accounting, is the practice of examining the books and financial histories of businesses for acts of fraud or misconduct. Forensic auditors combine the skills of accountants and investigators. Certificate programs and bachelor's and master's degrees are available in the field.

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How to Choose a Forensic Auditing School

Forensic accountants and auditors investigate corporate misconduct and financial scandal. Programs to prepare individuals for this career are available at various colleges and universities.

Summary of Characteristics

  • Career goals
  • Certification prep
  • Practical applications

Career Goals

Many schools offer forensic accounting courses or minors within an accounting field of study, though a few include undergraduate majors and graduate-level programs specifically in forensic accounting. Students should evaluate their career goals to determine the level of broad or explicit training they desire.

Certification Prep

Some schools seek to prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants and for the widely recognized Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) credential offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Students with a degree in forensic accounting and sufficient experience qualify for the CFE credential and should feel confident taking the certification exam.

Practical Applications

Since forensic auditing deals with both legal principles and accounting practices, schools that stage mock trials and investigations to acquaint their students with the legal processes offer relevant experience that prepares students for a career. Some programs include opportunities to work on consulting projects through school-sponsored activities or internship participation. Students that place a high level of importance on practical application during academic training may choose to find programs that include these options.

Forensic Auditing Program Overviews

Certificate in Forensic Accounting

Professionals in legal or accounting fields can enroll in a continuing education or graduate certificate program in forensic accounting. Some programs require a bachelor's degree and allow credit to be applied toward graduate studies. Courses cover topics in:

  • Terrorist financing
  • Fraud detection
  • Legal consulting
  • Corporate tax law

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting

Bachelor's degree programs include four years of study that introduce basic accounting principles with fraud investigation techniques. Some schools offer a dual-degree option, allowing students to earn a bachelor's and master's degree simultaneously. Often, undergraduate studies and programs focus on or include a broad foundational knowledge base in accounting with supplemental instruction in forensic auditing. Specific coursework can include:

  • Accounting and control
  • Micro and macro fraud examination
  • Forensic interviews and interrogations
  • Fraudulent financial reporting
  • White collar crime

Master of Science in Forensic Accounting

Applicants to a master's degree program in forensic accounting, sometimes offered as a Master of Business Administration degree with a forensic accounting concentration, usually must have a bachelor's degree in an accounting field. Graduates of a master's degree program usually satisfy the necessary education and practical experience requirements mandated by the state to take the Certified Public Accountant exam. Courses expose students to the technical tools used for investigation. Other topics include:

  • White collar crime
  • Tax fraud
  • Legal regulations in forensic auditing
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