Investigative Accounting & Litigation Support: Programs in Forensic Accounting

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Want to take up accounting and have a keenness for solving cases and tracking illicit activities? Do cases that involve fraud, disputes, money laundering and other illegal financial activities never fail to pique your interest?

If so, forensic accounting might be the right field for you.

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is a branch of accounting that is involved in investigating fraudulent activities, disputes, and litigations. It analyzes and reviews the information used in legal proceedings.

It consists of two branches, namely:

  • Investigative accounting – This focuses on criminal matters. It covers cases like fraud and theft. It coordinates with other experts who are also covering the investigations. It also provides assistance in recovery and protection of assets, may it be through criminal persecution or civil acts.
  • Litigation support – This deals with anything that would cause economic damages. It collects and reviews documentations, damage reports, and contracts. It also offers assistance regarding negotiations and settlements.

Opportunities in Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting is becoming more in demand. This is to ensure the public’s intolerance on fraud and other illicit activities. Aside from large accounting firms, forensic accountants can find opportunities in the government, in law firms, and in consulting firms.

The average salary of forensic accountants is $67,190 annually. This may vary depending on the educational attainment and work experience.


Some schools offer an edge in Forensic Accounting. This is, of course, to train aspiring forensic accountants in this field. It offers both bachelor and graduate school degrees.

Forensic accounting offers foundational courses to those who want to take it up. Examples of these subjects are:

  • Financial and Managerial Accounting
  • Law
  • Auditing
  • Insurance and Risk
  • Cyber Forensics

They also offer certificates for those who are already working in the accounting field. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) strongly recommends having a forensic accounting education certificate to its practioners.

Certified Forensic Accountant (Cr.FA)

The Certified Forensic Accountant is a comprehensive exam wherein it gauges your knowledge regarding litigation services, valuations, cyber security issues, forensic accounting, and fraud.

If you wish to take this examination, the American Board of Forensic Accounting (ABFA) offers an online interactive training and review for you.

The examination is conducted online, hence it generate questions from its database randomly.

In order to pass, the examinee must have a score of at least 70% or higher on each subject.

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

The Certified Fraud Examiner is a credential given by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

CFEs are professionals who are trained to identify the red flags of fraud and develop systems to prevent it.

To obtain this credential, the examinee must undergo an examination consisting of 500 questions. This examination covers four parts: Law, Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Investigation, and Financial Transactions and Fraud schemes.


There are schools that offer specialization in this field within the United States like Waynesburg University and Southern New Hampshire University.

If you wish to have expertise in this field, why not go ahead and browse through our large database of universities!

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