Perhaps you’ve seen those companies that are suddenly in the spotlight, revealed to have been making fraudulent moves to bilk hundreds or thousands out of millions of dollars. Students enrolled in a Forensic Accounting MBA program will study how to become just like the people that often reveal the true machinations of these large corporations. Students of this field will learn to detect and prevent fraudulent financial statements and study the legal ramifications of fraudulent activity, investigations involving computer usage, interview techniques, as well as other career-related courses.
What does a Forensic Accountant do?
Forensic accountants investigate what most people know by the term white collar crime, including crimes like embezzlement, money laundering, bankruptcies, and more. Their jobs are to know how to look for, identify, and prevent wrongdoing inside companies. A forensic accounting not only knows the ins and outs of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting, and financing, but is also familiar with investigation processes and laws. They often times work in close contact with both law enforcement and legal counsel and appear as expert witnesses during trials.
How do you know if this is the right path for you?
A career in forensic accounting is best suited to anyone with a financial or accounting background, who not only enjoys numbers but who also feels a compulsion to find wrongs and right them.
Students in a Forensic Accounting MBA program share certain similarities, including:
- A penchant for probing data and/or information
- An enjoyment of identifying objects, conduct, and events
- A taste for updating and using pertinent knowledge
- A knack for establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships
- A liking for obtaining information
How to gain admission into a Forensic Accounting MBA program
Schools will look at several areas when you apply for a spot in their Forensic Accounting MBA program, including:
- Possession of an undergraduate degree. Ideal degrees may be in finance, business administration, international business, or certified public accounting, but they are not required
- Work experience
- Academic transcripts
- Letters of recommendation or references from previous teachers or employers
- Personal interviews
Schools that offer Forensic Accounting MBA programs are generally still only available in small numbers, with most programs being offered as online courses in the U.S. A sampling of these programs is:
- Southern New Hampshire University
- University of South Florida – St. Petersburg
- Arizona State University – W.P. Carey School of Business
- Jones International University – Online
Online MBA Options
Here, you can explore some of the options available when you look for an online MBA in Accounting include a specialization or focus in Forensic Accounting:
- *Online MBA in Forensic Accounting – Southern New Hampshire University – (Editor’s Pick!) – Train to investigate, detect and stop financial fraud with our MBA in Forensic Accounting. The Forensic Accounting Master of Business Administration at Southern New Hampshire University is a uniquely flexible program that offers an entire Forensic Accounting course load available part time or full time. You can get through most of the courses in an accelerated format allowing you to complete them in eleven weeks. The program does not require the GRE or the GMAT as a standard of deciding who is allowed to enter, so you can get started even if you are a mid-career professional who has not taken standardized tests.
- Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination Graduate Certificate Online – West Virginia University – The West Virginia University Online program in Forensic Accounting is one of the only programs of its kind that focuses specifically and exclusively on the forensic aspect of Accounting, rather than requiring a student to take extra courses in order to earn that designation. Topics include fraud examination, white collar crime, financial reporting and civil litigation. You will be able to combine this credential with virtually any of the MBA programs and other graduate programs that you might find in Accounting, since it is offered as a master’s certificate. The entire course load for the certificate is only four classes, allowing you to complete your new credential in two semesters.
- Executive Master of Accounting with Concentration in Forensic Accounting Online – Florida Atlantic University – This Forensic Accounting program lasts for two years and includes a unique format allowing online students to listen in to lectures on their iPads or other mobile devices. One of the most comprehensive programs of its kind, it provides knowledge in a wide range of areas of Forensic Accounting and fraud investigation. These can include fraud prevention, litigation support, valuation, money laundering, testimony as an expert, and other areas related to participating in criminal investigations. This program attracts professionals from all over the world and is known for its welcoming and inclusive environment.
- Forensic Accounting Programs Including Graduate & Bachelor’s Degree Level Online – Franklin University – The Franklin University program in Forensic Accounting focuses on helping students to understand the regulatory requirements behind the financial world so that they can act as a key piece of an organization’s compliance structure. Forensic compliance specialists help organizations to avoid millions or even tens of millions in potential fines by ensuring that all of their Accounting practices meet the high standards set by the federal government in the wake of the Enron scandal. Like students in other programs, they will also be prepared to offer litigation support and deal with other matters related to uncovering and stopping white collar crime.
This field of work is predicted to continue to flourish through 2018, by a healthy 22%, faster than is normal for other fields of employment. This is mainly due to the fact the continued increase of company and employee crimes, including crimes of embezzlement, fraud, theft, money laundering. Jobs remain in demand, also, based on the fact that these crimes are receiving much more interest and visibility in the last decade, beginning with the revelation that the 911 terrorists used the banking systems to filter money. And, as more and more companies become increasingly visible and as the economy struggles to regain its footing, more and more precautions are being taken to make certain business dealings remain without suspicion.
A graduate of a Forensic Accounting MBA program can be looking forward to career paths that make take them into large internationally run corporations, consulting, teaching, and even into job paths like the FBI.
Most students who have successfully completed their forensic accounting MBA program can look forward to earning anywhere from $125,000 to $150,000 annually, with final numbers being somewhat dependent upon location and employer. In larger metropolitan areas, you are going to most always make considerably more than you would be working in a more urban location.