The forensic accounting field requires analytical expertise, investigative skills, attention to detail, strong communication and a curious mind. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) online in Forensic Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) will strengthen your background in accounting while you learn about financial investigative techniques.
Graduates will enter the job market with strong skills to transition into forensic accounting positions or management roles with accounting firms, government agencies, risk management companies, security providers and financial consulting firms. With a solid foundation in investigation and occupational fraud prevention, litigation support services, economics, management, marketing, strategic planning and the use of technology to discover fraud, you can set yourself apart in a crowded and competitive job market.
Career Options for Forensic Accounting Grads
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) describes a forensic accountant as professionals who "combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills in various litigation support and
investigative accounting settings." Various public and private businesses, governmental agencies, law firms, accounting houses and more employ forensic accountants.
According to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), forensic accountants can provide their findings and research to courtrooms, boardrooms and other legal venues. Here are a few options about who to work for if you have an MBA in forensic accounting:
- Government agencies. The Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation all employ forensic accountants. These professionals participate in investigating financial crimes involving healthcare, corporations, financial institutions, mortgages and securities and commodities fraud. In some cases, forensic accountants apply their skills to cybercrime, counterintelligence, organized crime, counterterrorism, violent crime and public corruption investigations. Forensic accountants also examine, communicate, testify and collaborate with those in private industry and other governmental agencies.
- Accounting firms. Forensic accountants can work for accounting firms and quantify financial losses, uncover fraud and perform computer forensics. Most large accounting firms have a special forensic accounting division where forensic accounting professionals will provide their expertise with a client base that ranges from financial institutions, commercial corporations and government agencies.
- Corporate security/risk management field. Forensic accountants in the corporate security and risk management field protect financial assets, secure corporate compliance, perform audits and analyze financial law while helping business avoid financial risk. In addition, forensic accountants can help companies avoid embezzlement or loss and recover funds.
- Law firms. Forensic accountants that a law firm employs can act as consultants and conduct audits. They help investigate fraud, money laundering, financial compliance requirements and other types of white-collar crimes. They aid and accompany lawyers in the courtroom and testify to support their findings.
- Financial consulting businesses. Financial accountants use their accounting practices, investigation and auditing skills to investigate fraud and embezzlement, analyze financial records and assess vulnerability within the business.
Forensic accountants aren't just for large government agencies or corporations. Many small businesses employ forensic accountants. These businesses recognize the importance of detecting and preventing financial fraud. The white-collar crimes of money laundering, embezzlement and inventory loss impact small businesses as well. Many need assistance managing finances, preparing paperwork and evidence for litigation cases, gathering information regarding data mining and conducting laboratory analyses of electronic and physical financial fraud.
If you're interested in these exciting career opportunities, a future in forensic accounting may be right for you. The School of Business at UNCP offers multiple start dates each year. The MBA in Forensic Accounting online program will equip you to implement fraud examination, forensic accounting and analysis and economics skills to provide a clear path to your professional goals.
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