Forensic Accounting Schools – 9 Top Choices
Forensic accounting was recently listed as one of the top 20 hottest careers, and many schools offer forensic accounting programs. Many multi-million dollar scandals, combined with the current state of the economy have caused many corporate executives to more thoroughly examine financial records than ever before. Those two things, along with changes and additions to accounting requirements have led to the high demand for forensic accountants.
What is Forensic Accounting?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines forensic as “belonging to, used in or suitable to courts of judicature or to public discussion and debate.” Forensic accounting provides an accounting analysis that is appropriate for use in a court of law, which forms the basis of discussion and debate and, eventually, dispute resolution. Forensic accounting includes litigation support and investigative accounting. Forensic accountants use accounting, auditing and investigative skills to conduct investigations. Forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers, and they must have the ability to respond immediately, and to communicate financial information concisely in a courtroom setting.
Forensic Accounting Schools
Several schools offer forensic accounting programs, both online and in the classroom. Here is a list of some of the top forensic accounting schools offering certificates and/or degrees.
1. Post University Online
Post University Online is a fully accredited university that offers a Forensic Accounting Certificate. It promotes itself as a great place to start an accounting career, with small classes that ensure individual attention to the student. Many state and federal government agencies hire individuals who possess a forensic accounting certificate. Find out more about the certificate program on their website, located here.
Post University is located in Waterbury, Connecticut and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commissions on Institutions of Higher Education.
Contact the Admissions Office at 1.800.345.2562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Tech is an online university offering a Bachelor of Science in Financial Forensics, with completion in as little as 17 months. Students learn to apply skills of finance, accounting, management, mathematics and criminal justice to communicate relevant financial forensic issues and develop a plan for detecting and preventing financial fraud. Specialized courses that focus on investigations of money laundering, terrorist financing and forensic accounting gives students they skills they need for forensic accounting positions.
Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. To find out more, visit their website.
Contact: TOLL FREE: 1-866-942-6555
3. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, offers an MBA in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, consisting of 13 courses designed for the serious accounting professional. The program is offered online or on campus.
Southern University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Visit their website for more information.
4. Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University offers a Master of Accounting in Forensic Accounting both online and on campus. Courses include Fraud Examination Concepts, Litigation Services in Forensic Accounting, Forensic Accounting and the Legal Environment, Forensic Accounting, Fraud and Taxation, among others. The degree can be either completed online or by visiting their Saturday morning lectures, or by doing both.
By the end of the two-year program, students will have a solid knowledge of fraud investigation, dispute resolution, litigation support, money laundering investigation and other types of criminal investigation. Students receive comprehensive academic assistance and 24/7 IT technical support assistance.
The College of Business at Florida Atlantic University is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), one of only 149 institutions worldwide accredited through the doctoral level. For more information, visit the FAU website.
Contact: Majory Moise
phone: (561) 297-3002
phone: (877) 248-3133
5. Otterbein University
Otterbein University’s MBA program offers a concentration in Fraud Examination. Some of the courses included are Fraud Examination, Investigation Methods and Interviewing, Criminology and Legal Aspects and Forensic Accounting.
Otterbein is located in Westerville, Ohio and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission North Central Association and the Ohio Board of Regents. To find out more about the forensic accounting schools and their programs, visit their website.
Contact: Phone 614.823.1556
6. Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College offers an Associate in Accounting – Financial Investigations. This degree program includes traditional accounting courses, such as Intermediate Accounting, as well as criminal justice courses, including Financial Investigation, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and Criminal Law and Procedures: Crime and the Courtroom. More information about this online program can be found here.
Rasmussen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
7. Carlow University
Carlow University offers an Associate in Forensic Accounting degree. Courses include general accounting courses, as well as criminal justice courses, such as Criminology and Ethics, The Law and Fraud, Fraud Investigation Techniques, Fraud Examination, and more.
Carlow University also offers a Forensic Accounting Certificate, requiring 42 credits for those who have not earned an accounting degree. Those with an accounting degree can obtain the Forensic Accounting Certificate with only 12 credits.
Carlow University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. To find out more on their forensic accounting programs, visit the Carlow University website.
CollegeAmerica offers a Bachelors of Science in Accounting with a Forensic Accounting Emphasis degree. This online program is a 36-month program which may be completed in as little as 30 months. To find out more about the program, visit their website.
CollegeAmerica is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).
9. Utica College
Utica College offers an online Financial Crimes Investigator Certificate. The certificate covers criminal justice and forensic accounting, giving the student the skills necessary to identify and reduce small financial crimes in the workplace. The certificate requires just 18 credit hours. To see a list of required courses, follow this link.
Utica College also offers an online Bachelors of Science in Economic Crime Investigation degree. The curriculum includes financial and managerial accounting courses, as well as courses to learn forensic techniques that help investigators uncover and solve financial crimes.
Some of the courses included are Introduction to Criminal Justice, Economic Crime Theory, Law of Economic Crime, Criminology, Fraud Prevention and Detection Techniques, Forensic Accounting and Fraud Auditing, as well as several others. A 6 to 15 hour credit internship is required for students that are not currently employed in the fraud or law enforcement industry. The degree requires a minimum of 126 credits. More information about the degree can be found here.
Utica College is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Contact: (866) 295-3106
The career outlook for the forensic accountant is excellent, and the pay isn’t too bad either! Most forensic accountants start out with a salary between $40,000 and $80,000, and many of them work their way up to six figure incomes. Check out the forensic accounting schools listed above and see if one is right for you.