Forensic Accounting Major

Forensic accounting students learn how to examine and verify the accuracy of financial statements, determine the presence of fraud and ensure the regulatory compliance of organizations. Read on to learn about program options in forensic accounting, as well as common course topics and career opportunities for graduates. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degrees Can I Earn as a Forensic Accounting Major?

You can declare a forensic accounting major in a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program. Some dual degree programs allow you to earn a bachelor's degree and a graduate degree in five years.

Some master's degree programs also award a major in forensic accounting. Related graduate degree options include a general accounting degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). You may also find forensic accounting offered as a minor.

As a forensic accounting major, you can complete a program online or on campus. You can also choose to enroll in a graduate certificate program if you already have a bachelor's degree.

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degrees, graduate certificates
Key Topics Discussed Financial reporting, generally accepted accounting principles, cost controls, tax returns
Common Courses Federal taxation, asset valuation, recordkeeping, statistics, banking regulation
Possible Careers Revenue agent, auditor, bookkeeping clerk, fraud investigator, budget analyst

What Will I Learn?

As a forensic accounting major, you'll first learn about generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), tax returns, financial reporting and cost controls. This will help you identify potential risks within an organization, defects in cost control mechanisms and instances of fraud or theft. You'll also combine basic accounting knowledge with investigative techniques.

Some programs qualify you to sit for the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exam. General programs that offer a concentration in forensic accounting may prepare you to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

What Courses Will I Take?

Forensic accounting courses focus on securities, banking, theft, negligence and the misallocation of assets. If you haven't completed an accounting program before pursuing a degree in forensic accounting, you'll also take courses that deal with asset valuation, taxes and basic recordkeeping. Otherwise, you can expect to complete courses in:

  • Securities law
  • Banking regulation
  • Accounting in the insurance industry
  • Corporate organization
  • Federal taxation
  • Statistics

What Can I Do With My Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall demand for accountants and auditors is expected to rise by 11% between 2014 and 2024, and demand for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks should decline by eight percent during the same period (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that demand for revenue agents and tax examiners and collectors is expected to decline at a rate of six percent between 2014 and 2024.

Entry into all three of these fields usually requires a bachelor's degree, which you can earn by pursuing a forensic accounting major. The skills you can acquire in a forensic accounting program can also be applied by:

  • Bookkeeping clerks
  • Auditors
  • Fraud investigators
  • Revenue agents
  • Budget analysts

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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