Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting

Read on for information on graduate certificate programs that can prepare you for a career as a forensic accountant. This field is designed for individuals interested in preventing financial fraud at a company. Continue reading to find out the program prerequisites, career options and distance learning opportunities. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Learn While Obtaining a Forensic Accounting Graduate Certificate?

Earning a graduate certificate in forensic accounting provides you with the training and skills to recognize and prevent financial fraud. Courses in this program can help you understand characteristics of fraud, methods for prevention and the role of information technology in forensic accounting. You may learn about common fraud schemes, investigative techniques and the legal aspects of fraud.

Classes are usually offered on weekends, weeknights or at other times that are convenient to working professionals, depending on the school you choose. The certificate programs vary by school, but most require completion of four to six classes that can be finished in as little as 9 weeks or up to 1 year.

Program GoalsLearn to recognize and prevent financial fraud by improving investigative techniques and understanding common fraud schemes
Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree, GMAT or GRE results in most cases, work experience, prerequisite courses in accounting and auditing
Online AvailabilityCertificate can be completed entirely online
Job Outlook (2016-2026)10% growth (for accountants and auditors)*
Median Salary (2018)$70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Prerequisites?

To obtain a graduate certificate you will need a bachelor's degree and will have to take the GMAT or GRE. Requirements vary, but some schools don't require these graduate entry exams if you possess a CPA certificate or law degree. Some programs require work experience or prerequisite courses in accounting principles, auditing and accounting systems, which must be taken prior to beginning the program. In some situations, work experience can exempt you from this requirement.

Is This Program Available Online?

The forensic accounting graduate certificate is available through online study. The curriculum is similar to on-campus study, and you learn through such means as discussion boards with other students, podcasts of professors' lectures and presentations via streaming video. Other schools may offer online graduate certificates in accounting that include courses in forensic accounting.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Forensic accountants can examine financial evidence, work with law enforcement to investigate financial misconduct or testify as expert witnesses. Some accountants investigate securities fraud, embezzlement and money laundering activities. Most major accounting and auditing firms employ forensic accountants, and some law enforcement agencies have them on staff as well. They can also work as independent consultants.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants should increase by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026 - faster than the average. Some of this growth is due to companies placing greater importance on accountability and fraud elimination ( According to the, forensic accountants earned a median salary of $65,760 in 2019.

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:

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