What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Forensic Accounting?

A master's degree program in forensic accounting can prepare students for forensic accounting careers with law firms and educational institutions. Keep reading to learn more about this job opportunity. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Certified Public Accountant

To become a Certified Forensic Accountant (Cr.FA), an individual must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which requires that he or she passes the CPA exam. Most states require individuals to have at least 150 credit hours to take the CPA exam. Since most undergraduate programs only require students to earn approximately 120 credit hours, students must earn an additional 30 credit hours, and many choose to do so in a master's degree program.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median PayThe median annual pay for general accountants and auditors in 2018 was $70,500.
Key SkillsForensic accountants must have good interpersonal communication skills, verbal and written communication skills, must pay attention to detail, have integrity, be adept at analysis, and be able to work independently.
Work EnvironmentForensic accountants can work in consulting firms, public accounting firms, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and more.
Similar OccupationsAccountants, Auditors, Financial Analysts, Law Enforcement Officers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants apply accounting principles to legal situations. They often work with law enforcement officials and attorneys during investigations and act as expert witnesses during trials. Their work typically focuses on white-collar crimes, like the following:

  • Embezzlement
  • Bribery
  • Fraud
  • Money laundering

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that continuously improving technology is making it easier for people to commit white-collar crimes, so the need for forensic accountants should continue to increase (www.bls.gov). While the BLS doesn't have job outlook figures specific to forensic accountants, it does report that opportunities for accountants and auditors in general are expected to increase 10% from 2016-2026, which is faster than average. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $70,500, as of May 2018.

Other Career Options

Individuals who don't want to work as forensic accountants might be qualified to teach business or accounting classes in high schools and some community colleges. Job opportunities for those with a master's degree in forensic accounting also might be available in the following fields:

  • Finance
  • Management
  • Criminal justice
  • Psychology
  • Law

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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