The work of financial investigation refers to the use of scientific application in the accounts aspect, which can be used as an evidence in the court of law. Forensic accounting certification is mandatory in order to work in this field. The certificate can be obtained from any college or university conducting a course in forensics.
Forensic accounting can be defined as, "The utilization of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to conduct an examination into a company's financial statements." Hence, it involves detailed scrutiny of all the documents, evidence, and financial statements of a company or organization.
Required Certification and Personal Attributes
Getting a certificate is an added qualification which can improve your skills and competence in the field. Forensic accountants study fingerprints, verify evidence, investigate, and prepare necessary data to be presented in the court of law. They may also have to interview people involved in a particular case.
- To be a forensic accountant, one needs to possess strong analytical and communication skills.
- One must be watchful, able to detect discrepancy, and provide necessary proof in the court of law.
- One must possess a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting.
- One also needs to have an industry certificate and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) appellation (CPA license is necessary and it can be obtained by completing 150 hours of education in college, which is equivalent to a bachelor's and master's level degree).
- Certificates such as Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or the Forensic Examiner diplomat are required.
The Forensic Accounting Certification is an accreditation, that will identify your knowledge, education, skills, and competency. It will also ascertain the fact that you have met all the requirements of the State Board of Accountancy. Due to an increase in the number of white-collar crimes, these professionals are in great demand. You can acquire a good position in an organization based on your experience and certification.
Crimes in Finance
There are several types of crimes that can be committed in an organization such as:
- Misappropriation of Goods: In this fraud, the people of the company, make inaccurate financial inputs for the products such as changing the stock or changing the figures in the purchase or sales vouchers.
- Misappropriation of Cash: It means fraud related to cash. It is mostly committed by employees who handle day-to-day cash transactions in the organization. There might be omission or addition of amount details from the cash book.
- Misappropriation of Account Statements: This type of crime is committed by people who hold a good position in the organization and manage financial matters. In these cases, the statements of the organization such as profit and loss accounts and balance sheets are altered.
As a forensic accountant, you can either work in an organization or as a freelancer. The salary is quite high as compared to a normal accountant, due to the litigation processes involved. Such people work in various positions such as:
- Defense Department Auditor
- Internal Auditor
- Valuator of closely held businesses
- Chief Financial Officer
- Bankruptcy Specialist
- Defense Department Auditor
- GAO Auditor