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A Look at Forensic Accountants

Forensic Accountants are certified accountants who happen to work in a very interesting and exciting arena. Before you start thinking of forensics in the gory, bloody sense, in this case it does refer to the investigation of criminal activity but in a financial sense.

A Forensic Accountant’s job entails performing regular financial examinations or audits that will help to prevent fraud. They need to be able to spot suspicious behaviour or activity even before it happens. They have to work to do all they can to prevent theft, money laundering and other fraud while also being able to spot, investigate and report criminal acts within the organization they work for. Another big part of the Forensic Accountant’s job is to be able to report their findings accurately in a court of law as needed.

They’re training not only entails all of the same information required by certified accountants but they also need to be on top of all of the latest financial reporting systems, have a strong understanding an awareness of current laws and be prepared to work closely with other investigators and prosecutors.  On top of being certified accountants, to work as a Forensic Accountant they also need to have at least two years of work experience as an accountant or auditor. And in some instances, if a Forensics Accountant wants to become a Certified Fraud Examiner they need to have their BA as well as two years working in fraud prevention, investigation or detection and then pass a specialized four part exam to obtain their CFE license.

The use of Forensic Accountants is becoming more prevalent each year. Technology has made fraud easier than ever which in turn has led to Forensic Accountants having to do a lot more than just spot and investigate fraud but they now also have to be savvy enough to offer solutions and even help to develop programs and practices that will help to deter fraudulent activity. They certainly have their work cut out for them!