Forensic Accounting Careers

List of Top 3 Careers in Forensic Accounting

Below mentioned are some of the Forensic Accounting Career/Job Roles that a person can reach in his career.

  1. Accountant
  2. Financial Analyst
  3. Financial Fraud Investigator
Forensic Accounting Careers

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Overview of Forensic Accounting Careers

Financial statement fraud keeps on recurring from time to time. Be it be Enron or Lehman Bros; all have their major impact on the economy. There are regular reports of financial statement fraud in the financial press, and all types of financial fraud in the press releases section of the SEC’s website.

Forensic analytics describes the act of obtaining and analyzing electronic data using formulas and statistical techniques to reconstruct, detect, or otherwise support a claim of financial fraud. Forensic accounting and analytics are also to detect accounting errorsAccounting ErrorsAccounting errors refer to the typical mistakes made unintentionally while recording and posting accounting entries. These mistakes should not be considered fraudulent behaviour first-hand as this can happen with anyone and by anyone.read more such as under billing or overpayments.

It is not easy to define a Forensic AccountingForensic AccountingForensic accounting employs a mix of accounting, auditing, and investigative acumen by recording accounting documents, preparing reports, and performing financial analysis for use in legal proceedings. Thus, it provides an accounting analysis from a litigation perspective.read more Job. Professionals like CPAs also struggle with understanding the role of a forensic accountant. In the United Nations, it is compulsory to obtain a license from the respective institute, and then only one can practice as a forensic professional.

Being a federal system of government, in the United States, every state will be having their own set of rules and policies which all the forensic professionals have to follow. Forensic accounting means “To apply specialized skills to collect the data, analyze the data, and evaluate the data both financially and economically, then communicate the findings to the appointed management. As per one of the experts, forensic accounting is both art and science.

Nowadays, many opportunities are getting evolved for forensic accounting jobs. Below are a few profiles related to the forensic accounting career path:

Career #1 – Accountant

An accountant is a master in the preparation of books of account and hence responsible for maintaining the proper accounting records with suitable disclosures needed as per the statute. Their main responsibility is to present the correct picture of the company in the form of financial statementsForm Of Financial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels.read more, i.e., Balance sheet and Profit and loss account.

They are the process owners of the finance department and are solely responsible for maintaining the integrity in the financial transactions without undertaking any kind of window dressing or over/understating the transactions.

Skill Required

  • Knowledge of MS Excel.
  • Knowledge of US GAAP and IFRS.
  • Monthly and quarterly book closure.
  • Consolidation of financials with other subsidiaries and parent companies.

Top Companies Hiring

  • In the USA, Top companies that are hiring Senior Accountant are consultancy firms and companies like EY, KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Clifton Larsen Allen, etc.

Experience

  • Fresher Senior Accountant can earn around $58,000. Senior Accountant with 1-5 years of experience can earn up to $63,000. Senior Accountant with 6-10 years of experience can earn up to $67,000. Senior Accountant with 11-20 years of experience can earn up to $69,000 plus incentives and target based on operating margin. A controller (senior accountant with more than 20 years of experience) can earn up to 88,000 plus incentives and perquisites.

Education

  • A senior accountant should have a master’s degree in accounting.
  • CPA with Bachelor’s degree also gives better flavor in their career.

Positives/Negatives

  • Based on the experience of the Accountant role, a person can grow and pursue a future career as Accounting Manager, Financial Controller, and corporate controller.
  • As the Senior Accountant/controller is having full access to accounts of an entity, there are all possibilities that they will indulge in ill practices of cooking books of accounts, which may lead to financial scams like Enron. So senior accountant should be highly ethical and carry out the work with the utmost integrity.

Career #2 – Financial Analyst

21st Century is the age of information. A person having the information will rule the world. All the person is having data, which can be either in raw form or not in a properly arranged manner. In order to derive the needed information from the data, there will be a need for data scientists who can understand the data, arrange the data and try to obtain the information from it, which will help in obtaining the strategic decisions. Data scientists are none other but Financial data analyst. They are the expert in reading the data, evaluate it, and identifying any anomalies from it, which can help organizations in saving millions of dollars.

Responsibilities

The major responsibilities of Financial analysts:

  1. Data mining and data cleaning.
  2. Use various analysis skills to identify any unwanted happenings.
  3. Handle the data of the company and to analyze it from
    • Statistical
    • Economical
    • Financial viewpoints

Top Companies

  • In the United States, top companies that hire the financial analyst are Amazon.com Inc, Lockheed Martin Corp, Johnson and Johnson, Bank of America Corp, Intel Corp, Verizon Comm.

Salary

  • The average salary of a Financial Analyst in the United States is around $ 65,000 to $ 93,000.

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of Tableau, R.
  • Knowledge of various analytical techniques under statistics and python.
  • Good analytical and forecasting skills.

Experience

  • A fresher Financial Analyst can earn up to $69,000. Financial Analyst with experience of 1-5 years can earn up to $74,000. A Financial Analyst with 6-10 years of experience can earn up to $80,000. A Financial Analyst with 11-20 years of experience can earn up to $84,000.
  • Experience analyst who will be a chief controller or chief analyst who will be directly reporting to the president or they themselves will be president of a company can earn up to $ 89,000 plus incentive and perquisites.

Education

  1. Master’s degree in accounting.
  2. Bachelor’s degree with certificate courses in data analytics and data crunching.

Positives/Negatives

  • A financial analyst is the key data observer of the company. Corporates with a large customer base require the data related to consumption patterns, the trend among the expenditure pattern of the customers, Geo-Location wise demand and supply of goods and services, etc. All this data can be obtained by the usage of appropriate techniques of the analysis.
  • However, the usage of techniques with business or with any preconceived notion will not give fruitful results and may not give the desired results.

Career #3 – Financial Fraud Investigator

The financial marketFinancial MarketThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market forces.read more always has a fear of facing any financial fraud or financial scam, which will not only affect the specific entity in which SCA happens, but it will also highly affect the various fund houses or pension/retirement funds. This leads to great financial depression, which is equally dangerous, just like war with other nations. In order to understand the fraud or scam, there is a huge need to have financial fraud investigators who not only reveal the case but also throw light on the way adopted by a fraudster. All the big financial institutions, Security market regulators, and criminal investigative agencies do require financial fraud investigators.

Responsibilities

The major responsibilities of the Financial fraud investigator are:

  1. To monitor the financial system and analyze the day to day occurrence of events.
  2. To adequately communicate with stakeholders about the issue and present the real picture.
  3. To understand the modus operandi of any fraud and to set up a mechanism that such scenarios cannot repeat in the future.
  4. Identify all kinds of potential loopholes in the system and get it filled with the proper governance process.

Top Companies Hiring

  • In the United States, top companies that hire financial fraud investigators are the Federal Bureau of investigation Capital One Financial Corp, JP Morgan Chase, and Co, Geico, HSBC, Anthem, AmeriHealth Caritas.

Salary

  • The average salary of Fraud investigators in the United States is around $ 38,000 to $ 74,000.

Experience

  • Fresher Fraud Investigator can earn up to $49,000. Fraud Investigator with experience of 1-5 years can earn up to $ 52,000. Fraud Investigator with experience of 6-10 can earn up to $59,000. Fraud Investigator with experience up to 10-20 years can earn up to $65,000.
  • The Chief Compliance Officer or Chief Fraud Investigator (with an experience of more than 20 years) can earn up to $74,000, including perquisites and incentives.

Education Requirement

  1. Master’s Degree in accounting.
  2. Bachelor’s degree with a professional degree like CPA, CFE, or CFF.

Positives/Negatives

  • A fraud investigator is always needed when any big financial scam comes to light. He plays a major role in solving the cases and to check what went wrong or what loophole was there, which led to the financial catastrophe. Financial Investigator is the police of the economy of the country.

Forensic Accounting Career Conclusion

The forensic accounting career/job is flourishing with topmost pace in the nation. There is a great need from the government to make people aware of the career opportunities in this field so that more experts get to develop in the market.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Career in Forensic Accounting. Here we provide the list of top 3 Forensic Accounting job options, description & paths, including Accountant, Financial Analyst, etc. You may also have a look at these Career articles below –

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