Masters Of Accounting Online With Forensic Accounting Concentration

Submitted by: Sandu Levesq

The Forensic Accounting Masters Degree provides one of the fastest tickets to career success. Forensic Accounting was recently listed by Yahoo as one of the highest-paid professions, and numerous publications have listed Forenic Acounting as a hot carrer opportunity. It’s surely the hottest area in Accounting.

One great thing about Forensic Accounting is that it involves exciting work. It’s not the old-school boring accounting that focuses on debit and credits, but rather it involves exciting areas such as fraud investigation, litigation support, business and divorce valuations, dispute resolution, and expert testimony.

The great secret about Forensic Accounting is that it as a relatively easy field to get into. All it takes to start is a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited university. With such a degree, students can enter into an online forensic accounting masters program that offers a concentration in Forensic Accounting. Such a program can be completed within a mere two years. Ideally, it’s best to take such a program in a College of Business that has AACSB accreditation, the gold standard in business school accreditation. See, for example the Masters in Accounting Online Program at Florida Atlantic University. The typical degree title for such a program may be something like Masters of Accounting, or Masters in Accounting, with a concentration in forensic accounting. Even though the program may be fully online, the title of the degree itself is unlikely to contain the word “online.” In other words, you won’t find a degree titled Online Masters of Accounting or Online Masters in Accounting. However, you will find degree titles that don’t include the “s” in Masters. For example, Master of Accounting and Master in Accounting are titles typically used in practice.

Forensic accounting involves the application of investigative techniques help resolve financial issues in a manner that meets standards applicable to courts of law. Forensic Accounting is not limited to the use of financial investigations that result in criminal and civi prosecution; the investigation and its results must always, however, satisfy the requirements of the civil or criminal court that has jurisdiction.


Fraud investigations are an important part of the routine work for many forensic accountatnts. Fraud is the consequence of misleading, intentional actions or inaction (including misleading statements and the omission of relevant information) to gain an over an individual, group of individuals, or an entity. Forensic Accounting is much broader than fraud investigation; it also includes services related to business acquisitions, dispute resolution, asset and liability valuation, and the determination of lost profits.

Defining the words forensic and accounting can facilitate a deeper understanding of forensic accounting. The word forensic suggests applicability to courts of law. The word Accounting suggests the recording, classifying, and summarizing of economic events in a logical manner for the purpose of providing financial information for decision making. But when these two words are combined, a strong unified concept emerges – the use of both accounting and non-accounting information to to support arguments made in court.

How does forensic accounting differ from traditional accounting? Traditional accounting involves acquiring and organizing financial data for decision makers. Accounting involves at least seven areas, including financial accounting, management accounting, information systems and technology, taxation, consulting, internal and external auditing, and forensic accounting. Each has its own distinct purpose. For example, financial accounting (financial reporting) provides information to investors, creditors, and government regulators regarding the financial position of a company and results of its operations. {One the other hand|In a different vein, the purpose of management accounting is to supply managers helpful information.

Among the various areas within accounting, auditing is the closest to forensic accounting, especially in the area of fraud examination. Auditing includes two sub-areas: internal and external auditing. Internal auditing (sometimes called systems auditing) involves internal employiees verifying the accuracy of internal information and assuring compliance with internal security policies and procedures. On the other hand, external auditors are not employees of the company; rather they are CPA’s, and their main task is to certifiy that the financial statements of the company are in complance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The main professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) – The AICPA – divides Forensic Accounting into two main categories:

1. Investigative services that may or may not lead to courtroom testimony, and

2. Litigation services that recognize the role of the accountant as an expert, consultant, or other role.

The first of these categories includes fraud examination. Fraud examination involves the detection, prevention, and control of fraud, defalcation, and misrepresentation. The second of these services encompases fraud examination and also forensic accounting services relating to asset and liability valuations, such as those typically found in divorce cases.

About the Author: Mark Cita


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