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Why Choose a Forensic Accounting MBA?

January 5, 2017 7:58 pm0 commentsViews: 37
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Earning an MBA to increase your potential salary and career prospects is a wise decision. One of the growing areas of business to consider is accounting, and forensic accounting MBA programs in particular offer you a great future.

If you are a current accountant, earning an MBA in forensic accounting can help you to transition into higher level accounting positions with all types of companies. You will be especially well qualified to conduct detailed financial fraud investigations. The advanced skills that are needed to conduct such investigations will put you in line for the best accounting job opportunities.

Overall, the demand for jobs in business and financial sectors is on the upswing, with 8% more jobs anticipated in 2024. It is believed in particular that a stronger regulatory market on the federal and state levels will drive demand for more accountants and auditors than in the past.

A degree in forensic accounting will put you at the top of the field and will allow you to compete for some very well paid accounting managerial positions.

What Is a Forensic Accounting MBA?

An MBA in forensic accounting is specialized on a unique area of the accounting field. Forensic accountants have an excellent understanding of accounting, as well as of laws regarding taxes and finance.

An MBA in this field will provide you with the advanced accounting skills that allow you to investigate possible illegal financial activity. Learning forensic accounting skills in an MBA program will give you the tools to support risk management in companies, as well as due diligence and auditing.

With this advanced degree you will be able to lead investigations in white collar crime, such as embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion and more. Your MBA will teach you how to look for, identify and prevent financial and tax wrongdoing inside various companies in all industries.

According to consulting companies, some of the current trends in forensic accounting where you could use your MBA skills in coming years include:

  • Securities fraud: The action of making deceptive statements and incorporating fraudulent practices that encourage investors to buy stocks
  • Money laundering: Concealing where illegal funds came from through complex financial transactions
  • Embezzlement: Stealing fund for personal use that belong to the employer or taxpayer

Also, forensic accountants could also be involved in criminal cases after the investigation is complete because forensic skills are needed to prove or to defend against allegations of wrongdoing.

After you graduate with your MBA in forensic accounting, you will be well qualified for job postings for senior forensic accountants and accounting managers, among other senior level accounting positions.

Specific Requirements

To qualify for an MBA in forensic accounting, you will usually need to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and at least three years of accounting experience. It also will help to be admitted into an MBA program if you are a Certified Public Accountant, but many accountants only achieve this designation after they graduate with their MBA.

In your bachelor’s program, you should have had classes in accounting, finance, accounting law, statistics, and quality management, as well as mathematics.

Most MBA programs in forensic accounting will require you to have an excellent academic record with at least a 3.0 GPA and excellent references from your employer and professors.

NoGMAT MBA Job Tip: For accountants who want to enjoy a highly successful forensic accounting career, it is advised to earn your Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation that is offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

The CFE credential will provide you with all of the technical knowledge that is needed to do effective financial investigations. Fraud is usually well hidden, and the CFE credential gives you the advanced skills and knowledge of common fraud schemes and data analysis methods so that you can perform these investigations efficiently.

Also, CFE holders earn a typical 23% income premium over accountants without the credential.

Types of Courses to Expect

All MBA programs will have you take and complete a set of standard, core classes that provide you with a good background in business management fundamentals. Expect to take classes in basic accounting, finance for managers, quality management, leadership, statistics, business law and marketing. Jump to our 50 Best Online MBA Degrees report for 2017.

After you complete those classes successfully, you will then take these types of forensic accounting specialty classes:

  • Fraud Detection
  • Fraud and Forensic Accounting
  • Fraud and the Law
  • Advanced Topics in Fraud
  • Business Valuation
  • Corporate Governance and Ethics
  • Digital Forensics Analysis

Career Path and Salary

Accountants and auditors generally have excellent career potential in the 21st century. As the regulatory environment is becoming more complex in the aftermath of the recent financial meltdown, more accountants are needed to oversee the finances and tax records of large companies. Accountants serve a vital function in preparing and examining company financial records.

Accountants are needed to regularly assess the financial operations of the company for which they work. Common duties for an accountant include the following;

  • Examining financial documents to make sure that they are completely accurate and are in compliance with the law
  • Computing the amount of taxes owed, prepare accurate tax returns, and make sure taxes are paid on time
  • Keep financial records organized
  • Assess the financial operations of the company and look for any sign of fraud or abuse of company funds

The job field for accountants generally is strong: There will be 11% increase in job demand for accountants by 2024. It is thought that globalization, a growing economy and more complex tax and regulatory laws will increase accountant demand.

As the economy continues to recover from the recession of 2008 and 2009, more accountants will be needed to review and prepare financial records. Also, it is important to note that more, tougher financial laws and regulations were passed after the recession, such as the Dodd Frank Law.

The greater regulatory demands on companies mean that there will be more need for forensic accountants in particular.

Pay for all accountants came in at a median of $67,100 in 2015, and the top 10% earned more than $118,000 per year.