Forensic accountants can help to prevent financial fraud. Forensic accountants are able to scrutinize financial activity for suspicious activity, identifying fraud, embezzlement, money laundering etc. Keeping track of financial transactions can be time consuming and complicated.
A forensic accountant is trained to provide transparency to financial transactions, tracing the to and fro of money. Forensic accountants can help to uncover criminal activity and working alongside legal departments can provide evidence that will result in prosecutions. To become a forensic accountant you will need to get a Bachelor’s degree in accounting followed by gaining certification as a certified public accountant which will then allow you to gain a license as a CPA.
There have been many cases where forensic accountants have been involved in exposing financial wrongdoings that can range from company fraud to discovering hidden assets during divorce proceedings.
Forensic accountants not only uncover fraud but can also prevent it from occurring by alerting their clients that unusual activity has been discovered. Forensic accountants require not only their skills to understand the financial details they are scrutinizing but also require investigative skills in finding out why and how discrepancies may be occurring.
They require a full working knowledge of tax laws and other regulations and legislation so that criminal activity can be exposed. Forensic accountants are usually called on as expert witnesses during trials, their role may be to testify for or against financial activity and provide information about financial services so that lay people can understand; lending itself to them earning a slightly higher salary than most.
A career as a certified public accountant can be interesting and varied. There are many organizations within which a CPA may work, both public and private. According to the Bureau of labor statistics this is a growing field of work with an expected creation of 190,700 jobs by 2020. The annual average wage is in the region of $71,000, whilst top wages can be in the region of $96,000.
To command a higher salary is dependent not only on expertise and experience but also on location and job sector. New York and Columbia have been identified as the highest paying areas, with a job working within the commodity exchange industry being amongst the highest paying sector.