Seattle Forensic Accounting Masters On-Campus Programs
Forensic Accounting Masters programs are typically 1-2 year graduate programs that may appeal to a variety of populations such as graduate students, accountants and security professionals who aspire to work in this specialized field. If you are interested in learning the technical accounting and computer skills that are applied to detecting fraudulent accounting practices, earning a Masters in Forensic Accounting is worth considering whether you want to focus your professional career in this area or learn about it in depth. Campus programs often cater to working students through evening or weekend classes, making it a viable way to earn your degree, with the added possibilty of networking and learning through demonstration and interaction as much as through course material.
Students have the opportunity to focus on the complex integration of accounting, audit, legal and investigative skills in the prevention, detection and investigation of financial fraud and dispute resolution. Typically, the prerequisite for a Masters in Forensic Accounting is a Bachelor’s degree in (forensic) accounting, business or finance. Most Forensic Accounting Masters programs involve coursework and may involve research, a capstone project, interactive simulation exercises and seminars.
Finding Masters in Forensic Accounting Schools
Many Forensic Accounting Masters programs seem to have an interactive learning component, so studying on campus may be beneficial. Some students find it motivating to attend class at specified hours and study amongst like-minded peers. Since you are on-campus, you get the added perk of gaining access to the facilities, like libraries and gymnasiums, as well as other perks.GradSchools.com has search tools to help you find graduate schools who offer Forensic Accounting Masters degrees. Use the tabs to enter a city, state or country and sponsored listings such as Masters in Investigations, Executive Masters of Accounting in Forensic Accounting, and Master of Science in Accounting with emphasis on Forensics and Fraud Detection will be generated.
You can then request information to determine whether the program you are considering aligns with your certification needs and career goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, certification within a specific field of accounting improves job prospects. For example, many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)[i].
Potential Coursework in Forensic Accounting
Forensic Accounting Masters degree courses teach students how forensic accounting principles can be applied to complex financial transactions, such as
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Contract disputes
Furthermore, since forensic accountants often collaborate with attorneys, you may study how results of forensic accounting reports are used in court cases to prosecute white-collar criminals.Some of the coursework that students might find in a Master of Science in Forensic Accounting (MSFA) program may include:
- Fraud examination
- Financial statement examination procedures
- Management accounting
- International business
- Corporate accounting legal issues
Forensic Accounting Masters: Transferable Skills
In general, accountants are detail-oriented, analytical and organized. Forensic accountants have unique competencies as they combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine if an activity is illegal. They need to pick up on questionable data, so it is useful to have some of the qualities of a private detective or investigator who are inquisitive, patient and resourceful. Forensic Accounting Masters programs fine-tune a student's capacity to detect a variety of financial crimes such as:
- Securities Fraud
- Cyber forensics
- Terrorist funding
- Money laundering
- Tax evasion
FACT: Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition, especially as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) should have the best job prospects. Applicants who have a master’s degree in accounting or a master’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage.[ii]
Take the Next Step
While a master’s degree doesn’t guarantee a job, cultivating a niche, like Forensic Accounting, that resonates with your interests may be a wise decision. The BLS cites an overall 11% employment growth for accountants between 2014 and 2024. Start reviewing masters programs on GradSchools.com in this potentially fascinating field soon!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm | bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm