Becoming A Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accounting overview

There are several branches of accounting, and forensic accounting is becoming one of the most popular. This career path deals with audits, fraud, embezzlement and suspected illegal accounting practices.

A forensic accountant investigates financial records of companies and individuals and then analyses and interprets them. In some cases, the information a forensic account finds is used as evidence in court proceedings.

The demand for forensic accountants is expected to increase in the coming years.

Becoming a Forensic Accountant

• The first recommended step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accredited university or college.

• The next step is to obtain a professional accounting qualification, such as a CPA or CA.

• Specialist forensic accounting courses are offered by several universities.

• The third step is to develop skills and expertise which is applicable to the area of forensic accounting.

 A number of forensic accountants possess both legal and accounting qualifications.

Expanding Your Knowledge

 Membership of the forensic accounting discussion groups conducted by CPA Australia and the ICA can assist in obtaining relevant information.

Recommended skill sets

Here is a list of skills applied in the assessment of candidates

Understanding of APES215

Understanding of code of conduct

Understanding rules of evidence

Case law awareness

Use of fraud detection methodology

Use of benchmarking

Experienced in the provision of evidence in court

Ratio analysis

Tracing of funds transfers

Personal audits/reviews

Typical Job Skills Advertisement

  • Financial Investigations and Analysis
  • Researching complex transactions
  • Building financial models
  • Conducting market research and analysis
  • Gathering financial evidence through investigations
  • Report writing
  • Analysis and calculation of economic loss and business valuations
  • Trend analysis and extrapolation of data
  • Reviewing processes, procedures and policies
  • Researching legislation and case law
  • Involvement in mediations and conciliations
  • Hands on and proactive with the ability to build strong relationships
  • Confident, resilient and have the capacity to engage people at all levels
  • An understanding of the rules of evidence
  • Possess professional accounting qualifications