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© 2009 CCH. All Rights Reserved. Chapter 2 9 Chapter 2 Forensic Accounting Education, Institutions, and Specialties CHAPTER SUMMARY Overview This chapter explores how coursework in multiple disciplines prepares students to enter the forensic accounting f eld and what professional associations serve the specialists in this rapidly growing profession. Preparing to Become a Forensic Accountant ¶2001 College and University Programs As long ago as 1953, Max Lourie advised colleges and universities to launch forensic accounting courses and recommended that such programs be developed in conjunction with law schools where practicable. A number of the current programs focus primarily on fraud auditing and not necessarily forensic accounting. Forensic accountants need an understanding of accounting, criminology, law, and investigative auditing techniques. ¶2011 Keystones of Forensic Accounting Curricula A survey of professors in 2003 ranked 49 curriculum content items for forensic accounting (see Table 2.1). A good forensic accounting course can cover many of the topics not typically offered by core courses, but institutions may need to develop creative ways to f ll voids by working with other departments and resources at their schools. ¶2021 KSAs and Education of the Forensic Accountant See Table 2.2 for a list of courses that provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) one needs for a forensic accounting career. Career Tracks in Forensic Accounting In April 2007, Parade magazine indicated that the hottest jobs for college graduates were forensic accountants. ¶2031 Income Expectations for Forensic Accountants Salaries for forensic accountants range from $40,000 to more than $115,000. According to the U.S. Of f ce of Personnel Management, a senior agent with 10 or more years of experience can earn between $75,000 and $90,000 annually. In the private sector, a good forensic investigator can make a base salary of between $125,000 and $150,000. In November 1999, Kessler International stated that the f rm charges about $300 per hour for forensic consultations, one-third more than the f rm does for audit work. Forensic accounting services are a meaningful part of many CPA f rms’ practices. ¶2041 Specialties Within Forensic and Investigative Accounting Much of this text focuses on the specialties in forensic accounting, with chapters focusing on skills that forensic accountants need to uncover fraudulent f nancial reporting, employee fraud related to the misappropriation of assets, money laundering, litigation support and expert witnessing, cybercrime, and business valuations. A forensic accounting background is helpful in these professional specialties: accountants, consultants, internal auditors, IRS auditors, government auditors, FBI agents, SEC accountants, bankruptcy specialists, professors, bank examiners, chief f nancial of f cers, and valuators of closely held businesses.
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10 Forensic and Investigative Accounting Chapter 2 © 2009 CCH. All Rights Reserved.
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