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The field of forensic accounting is very lucrative. While major corporate failures like Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom made front page headlines, the Federal government and the accounting profession have found numerous other financial statement “errors” and “creative” record keeping at other companies. The controversial Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 formalized many procedures and set reporting standards for all public companies.
This has provided a mother lode of opportunities for accountants and auditors, leading to a wealth of opportunities for forensic accounting specialists. If you have a bit of the “private investigator” in you, along with accounting expertise, you will find some interesting positions. Accounting Today has stated that, of the 100 major accounting firms in the U.S., nearly 40 percent are adding to their forensic service menus. The Federal government and the Internal Revenue Service are also expanding their forensic activities and personnel. Evidence gathering, fraud detection, and internal financial control evaluation are among the variety of areas of concentration.
After you have earned an accounting undergraduate degree, you can expect to earn $30,000 to $60,000 per year as an entry level forensic accountant. As you increase your experience, expertise, and, often, further education, you should enjoy annual compensation of $100,000 or greater.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|