Forensic accounting is the integration of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to assist in legal matters, both civil and criminal, and reduce risks for businesses and organizations. Forensic accounting involves looking beyond the numbers to grasping the substance of situations.
It is more than accounting and more than detective work. It is the application of a specialized body of knowledge to economic transaction analysis and reporting.
Forensic accountants work in most major accounting firms and businesses. They look for fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations in all areas of the business. Forensic accountants are sometimes called upon to provide expert testimony in courtroom trials or provide litigation support to clients.
Financial crime and fraud is just one of many areas within the discipline/specialty of forensic accounting, but it is a significant one. Fraud is a widespread problem that affects practically every organization, regardless of size, location, or industry.
Organizations across the globe are estimated to lose 5% in annual revenue to fraud. This figure translates to a potential $4.5 trillion lost to fraud globally per year. In a study by the ACFE, the typical fraud case lasted a median of 14 months and caused a loss of over $8,000 before being detected. (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Report to the Nations 2020).
- Forensic accountants
- Internal auditors
- Independent auditors
- Business owners and managers
- Accountants and accounting managers
- Anti-money laundering officers
- Loss prevention specialists
- Risk managers
- Law enforcement professionals
- Professionals who want to help deter fraud within their organizations
- Other anti-fraud professionals
The cross-disciplinary nature of these courses means that non-accounting professionals will also find the courses beneficial. The courses are designed to be of interest to individuals wishing to protect themselves or their organizations against fraud.
You will learn how common fraud schemes work and how to detect, deter, and investigate fraud. You will also learn about money laundering and terrorist financing, anti-money laundering programs and how the forensic accountant plays a part in the program. The courses are skills-oriented in the investigation of fraud and other irregularities in today's business world.
"Really enjoyed the instructor, Michael Kridel, and his knowledge and feedback in the forum discussions - he kept challenging us to use our brains. He stayed on point in his discussions, and obviously has a lot of knowledge and experience."
"This course offered valuable information that I found useful in my present position and also provided me with the skills to advance my career. The instructors were both knowledgeable in all of the subjects and were always available to address any questions I had during the course. Strongly encourage this certificate program to anyone who is interested in furthering their career in auditing; also the on-line option makes this an excellent choice for those who are currently working professionals."
"[I] received multiple job interviews even though I haven't finished the certificate yet. All commented on the Forensic Accounting Certificate Program"
"This was my first online course so I was a little apprehensive on the how an online course would flow. I was very pleased with the course and the instructor. The UNC Charlotte staff was very responsive as well. This was an excellent course and I am looking forward to more. Thank you!"
Participants seeking the Forensic Accounting Certificate must
- Complete all three courses within two years from their first enrollment date to earn a certificate of completion. All three courses are offered online annually.
- Pass the online final quiz for each course with an 80% or better in order to receive a certificate.