Financial Forensics is one of the fastest-growing specialty areas for CPAs. Today’s forensic accountants handle a multitude of engagements including but not limited to; corporate bankruptcies & insolvencies, corporate restructuring, high-wealth divorces, contract & tort claims and damage & economic loss claims.
Due to the increasing popularity of the Financial Forensics field, one may assume that this profession had been developed recently. In fact the field has been historically relevant for quite some time. Modern forensic accounting had its earliest reference in 1824 in an accountants advertising circular in Glasgow, Scotland. In its earliest years, forensic accounting was used by the United States Department of Justice to detect tax evasion amongst businesses.
Today Financial Forensics is defined as: the need to find fraudulent activities that often pass under the radar unreported. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014 Global economic crime survey, only 20% of bribery and corruption fraud, 21% of accounting fraud and 24% of money laundering crimes are being reported. The highest reported cases are asset misappropriation with 67% of cases being reported. The importance of pursuing financial fraud cannot be overstated.
With a projected employment growth rate between 2010 and 2020 of 16% and a median salary of between $64,500 and $106,000, Forensic Financials holds the
promise of being a lucrative career. If you are interested in a stimulating and fast-paced career with great compensation, the question to ask yourself is; what is exactly necessary to begin a career in forensics?”
The four main components critical to success in Financial Forensics:
1. Credentials are critical in business- Certifications and credentials are becoming increasingly more important to many clients who are hiring new employees in high demand occupations.
2. Writing skills- Even professions like Financial Forensics will require you to preserve and reflect your ideas on paper. The ability to communicate effectively can often be key in an individual’s move to the next level.
3. Confidentiality- Confidentiality means keeping a client’s information in strict confidence. This is important to build and develop trust as well as foster an environment that promotes a free-flow of information.
4. Take nothing for granted- Inquisitive minds are crucial to finding all pertinent information.