Forensic Accounting Careers Are Far from Ordinary

If you think the only profession an accounting degree can lead to is becoming an accountant, you’re in for a surprise! While you may have heard that you need to be a math whiz to succeed as an accounting major, this is a myth. Accounting is not math. If you can add, subtract, divide and multiply, you are on your way to a rewarding career in accounting.

“People say ‘I don’t like math,’ but accounting is not math,” said Ken Kederian, director of the accounting program at Azusa Pacific University. In addition to equipping students with versatile skills, an accounting degree can open the door to exciting jobs—like forensic accounting careers.

Never heard of forensic accounting? Here’s everything you need to know about using your love for numbers to solve challenging problems and deliver justice.

What Is Forensic Accounting?

Kederian explained that forensic accounting is the process of investigating fraud or embezzlement. “Basically we are building a case to exonerate someone; that’s why we exist,” he said.

Fraud is a huge problem that costs businesses billions of dollars each year, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). It penetrates every career field and every business.

“Anyone can send numbers, but someone needs to verify these numbers,” said Kederian, who has served at the top of the auditing teams for large corporations like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, GM, Avery, and Public Storage. He shared that warranty fraud is a common problem for car dealerships, and an internal auditor not only saves the company a lot of money, they also protect and save the customer money.

This is important to remember if you are on the fence about forensic accounting. You won’t just be helping companies avoid fraud or stay profitable. When you use your accounting skills to uphold the integrity of everyone in the company, the economy thrives.

Forensic Accounting Careers

Individuals who are analytical, intuitive, and value integrity are a great asset to the field. Virtually every industry and business needs experts in forensic accounting, from Facebook to the FBI. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that accountant and auditor careers will grow by 10 percent by 2026 and currently have an average salary of $70,500.

Here are just a few ways you can serve the world with a degree in accounting:

  • Investigate credit card fraud for the Secret Service
  • Uncover white-collar crime for the FBI
  • Protect company assets from risks for Facebook
  • Discover hidden financial accounts in a divorce case

Pursuing a Degree in Forensic Accounting

Whether the FBI is on your career goal list or you wish to work in a company’s internal auditing department, it all starts with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The curriculum offered at Azusa Pacific University can effectively prepare you for an accounting career, and upon graduation, you can also choose to go on and complete a one-year Master of Professional Accountancy (MAcc) degree.

The graduate accounting program incorporates a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm internship and CPA review course, helping students further hone their skills and gain practical experience in the field. To date, 100 percent of APU’s MAcc graduates have received job and internship offers prior to graduation.

Once you pass the CPA exam, you can start working in the forensics department at a public accounting firm. Once you’ve logged two years of work experience related to fraud investigation, you are able to take the Certified Fraud Examiner exam, according to the ACFE. The U.S. economy will always need honest and reliable forensic accountants—and APU is devoted to preparing professionals for the accounting world.

Are you interested in working toward an accounting degree at Azusa Pacific University? Explore the Leung School of Accounting to learn more about the accounting programs at APU.