Motivations to Be a Forensic Accountant

Forensic accounting is getting “hot”. As I Googled “forensic accounting”, it came out 959 hits! Thanks to the high profile white collar scandals, all of that bad news is good news to the forensic accountant. So, let’s look at what are the Top 5 motivations to be a forensic accountant.

1. If you feel accounting is all about numbers crunching, you will be surprised with the level of excitement that forensic accounting can bring to you. Forensic accountants also known as financial detectives, are a career full of challenges and creativity. The discovery might create headlines; hence it is definitely not for the “ill fainted” ones.

2. Forensic accountants perform their works with the help of sophisticated technology. Hence, you will be exposed to wide range of new and latest technology and modern equipment and software. Best of all, you will be one of the first to try out.

3. Numbers don’t lie, but liars do. As the financial scandals are on the rising side, the economy needs you more than ever. Organisations engaged you in as “saviour” and “hero” to assist them in revealing the truth.

4. As this industry is still relatively new and where the demand is more than supply, it is the best time to be involved in this field as good offers are everywhere.

5. Perhaps, the best part of being a forensic accountant is the “decent” pay the industry offers. Research had shown that as beginners, you can earn up to five figures and moving up with your experiences, you can demand up to six figures salaries!

So are you motivated to become a forensic accountant now? Good Luck!

Rewarding Careers for a Forensic Accounting Masters Degree

A challenging new sub-section in the field of accountancy is a degree in forensics. Whatever the size of a business or company, forensic accounting becomes a necessary entity when there are disputes that need to be litigated in court. This degree is an exalted profession with excellent financial returns. Since the forensic accountant is often requested in legal proceedings as an expert witness, he or she must have the highest degree of accounting knowledge and procedures that are based on scientific foundations.

Masters degrees in forensics contains courses on evidence collection, techniques in conducting interviews and the structure of the judicial system. Forensic accountants are summoned when there are potential or actual disputes as to the findings, inventories and presentations in an accounting system. The forensic accountant examines these findings for evidence of fraud and interprets them using established scientific processes. The findings must be thorough and comprehensive enough to withstand the scrutiny of the court. A forensic accounting masters degree also includes doing case studies and simulating expert witnesses in mock trials. They are taught how to detect irregular financial transactions in government agencies and private corporations. With the trend in technological advances allowing paperless transactions, students are taught how to audit fiscal records using information technology systems.

Forensic accounting differs from general accounting in that, while general accounting recognizes the court as the final arbiters of accounting facts, goes beyond and highlights the evidence of financial transactions and their presentations in the accounting system. Additionally, forensic accounting identifies the legal structure wherein which the evidence may be properly presented for the purpose of establishing responsibility. A masters degree in forensics specializes in cases where there is a need for legal proceedings to determine fraud and accountability, such as falsification of accounts, inventories and their presentations, accountability in lawful audits, transaction reconstruction, divorce, probate asset discovery and detection and many more.

Graduates of forensic accounting masters degree can look forward to a career that is financially rewarding and intellectually stimulating. Aside from being forensic accountants and crime investigators, they can be hired in the fields of merger and underwriting due diligence, investment analyst research, enterprise rick management and audit committee advisory services. In 2009, a holder of a masters degree in forensics earned an annual salary between $49,789 – $70, 992, with those employed in the federal executive branch earning a mean annual salary of $88,190.

Since most job openings require a forensic masters degree, it would be wise to study for one. There are several schools and universities offering an online degree in forensics. You can check them out on the internet.

Botched Evidence is Not Forensic Investigator’s Fault

Technological advances, and the use of forensic investigators, have proven themselves to help and hurt people’s not-guilty claims. Unfortunately, though, more cases are happening where officials present botched-up evidence or results in important cases. Or, even better, the legal system jumps the gun on a case featuring an accused person and a jury of his peers sends him to jail with a guilty verdict. Then months or years later forensic investigators find evidence to set him free.

We’ve heard the big new lines citing that another person was set free due to DNA evidence after the trial. Botched up evidence can make or break any case against the non-guilty. Consider the steps of the evidence collection process. First, the evidence must be discovered. During this process, most mistakes occur. For instance, imagine the unsuspecting girlfriend walking into the house, home from a long, exhausting day at work. She walks in the house and right into the crime scene, where her boyfriend lies dead, and possibly disrupts important evidence along the way.

Forensic investigators and detectives are now going to find her footprints, fingerprints and maybe even hair strands mixed in with the crime scene evidence. She calls the police, and then, the police arrive with their fine expertise, and add another set of unknowns to the evidence. Incorrect gathering and packaging of samples extracted from the crime scene, too many people entering into the area and contaminating evidence, and rushed results may all lead to incorrectly processed forensic evidence, making it impossible for the forensic investigators to do an accurate job. Specifically speaking, it’s not necessarily the forensic analysis that went wrong.

As exemplified earlier, the fact that the evidence was botched may not be the fault of the forensic investigator themselves. Quite often, the work of the professionals at the scene of the crime is to blame. The perfect crime scene would be left untouched until the professional forensic examiner is able to look around and decide which information is imperative and what parts of the scene should be left alone for later study.

Jon Benet Ramsey has made her mark on America’s mind, though the biggest impact she made was being murdered. To this day, we question what really happened. If forensic investigators were pointed to the right areas without delay, the likelihood of finding her killer fast would have been greater. Because time slipped by, places that should have been sealed, preserved, and investigated were not. This too is another example where the forensic investigators didn’t have a chance to do their jobs right.

As a final thought, DNA results are even being tested on old cases requested by lawyers of prisoners still pronouncing that they are not guilty. Cases are being reopened and re-examined, DNA extracted, and old evidence compared. People such as James Lee Woodard in Dallas, Texas, accused and convicted of raping and murdering his 21-year-old girlfriend. He sat in jail for 27 years until DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Don’t blame the forensic investigators. With the science and technology of today, forensic investigators freed a man from injustice, despite the already convicted status from 27 years ago.