ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Choose A Career As A Forensic Accountant?

Updated on September 28, 2012

What is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant is an accountant who investigates rather than provides accountancy services. He or she is effectively looking into the accounting activities carried out by others and reporting on anything that might be wrong or inappropriate.

Forensic accountancy is used to assist the law enforcement authorities to understand and deal with fraud and it is also used to help parties to any dispute involving arguments over amounts of money, profits or valuations to come to agreement either by negotiations or through the courts.

By far the biggest area that a forensic accountant will deal with is fraud. They will either work for the victims of fraud, for the fraud regulators or solicitors and lawyers dealing with fraud cases.

A forensic accountant operates in a very specialised area of accountancy and is often considered to be an "expert" in the field of accountancy. As such they are allowed to attend court to give evidence that is of an opinion nature, whereas all other witnesses in court must speak to facts that they believe to be true.

How can You Become a Forensic Accountant?

To become a forensic accountant you must first become an ordinary aaccountant. Unfortunately the glamorous job of a fraud accountant starts with the boring necessity to be a good ordinary accountant!

However, accountancy is a good career and not quite as boring as the jokes would make out. If truth be told, all jobs are boring if you are at a junior level and don't really understand what you are doing. Once you are experienced, as an accountant as well as any other career, the job becomes more interesting - and in the case of forensic accountancy it can be quite exciting also.

An old saying by the Chinese philosaopher Confucious goes as follows:

"Choose a job that you enjoy and you will never need to work a day"

Accountancy training can commence with an academic qualification such as a University degree or it can begin with professional qualifications and on the job training. Whichever route you take will involve moving on to both professional and on the job training so if you have a subject that you would like to study and would enjoy at university or college, such as engineering or zoology, you will not be at a disadvantage if you pursue this prior to commencing your accountancy training. In fact this would help you with your experience and potentially give you a broader understanding of a number of business and other areas that you will encounter in your working career.

Getting your professional training is made easier if you join a firm - this can either be within the accountancy service practice or it can be within a large industrial or commercial company. However, if you are intending to pursue a career in forensic accountancy you would be best to choose a practicing firm.

You will not be guaranteed forensic accountancy training from the start when you join an accountancy firm. Most forensic accountancy teams expect some accountancy experience before you start but you do not have to wait until you are fully qualified. Forensic accountancy work can form part of your professional training towards your professional qualifications.

What Can You Expect From a Forensic Accountancy Career?

A successful forensic accountant is a highly regarded professional leading teams of investigators often around the world pursuing multi billion frauds. A successful forensic accountant is also a business leader, a partner in a firm or a sole consultant that is sought after.

Salaries of senior accountants can even match those of lawyers! A good forensic accountant will easily reach $100,000 per year within a few years and the sky is almost the limit. You can work in your own neighborhood or you can travel internationally - it is your choice and will depend on how hard you work.


Forensic accountancy is suitable for those people with a precise and inquiring mind who are not too bad with numbers. It is a particularly good choice for the accountant who feels that his career is a little too mundane as it is, preparing accounts and tax returns day in and day out.

Forensic accountants tend not to have repeat clients, and therefore every job is different. It is unusual for the same fraudster to require another investigation on a similar business he has set up - and on the few occasions this happens it is unlikely that the same forensic accountant is chosen to do the work again.

Much of the work is delving into accounting records, but some involves attending court or pursuing people and information leads. It can be quite exciting at times and certainly sounds better at dinner parties when you say that you investigate fraud rather than prepare tax bills!

Many forensic accountants are asked to travel during the course of their investigations. If you end up working for one of the big accountancy firms this is very likely to be the case. Much of the work is carried out in the financial centers around the world, and many of the big investigations will span several countries.

Even a small town forensic accountant is not really such - based in a regional location he or she will still have to take work from the financial centers. They might well find them traveling between these centers, if less likely to travel abroad.

Many accountants dabble in forensic accountancy, seeing it as a lucrative sideline. However, it is the full time practitioners that will deliver the quality of service on a regular basis. The full timer will also tend to specialize further, ensuring very high levels of expertise in different areas such as:

  • Fraud
  • Civil disputes
  • Matrimonial disputes
  • Personal injury claims
  • Royalty disputes
  • Profit claims


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)