5 Top Forensic Accountant Careers
- Accounting Firms
- US Federal Government Agencies and Federal Law Enforcement Organizations
- Forensic Accounting Firms
- Risk Management Firms and Security Providers
- Financial Consulting Companies
When executives at an organization suspect that theft or embezzlement is occurring, they often turn to forensic accountants to determine who is responsible and how the fraud is being perpetrated. A forensic accountant's skills are also useful to divorcing parties who are interested in uncovering assets that their spouses may be hiding.
A forensic accountant is an individual who has a complex skill set. In addition to expert accounting knowledge, his or her talents include deductive reasoning skills; legal expertise; investigative abilities; the ability to speak clearly and succinctly in court; the ability to defend his or her arguments precisely with concrete evidence; and expert writing and summarization abilities. Additionally, they typically have a natural inclination to be inquisitive and suspicious. This is a rare combination of skills, attributes and training and individuals who possess all these characteristics are in demand in a variety of corporate or governmental settings. The five following types of organizations are interested in hiring forensic accountants who possess these unique qualifications.
1. Accounting Firms
Large accounting firms have a need for talented forensic accountants to help their clients track cases of theft or corporate fraud. Examples of firms in this category include Deloitte, Ernst and Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
2. US Federal Government Agencies and Federal Law Enforcement Organizations
Several federal government agencies and law enforcement organizations hire forensic accountants to carry on the US government's necessary criminal investigative work. These organizations include the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) hires forensic investigative auditors, a position which requires accounting abilities and is quite similar to that of forensic accountant.
3. Forensic Accounting Firms
There are dedicated forensic accounting firms that specialize in offering those services to the public. MDD Forensic Accountants is an example of a specialized forensic accounting firm.
4. Risk Management Firms and Security Providers
Forensic accounting is a natural extension of risk management and security services, so it makes sense for risk management firms to offer this type of service. This type of business typically offers its clients the advantage of an entire fraud prevention strategy including advisors who can help the company's clients strengthen their corporate policies to prevent future cases of embezzlement and theft. Pinkerton is a world-famous example of a risk management and security service provider that hires forensic accountants and makes their services available to the company's clients, along with numerous other protective intelligence services.
5. Financial Consulting Companies
Many companies who require the services of a forensic accountant do not need to hire one on a full-time, ongoing basis. It can be worthwhile for forensic accountants to work on behalf of financial consulting companies who make these services available to the businesses who would benefit from having access to them on an as-needed basis. Examples of consulting companies who work with forensic accountants include Arrowfish Consulting and The Squires Group, Inc.
These are five types of organizations that most frequently hire forensic accountants. Anyone who is interested in finding a job as a forensic accountant would benefit from seeking employment from these types of employers. The examples mentioned above would all be great places for forensic accountants to work.