Forensic Accounting: Uncover Corporate Fraud, Waste and Theft
Know how the infamous gangster Al Capone was finally sent to jail? It wasn’t for calling hits—it was for tax evasion. Recently ex-Enron CFO Andrew Fastow was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and money laundering. It was forensic accountants who followed the paper and number trail Fastow left behind, providing evidence at his trial.
Forensic accountants routinely investigate while collar crimes like Fastow’s, along with securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies, contract disputes and other complicated accounting procedures. They combine an expertise in accounting with law and investigation. Forensic accountants often appear as expert witnesses at trials.
Break into Forensics: Earn Your Degree in Accounting
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting careers begin with a bachelor’s degree. Most accountants are required to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam once they receive their degree. This career field is expected to grow faster than average through the year 2014. Accountants made between $39,890 and $66,900 in 2004, though some earned as much as $88,610.
With the help of the Army’s Tuition Assistance Program and the myriad of online courses in accounting to choose from, you can begin working toward a career as a forensic accountant before you leave the service. As a bonus, you can earn up to 100 Army promotion points for civilian education, helping you get ahead both in the service and in your future career.