How Studying Accounting Can Begin A Career in Forensic AccountingDarryl Green
What first comes to mind when you hear the word “accounting”?
Tax forms and Spreadsheets?
In accounting, there is a career that many tend to overlook.
Forensic accounting may be the perfect field for you if you have an eye for detail and love solving puzzles. There are many opportunities in this role, from working with law enforcement, and investigating fraud, to testifying in court as an expert witness.
What is Forensic Accounting?
Forensic accountants use their skills in accounting and auditing to investigate financial crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. They may work with law enforcement agencies & lawyers to gather and analyse evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare cases for trial. In addition to their investigative work, forensic accountants may also be called upon to testify in court as expert witnesses.
Well if you’re interested in becoming a forensic accountant, then studying for the AAT Accounting qualification is a great place to start. AAT covers many crucial units to lay the foundation for your forensic accounting studies. You’ll learn essential skills such as how to prepare and interpret financial statements, alongside an understanding of auditing and taxation.
Once you’ve qualified as an AAT Accountant, you can study for the ACCA qualification. The advantage of completing AAT Accounting first, is attaining the foundation of knowledge which will aid you in your career. In addition, upon completion of AAT, you can find exemptions from a range of units in ACCA, which will result in a shorter study time.
This will help you build on the skills you’ve already learned and equip you with the knowledge and expertise employers are looking for. With your qualifications, you’ll be well-placed to secure an entry-level job in this exciting and challenging field.
Roles such as Auditing or Financial Analysis would be the ideal pathway to follow in order to gain the relative experience. Once working in this field for 2/3 years, you would be equipped with the necessary skill set needed to proceed into Accounting Forensics.
What skills do Forensic Accountants need?
If you are interested in becoming a forensic accountant, there is a range of skills required to work through various tasks. The following are a few of the skills you will need:
- Analytical skills: Having the ability to analyse data and evidence to identify patterns and trends.
- Communication skills: Communicate your findings clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally.
- Financial analysis: You will need to have a deep understanding of accounting and financial systems.
- Investigative skills: Be skilled in using accounting, auditing and investigative techniques to detect financial fraud.
- Client Management Skills: Being able to build trust and manage a client’s expectations by understanding and meeting their needs
What could I earn?
The average salary for a Forensic Accountant in the UK ranges from £53,375 to £62,625. This is a very high-paying job but don’t let this be intimidating. The journey here is accessible to all. The key to reaching this goal is commitment. In order to be successful as a forensic accountant, you have to challenge yourself and work in different fields.
By gaining experience, a foundation of knowledge and a strong skillset; you will be on your way to furthering your career.