Forensic Accountants in the United States can expect wages of $65K per year on average. Total cash compensation to Forensic Accountants approaches anywhere from $41K on the lower end to $111K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $20K from bonuses and upwards of $10K from profit sharing. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Forensic Accountants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Women make up a slight majority of Forensic Accountants (58 percent) survey respondents. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$45,984 - $100,032
(Median)
$46K
$65K
$100K
MEDIAN: $64,520
10%
50%
90%

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$12.08 - $65.89
(Median)
$12
$25
$66
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$45,984 - $100,032  
   
Bonus
$515 - $19,653  
Profit Sharing
$996 - $10,137  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$41,233 - $111,078  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 215
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$31$62$93
Hourly Rate
$12.08 - $65.89  
   
Overtime
$14.19 - $90.60  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$515 - $19,653  
   
Profit Sharing
$996 - $10,137  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$41,233 - $111,078  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 40
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Job Description for Forensic Accountant

Generally, forensic accountants work for insurance companies, banks, government agencies, and police forces to detect fraudulent activities, and some run their own independent practices. Their work focuses heavily on investigating and analyzing financial evidence, and some may also assist in legal proceedings. They also serve as expert witnesses in courtroom settings and prepare visual aids as needed.

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Forensic Accountant Tasks

  • Research, analyze and compile account histories, financial documents and transactions.
  • Utilize accounting principles, financial analysis and auditing knowledge to prepare for legal disputes or litigation.
  • Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Prepare reports and summary of findings.

Forensic Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Forensic Accountant


Forensic Accountants typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Most notably, skills in Forensic Accounting, Microsoft Excel, Financial Analysis, and Accounting are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Accounting. Those proficient in Forensic Accounting are, more often than not, also skilled in Accounting.

Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Accountant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Forensic Accountants with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. The average beginner in this position makes around $61K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $80K. For Forensic Accountants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $85K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $102K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $64,884

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Forensic Accountants in Boston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 41 percent above the national average. Forensic Accountants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+36 percent), San Francisco (+23 percent), New York (+21 percent), and Irvine (+19 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 16 percent below the national average. Workers in Chicago and Houston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (14 percent less and 12 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Forensic Accountant Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 58%

Experienced
up arrow 31%


National Average
$65,000


Skills That Affect Forensic Accountant Salaries

Forensic Accounting
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Excel
0%

National Average
$65,000

Financial Analysis
up arrow 3%

Accounting
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 18 votes.

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
15%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 84%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 61%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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