Forensic Accountant Salary
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.Read More...
Most employers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in forensic accounting, general accounting, finance, or a related field, and many employers prefer candidates who also have CPA, CFE, CFF-AICPA, and/or CIA certification. They must master accounting and financial analytical theories and practices and understand various funding mechanisms and monetary transfers. Because they work to solve white-collar crime such as money laundering, fraudulent insurance claims, embezzlement, and hidden assets, they must be skilled in intelligence-gathering and analysis and should also be familiar with generally-accepted accounting principles and relevant governmental regulations.
Forensic accountants must be able to use computer hardware and software to gather and analyze various financial information. They should be skilled with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), online researching, and various database management systems and analytical software. Integrity is also important; they must be honest and ethical and pass background checks, and many also hold a certain level of security clearance. The ability to work in a team environment is also important. Generally, forensic accountants are advised to attend workshops, conferences, and additional training sessions as required by their employers or on a voluntary basis to improve their knowledge. They should also read relevant journals and always stay up-to-date with new technologies to help solve fraudulent activities.
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
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).