A career in forensic accounting involves combining exceptional financial and accounting skills as well as an investigative mindset. Forensic accountants evaluates financial documents by combining auditing, accounting and investigative skills. Pursuing a career in financial accounting will enable you to use accountancy skills to investigate financial inaccuracies such as fraudulent activities, financial fraud or errors and conflicts.


A career in forensic accounting is a branch of accounting that investigates court and litigation matters, estimates damages, and supervises conflict resolution. Therefore, you can also begin this career by pursuing a career in accounting. The role of a financial accountant involves interpreting financial records and tracking financial transactions to assist with criminal investigations. Starting a career in forensic accounting will require you to acquire the relevant education and necessary skills that will enable you to succeed.


In this piece, I will discuss the steps to take in acquiring the necessary education and skills as well as the different career roles in forensic accounting.


How to Start a Career in Forensic Accounting

  1. Obtain an O’level Result

    To pursue a career in forensic accounting, you should have a strong foundation in finance related subjects. You should have a minimum of credits in subjects such as accounting, economics, mathematics and related subjects.

  2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    You should obtain a bachelor’s degree in forensic accounting. This is the most important step in your career pursuit. You should ensure that the university of interest is an accredited one. Alternatively, you can also earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or related field.

  3. Gain Experience

    You can gain experience through an internship or an entry-level position. You cannot get an entry-level position as a forensic accountant. Therefore, you need to first have an experience as an accountant. This experience will enable you have the necessary skills and prepare you to become a forensic accountant. Additionally, it will aid in your preparation for external certifications exams such as the CPA(certified public accountant) examination. Furthermore, you can have access to professionals in the industry that can serve as a guide in your career growth and development.

  4. Obtain a Certified Public Accountant Certification

    As an aspiring forensic accountant, you need to earn this certification. Firstly, this is an important requirement needed to work as an accountant. Secondly, this certification is important as a forensic accountant.

  5. Pursue an Advanced Degree

    You can consider obtaining a master’s degree in forensic accounting. This is not a compulsory requirement. However, you can have a competitive advantage in the job market with a master’s degree. Furthermore, this can enhance your professional abilities and showcase your expertise in the field.

  6. Earn Professional Certifications

    The Certified Public Accountant certificate is the most important certificate needed as a forensic accountant. However, you can decide to earn other certifications to improve your portfolio, enhance your credibility and increase your knowledge. You can earn certifications such as the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and Certified Forensic Accountant(CFA).

  7. Join a Professional Association

    You can join professional organisations for forensic accountants. This can enable you have access to career opportunities that can lead to you advancement. Additionally, you can network or collaborate with colleagues and experts in the industry which can serve as open doors for future references or recommendations.


Skills Needed as a Forensic Accountant

  1. Creative Problem-solving skills
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Analytical Skills
  4. Interviewing Skills
  5. Communication Skills
  6. Investigative Skills


Places to Work as a Forensic Accountant

  1. Accounting firms
  2. Insurance companies
  3. Banks
  4. Police forces
  5. Government agencies
  6. Law firms


Types of Forensic Accountants

  1. Litigation Support Specialist

    Forensic accountants who specialise in litigation support offer professional financial evaluations and evidences in court cases. Furthermore, they help lawyers and judges understand intricate financial information and how it applies to cases.

  2. Bankruptcy Forensic Accountants

    These forensic accountants study financial records to determine the sustainability of a business and how properties ought to be distributed among lenders. During this procedure, they provide financial analysis regarding a bankruptcy procedure.

  3. Financial Fraud Examiners

    These are professionals that focus on discovering and battling commercial fraudulent activities. Additionally, they investigate questionable acts, review financial records and design fraud-prevention strategies.

  4. Forensic Auditors

    They execute in-depth audits of financial accounts, documents and operations in order to uncover financial discrepancies or illicit transactions. Furthermore, they give suggestions for mitigating potential fraud which improves control mechanisms.

  5. Digital Forensic Accountants

    These professionals focus on any financial misconduct involving digital information. They examine digital financial information, transactions and information which exposes cybercrime and financial fraud.

  6. Public Sector Forensic Accountants

    Forensic accountants who work in the public sector investigate economic anomalies, financial theft, corruption or the improper use of public funds for government organisations or agencies.


Universities that Offer Accounting in Africa

  1. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  2. Cairo University, Egypt
  3. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  4. Mansours University, Egypt
  5. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  6. Alexandria University, Egypt
  7. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  8. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  9. Makerere University, Uganda
  10. Covenant University, Nigeria
  11. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  12. University of Sousse, Tunisia
  13. Rhodes University, South Africa
  14. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  15. Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti
  16. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  17. Tanta University, Egpyt
  18. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  19. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  20. Moi University, Kenya
  21. University of Witwatersrand
  22. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  23. University of Botswana
  24. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  25. University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  26. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  27. University of Mauritius, Mauritius
  28. Tunis University, Tunisia
  29. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
  30. Manouba University, Tunisia


Forensic Accounting is an evolving field. Starting a career in this field requires a high level of attention. These professionals perform a variety of tasks during their investigations. Therefore, you have to dedicate your time and effort to acquiring the needed education and skills which will enable you perform excellently in the career path. You have a good knowledge of skills such as knowledge of tax law, accepted auditing standards, and financial reporting requirements. Additionally, you should devote time to earn relevant certifications. This can increase your credibility and give you a chance for better opportunities.


Good luck!

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