American Institute of CPAs Announces Forensic Accounting Certificate Program

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To meet increasing demand from accounting firms expanding their financial forensics practice, the AICPA has introduced a new course of study leading to a Forensic Accounting Education Certificate.

The Certificate conveys a solid understanding of financial forensics and knowledge of the legal system. Participants will learn how to prepare a forensic engagement with confidence and develop the skills needed to provide expert testimony

To meet increasing demand from accounting firms expanding their financial forensics practice, the AICPA has introduced a new course of study leading to a Forensic Accounting Educational Certificate. The new Certificate program is a self-guided comprehensive online program of courses for CPAs who wish to expand their knowledge of forensic accounting.

“Forensic accounting has been one of the fastest growing niche areas in the profession and accountants with forensic skills are projected to continue to be in high demand,” said Eddy Parker, AICPA senior technical manager – forensic and valuation services. “The Certificate is an excellent opportunity for CPAs looking to develop a new skill set and broaden their practice area,” said Parker.

The most recent AICPA Forensic and Valuation Trends Survey found the vast majority (79%) of forensic and valuation professionals surveyed expect greater demand for forensic services in the next two to five years. Additionally, revenue in forensic accounting in the United States is expected to grow 6.8% annually from $4.3 billion in 2012 to $6.0 billion in 2017, according to a report by IBISWorld.

The Forensic Accounting Educational course provides in-depth knowledge and develops specialized skills which are applicable in areas such as bankruptcy and insolvency, computer forensic analysis, family law, economic damages, valuations, and fraud prevention.

“The Forensic Accounting Educational Certificate conveys a solid understanding of financial forensics and knowledge of the legal system. Participants will learn how to prepare a forensic engagement with confidence and develop the skills needed to provide expert testimony,” Parker said.

Participants in the Certificate course work will learn:

  •     Best practices for producing work products that will withstand scrutiny in a courtroom, boardroom or other administrative venue.
  •     Fundamental forensic knowledge pertaining to laws, courts and dispute resolution.
  •     Planning and preparation requirements for a variety of unique forensic engagements.
  •     Basic federal and state rules of evidence.

“The Certificate provides CPAs with the skill set to begin working in forensic accounting. We anticipate that many participants will expand upon this knowledge base and take the next step in their careers by obtaining the AICPA’s Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential,” said Parker.

The Certificate satisfies a portion of the pre- or post-credential education need for the CFF credential and the CPE earned can be used to partially satisfy the 75 hours of CPE related to the CFF Body of Knowledge needed to apply for (or 60 hours of CPE to maintain) the CFF credential.

The cost to complete the entire program of 20 CPE credits is $1,800 for AICPA members, $2,250 for non-members. FVS Section members may enroll in the program for $1,440.

More information on the program and is available at cpa2biz.com/forensic.

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