Forensic Accounting Jobs

Very strong growth (22%) in the number of accountants and auditor jobs (279,400 new jobs) is expected from 2008-2018. Within that group, CPAs should have the best prospects for employment with an expected growth rate faster than that for accountants.

This is expected because of financial scandals, investors will be demanding increased accountability for protecting an organization’s stakeholders. The need for these “accounting watchdogs” will spur job growth in the accounting sector.

Opportunities for forensic accountants who are CPAs support the work of attorneys in family law, bankruptcy and business law are increasing.

For example, the high profile divorce of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills included a dispute over how much Sir Paul, the former Beatle, was actually worth. He claimed he was worth around USD $785 million while she thought he was worth around $1.6 billion. Enter her team of forensic accountants who delved into the situation. As of June 2008, the accountants had not found any evidence which compelled the judge to award Ms. Mills more moola than her initial divorce settlement.

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance While accounting will be a very fast growing sector at 22% from 2008-2018, the growth in jobs for CPAs is expected to be the sector’s fastest growing niche. Prior to 2002, a multitude of corporate accounting scandals (e.g., Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems and WorldCom) cost investors billions of dollars.

When the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed in 2002, a new layer of accounting oversight was created to thwart the tide of corporate financial malfeasance.

The act established new or enhanced standards for all US public company boards, management, and for public accounting firms. By creating a new public agency, the act created a number of jobs for accounting overseers, regulators, and inspectors.

Further, the Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) implemented the adoption of dozens of new rules to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board While accounting will be a very fast growing sector at 22% from 2008-2018, the growth in jobs for CPAs is expected to be the sector’s fastest growing niche. Passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). PCAOB will expand to hire more accountants and CPAs to provide independent oversight of public accounting firms which audit their corporate clients.

The central oversight board will register auditors as well as setting up the procedural framework for compliance audits, inspections and policing conduct and quality control, and enforcing compliance with specific elements of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX Act).

Very strong growth (22%) is forecasted in the number of accounting jobs expected from 2008-2018. Within that group, CPAs have an expected growth rate faster than that for accountants; a growing niche is enforcing new laws which deal with financial compliance. Congress has never been at a loss for words…or legislation.

As more corporations cross the legal boundaries, more laws will be written to keep others from erring. Legislation, in this case, is like nail the barn door shut after the horse got out: yes, it keeps the others inside but you have to capture the one that got out!

Changes in laws regarding taxes, financial reporting standards, business investments, mergers and other financial matters will lead to an increased need for CPAs, accountants and auditors to police the situation.

Forensic Accounting in Criminal Justice Very strong growth (22%) is forecasted in the number of accounting jobs expected from 2008-2018. Within that group, CPAs have an expected growth rate faster than that for accountants; a growing niche is forensic accounting.

Forensic accountants who detect illegal financial activity will be more in demand as the number of financial crimes increases.

Crimes such as embezzlement, bribery, and securities fraud by individuals, by corporations, and by organized crime networks are increasing. Computer technology has made these crimes even easier to commit and even harder to uncover.

But the “good guys” have weapons as well: the development of new computer software and advanced electronic surveillance technology make detecting financial crimes easier, thereby increasing the likelihood of discovery, investigation, prosecution and conviction.

Economic Expansion Very strong growth (22%) is forecasted in the number of accountants and auditor jobs (279,400 new jobs) expected from 2008-2018. Within that group, CPAs should have the best prospects for employment with an expected growth rate faster than that for accountants.

This is expected because: IF the economy expands, the number of businesses will increase. New jobs will be created in accounting to set up the books, prepare taxes, and provide management advice. As these new businesses grow, the quantity and complexity of financial information reviewed by accountants and auditors on the costs, expenditures, taxes and corporate internal controls will increase as well.

As the globalization of business accelerates, there will be an increased demand for accounting expertise and services regarding international trade and accounting rules as well as international mergers and acquisitions.

While accounting will be a very fast growing sector at 22% from 2008-2018, the growth in jobs for CPAs is expected to be the sector’s fastest growing niche. Because the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act prohibits auditing companies from providing services such as consulting and management advice to their clients, it is expected that there will be job growth in accounting companies which provide consulting and other non-auditing advice to their clients.

Since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that senior executives of a company (such as the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer) take individual responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the corporate financial reports, it is likely that those who rise to C-level will have to have more familiarity with accounting than a manager’s passing glance. This opens a career path for accountants/ CPAs into the CEO chair as well as the CFO chair.

(Since the CEO is asked to sign the company’s tax return, this is all the more reason for the person to be a CPA as well as a manager.)

Forensic accountants who detect illegal financial activity will be more in demand as the number of financial crimes increases.

Crimes such as embezzlement, bribery, and securities fraud by individuals, by corporations, and by organized crime networks are increasing. Computer technology has made these crimes even easier to commit and even harder to uncover. But the “good guys” have weapons as well: the development of new computer software and advanced electronic surveillance technology make detecting financial crimes easier, thereby increasing the likelihood of discovery, investigation, prosecution and conviction.

As the success rates of the “good guys” rise, the demand for forensic accountants will rise as well.

At CPA Test, the countdown to 2011 has begun. Because CPAexcel is the only CPA Test course which never expires, you can order it now and study for the current 2010 CPA Test. If you have not passed all four sections by the end of 2010, you will have access to the new 2011 CBT-e content and functionality for free!

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