Dr. Robert L. O’Block is the founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI), an independent scientific and professional association providing education, certification and representation for forensic examiners worldwide. This Q&A was prepared by AICPA Editor-at-Large Rick Telberg.
What makes forensic accounting such a hot career choice right now?
The pervasiveness and cost of financial fraud and abuse are fast-growing problems in business, government agencies and non-profit organizations. In 2006, there were 490 corporate fraud cases reported. In the three years since, the number of cases has risen 175%. Forensic accounting is a rapidly developing field, countering this rising trend of white-collar crime on the world economic stage.
What sets Certified Forensic Accountants (Cr.FAs)® apart from other CPAs?
Forensic accountants use a unique blend of education and experience to apply accounting, auditing and investigative skills to uncover the truth, form expert opinions and assist in investigations. As a forensic accountant, one must be experienced and knowledgeable in corporate financial planning and management techniques. Additionally, Cr.FAs must have strong communication and interviewing skills to effectively elicit information from those reluctant to reveal the truth. This skill is often underestimated—but is crucial to a successful forensic accountant.
What are some career possibilities for a Certified Forensic Accountant?
The most common types of work held by forensic accountants include: private practice accountants, consultants, internal auditors, IRS auditors, FBI agents, defense department auditors, SEC accountants, bankruptcy specialists, lawyers, professors, bank examiners and chief financial officers. The practicality of the certification is far-reaching; many different professionals can expand their expertise and training to better serve clients and ensure justice. Legal consulting is the fastest growing area of consulting services.
Why become certified by ACFEI?
Along with recognition as a top professional in your field, certification by ACFEI gives you many exclusive benefits, including free online continuing education credits, a free subscription to our quarterly journal, The Forensic Examiner®, reduced rates to our annual national conference and much more.
application information and requirements, please visit acfei.com or call 800.423.9737.