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Forensic accounting

A photo of Tantrum Tantrum
Do any schools offer a program in forensic accounting?
If not, where am I better off applying ?
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A photo of SUMmer123456 SUMmer123456

@Tantrum wrote
Do any schools offer a program in forensic accounting?
If not, where am I better off applying ?



Apparently U of T offers some courses/diploma. But forensic accounting is more of a masters levels topic, based on my knowledge, because it requires a strong foundational background in accounting. I'm not entirely certain on this, however, so I would wait for someone more knowledgeable than me on the matter. I'm actually in accounting, so I have some background in accounting and just gave you what limited knowledge I had on the topic.
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A photo of Viking21 Viking21
It's a really high paying career. But I believe you need to take another designation after your CA (I think it is called IFA). So basically you need to get you CA first which can be done by completing the 51 required credit hours (with the grades), then completing the three examinations and finally completing 30 months of accounting work at a firm.
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A photo of Viking21 Viking21

@SUMmer123456 wrote

@Tantrum wrote
Do any schools offer a program in forensic accounting?
If not, where am I better off applying ?



Apparently U of T offers some courses/diploma. But forensic accounting is more of a masters levels topic, based on my knowledge, because it requires a strong foundational background in accounting. I'm not entirely certain on this, however, so I would wait for someone more knowledgeable than me on the matter. I'm actually in accounting, so I have some background in accounting and just gave you what limited knowledge I had on the topic.



I just researched a bit. You are right that you need to take a diploma program at university of toronto. It is called DIFA.

Here is the website
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A photo of g93 g93
CICA offers various specializations. These include Information Technology (CA-IT), Business Valuation (CA-CBV), Internal Auditing (CA-CIA), Information Systems Auditing (CA-CISA), Insolvency and Restructuring (CA-CIRP) and Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA-IFA). There is also an option to pursue the Certified Management Consultant designation (special partnership), and of course you may have heard of the semi-common CA-CFA combination.

In order to become a CA-IFA, you must have 3 years post-qualification work as a CA, be a member in good standing of one of the provincial institutes, complete the Diploma in Investigative and Financial Accounting from UofT (DIFA) and complete a certain requirement of IFA work experience. The DIFA program is two years and is primarily done through distance education. This way you do not have to stop working to go to school, it is something that you can do while working- just be prepared to dedicate lots of extra time to it. To be considered for the program, you must have two years of relevant work experience and must have completed an undergraduate degree in business or accounting with a minimum final year average of a mid-B. More on the: [URL=http://www.utoronto.ca/difa/index.htm]DIFA program[/url] and IFA Specialization

The IFA specialization is not something you should be worrying about right now. Complete your degree and get some work experience and your designation. Once you have worked some more you will have a better understanding of what you would like to get into in the accounting and business fields. At that time you may feel it is appropriate to pursue the IFA specialization.
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A photo of Smothy88 Smothy88
I was thinking about becoming a forensic accountant too but after thinking about it, I dont think it would be all that fun. Sure it's high paying but what do you have to look forward to?
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I've always thought it was kinda neat. I mean you're basically a detective for white collar crimes. I guess anyone who's had an interest in law/policing and business would like it - I think it's neat.

I didn't know it was so well paid though...Also didn't know how much schooling it required until reading this. Where would a forensic accountant work? (i.e. Big 4, police, etc.)
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A photo of g93 g93

@Username81 wrote
I've always thought it was kinda neat. I mean you're basically a detective for white collar crimes. I guess anyone who's had an interest in law/policing and business would like it - I think it's neat.

I didn't know it was so well paid though...Also didn't know how much schooling it required until reading this. Where would a forensic accountant work? (i.e. Big 4, police, etc.)


$257,000 average salary for a CA-IFA ;)

They work with law enforcement agencies, the government (eg Canada Revenue Agency), banks, insurance companies, law firms, and public accounting firms. I believe the only Big 4 firm that really offers any forensic accounting services is E&Y, although I am not sure if they even do. There are firms like Insignia Forensic Group and H&A Forensic, etc. that offer only forensic accounting services. Then there are others such as Navigant that offer a wide range of services but have a big focus on forensic accounting.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@g93 wrote

@Username81 wrote
I've always thought it was kinda neat. I mean you're basically a detective for white collar crimes. I guess anyone who's had an interest in law/policing and business would like it - I think it's neat.

I didn't know it was so well paid though...Also didn't know how much schooling it required until reading this. Where would a forensic accountant work? (i.e. Big 4, police, etc.)


$257,000 average salary for a CA-IFA ;)

They work with law enforcement agencies, the government (eg Canada Revenue Agency), banks, insurance companies, law firms, and public accounting firms. I believe the only Big 4 firm that really offers any forensic accounting services is E&Y, although I am not sure if they even do. There are firms like Insignia Forensic Group and H&A Forensic, etc. that offer only forensic accounting services. Then there are others such as Navigant that offer a wide range of services but have a big focus on forensic accounting.


This has re-sparked my interest haha. Wow thank you, that was super informative.
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A photo of g93 g93
^ While the money is a big plus, it is fairly interesting if you like nunbers. One of the cool parts of the job (depend where you work) is to try and steal money from a company. If you can't, then the systems are good. If you can, then something needs to e put in place to prevent this from occurring with an employee at the company. Unfortunately you don't get to keep the money :(
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@g93 wrote
^ While the money is a big plus, it is fairly interesting if you like nunbers. One of the cool parts of the job (depend where you work) is to try and steal money from a company. If you can't, then the systems are good. If you can, then something needs to e put in place to prevent this from occurring with an employee at the company. Unfortunately you don't get to keep the money :(


Dang that wold be a nice tip eh? ;)

And yea that sounds pretty similar to the computer guys whose job it is to try and hack into a company. If they can't, their systems are good. Cool similarities :)
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A photo of Smothy88 Smothy88
After doing some more research, I'm starting to reconsider this again. I've been deciding between a career in law enforcement and business for a while now. I decided to take business and figured I could always fall back and become a detective if business wasn't my thing and having my BBA would probably be more beneficial than the hundreds of police foundations graduates that apply to police agencies.

How much school would someone wanting to become a forensic accountant be looking at. I'm figuring a 4 year bachelor, another few years work experience and then another two years of schooling?
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A photo of g93 g93
^ As stated in my original post, you will need an undergraduate degree in business/accounting (with a minimum final-year average of a mid-B, with only a few exceptions) in order to apply to the DIFA program, plus at least 3 years work experience in accounting, and you must be a CA (so tack on/merge your CA requirements to these).

The program is two years, but it is done almost soely by distance-education and doesn't take up a ton of time. It is designed to allowbpeople to stay at their jobs and continue working. You will have to dedicate some time to it (might be hard to do in busy season), so you will lose out on leisure time. I suppose you could take two years off but that could be detrimental.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@Smothy88 wrote
After doing some more research, I'm starting to reconsider this again. I've been deciding between a career in law enforcement and business for a while now. I decided to take business and figured I could always fall back and become a detective if business wasn't my thing and having my BBA would probably be more beneficial than the hundreds of police foundations graduates that apply to police agencies.

his is the exact, and I mean exact, mindset I have with the BBA :)
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A photo of Feli0303 Feli0303
Algonquin college has a graduate diplomia for forensic accounting. You need to get a college or university degree first. Then you can go specialize. It is only offered part time. Here is the link: http://xweb.algonquincollege.com/woodroffe/program.aspx?query=1801X07PWO

If you plan on being a CGA, CMA, or CA go to university. You need a university degree to get a designation. I did the college route and now I have 15 university classes and 5 CGA classes to go to get a designation. If you know for sure you want to just be a forensic accountant, get a 3 year college diploma and then go into the Foresnsic Accounting program. I have taken a look at the books for these and they are pretty much all theory.
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A photo of g93 g93
That dies not allow you to become a CA-iFA though. The DIFA program at UofT is the only program that is accepted by CICA.

College can be good, but isn't the greatest for accounting. You can see- college grads perform quite poorly on the UFE (and even the CKE and SOA) and many are unable to find work that is above a basic accountants role. The higher up positions in accounting are rarely filled by anyone other than those with designations, and the majority of these are university graduates. As a university degree is becoming more common, there are less college grads moving up. You are going to have to bepretty ambitious to get places.

It can e a quicker and cheaper road to a forensic accountant jb, but your chances of doing more advanced work (eg big global cases) or moving into a senior role (higher paying too) is much slimmer. Plus you have less tofapl back on.

It is another option, but or those already pursuing the CA designation it makes more sense to shoot for the DIFA program.
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A photo of Jack555 Jack555

@Smothy88 wrote
I was thinking about becoming a forensic accountant too but after thinking about it, I dont think it would be all that fun. Sure it's high paying but what do you have to look forward to?



Going home!
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