The field of forensic accounting isn’t one that you hear much about, but it can be a very exciting field to break into. If you’ve been eyeing an online bachelors of accounting and you still aren’t sure it’s for you, then you may want to take a little time to read up on forensic accounting. This field will make use of all you’ve learned in your bachelors degree in accounting, yet takes you on a different path than that of a CPA.
Here we’ll take a look at what a forensic accountant does, and how you can go about starting your own forensic accounting business.
What is a Forensic Accountant?
As a forensic accountant, it will be your job to look at the books and records of a company to search for waste, fraud, and embezzlement. It’s an investigator of sorts but in a financial sense. These types of accountants can open their own business, work for an accounting firm, or be hired on by an organization or company.
In order to investigate companies, you will need to take an in-depth look at their business valuation, go over any breaches of warranties/acquisitions/or disagreements, and calculate and then quantify any damages or losses sustained by the company.
While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t list the average salary of a forensic accountant, accountants and auditors have a median salary of $68,150, as of 2016.
What Training Do You Need?
Before you can even start to think about opening your own forensic accounting business, you will need to ensure you’ve got the proper education and training. A bachelor of science in accounting is typically the best place to start. It will teach you all about the regulations, rules, procedures, tax code, and laws that must be followed. You will also learn how to balance books, dig deeper into the books, and start to form investigations.
Of course, holding your bachelor degree will also help ensure that you can charge higher rates to your clients.
Marketing Your Business.
Once you’ve completed your bachelor degree, got your finances in order to open a business, and you’re ready to open the doors, it’s time to think about marketing. Your business will depend on finding clients, which can prove to be a hurdle at first. Networking and attending industry events is always a wise place to start, and it helps you to get your name out there. You will also want to build a website and start blogging so that it ranks higher in the Google search rankings. It can also prove to be quite helpful to start using social networks to advertise and discuss your services. The more visual your business is, the higher a chance of being found is.
Keep in mind that building a client list from scratch can be slow and tedious at first, but you will be working to build your reputation which will help you to secure more clients.