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The recent multi-billion-dollar corporate scandals (Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, and others) have shaken the business world. The public and governmental reaction to these events has been enormous. It has triggered congressional action that resulted in recent legislation (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) and auditing standards (Statement on Auditing Standard No. 99) that require companies and their auditors to be more aggressive in detecting and preventing fraud, which, in turn, has elevated the importance of the accounting profession in protecting the integrity of the financial system in order to prevent and detect such scandals.
The impact on the accounting profession has been dramatic. This environment has created many job opportunities in the accounting profession as federal, state, and local governmental agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Offices of Inspector General, all have an increased need for accountants and others with forensic investigation skills. The private sector, too, has seen increases in the demand for forensic accountants and fraud investigators in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations as well as with accounting firms.
In the past, most practicing forensic accountants developed investigative techniques and skills through on-the-job experience. Because of the growing demand, there is now a need for academic programs that help prepare accountants and other professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to enter forensic accounting and fraud investigative positions. Such skills and knowledge will assist business, government, and nonprofit organizations detect and deter fraud and other crimes.
At La Salle University, students may earn a Certificate in Fraud and Forensic Accounting by:
It prepares participants for a career in the exciting field of forensic accounting by providing them with skills and tools to both prevent fraud from occurring and discovering fraud after it has occurred. Topics include complex financial investigations, compliance and financial audits, money laundering, net worth analysis, the psychology of white-collar crime, financial statement fraud, and more.
This certificate is earned by students who complete a series of five courses (plus an additional course if the student needs the foundation accounting course). The foundation course in Managerial and Financial Accounting will be waived if the participant has sufficient background.