What Is A Forensic Accountant
Forensic Accounting is the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. "Forensic" means suitable for use in Court, and it is to that standard and potential outcome that forensic accountants generally have to work.
The Forensic Certified Public Accountant designation tells the public and the business community that the holder has met certain testing and experience guidelines and is not only a CPA, but has been certified as a forensic accountant.
Forensic accountants often have to give expert evidence at the eventual trial. Forensic accountants not only utilize their accounting and auditing skills, but also use their investigative skills to determine what events actually took place in a financial setting.
Basic Requirements To Become A FCPA
An individual MUST be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), or another countryŒs CPA equivalent to be eligible to earn Forensic Certified Public Accountant designation.
Eligible individuals must complete the course curriculum, then pass each section of our five-part Certification Test with a score of 70% or greater. Each section can be taken individually.
Designess must also take 20 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year and remit membership dues in the amount of $150 to keep their membership current. These hours must be forensic accounting or fraud related.
Exemptions: If an individual is a CPA and a CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics), he or she is exempt from taking the certification exam and can automatically receive their FCPA. If a person is a licensed CPA and also a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), he or she is exempt from 2 of the 5 exams.
The Forensic Certified Public Accountant designation requires students to complete the FCPA Study Guide, plus the following five books:
- Criminal Interrogation &Confessions
- Corporate Fraud Handbook
- Financial Investigation &Forensic Attn.
- Forensic &Investigative Accounting
- Principles of Fraud Examination
The Study Guide is a database of about 300-400 questions per book. Candidates can take practice tests where 100 questions are pulled at random from the database to simulate each Certification Test.
During the simulation process, feedback for each question is provided to explain which answer is correct and the logic behind the answer. Once you can consistently score 70% or more on these practice tests, you should have no trouble passing that sectionŒs Certification Test.
- Each test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
- All five tests must be completed within 1-year from the time the first test is taken.
- The fee for each test is included in the price of this course.
- A 70% minimum score is required to pass.
- Failed tests may be retaken at any time for $50.00 re-take fee.
- After passing a test, you will earn 20 hours of CPE credit that will be accepted in most states (see list of acceptable CPE states below).
- A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.
- After the successful completion of all five tests, one may application for membership in the FCPA Society.
Upon registering for this course, you will receive each of the five books, the Study Guide, and online access information to be able to take the Certification Tests (exam fee is included in course registration).
Pursuing the FCPA
This course may be taken independently for professional development or in oneŒs pursuit to earn the FCPA designation. Click on this hyperlink for a full description of the designation.
Special Bonus: CPE credits!
Most states offer 20 hours of CPE credit for each test you pass that can be used for your CPE requirements. See section below for qualifying states.