Pros and cons of forensic accounting

Having a forensic accounting career can be extremely fulfilling but it can also have certain setbacks as well. As with all careers, you want to make sure that you are passionate in accounting and all that it entails. Forensic accounting is a bit different compared to other accounting careers such as bookkeeping. Keep reading if you wish to know some of the pros and cons of being a forensic accountant.
Pros
• It’s not monotonous. Unlike other accounting careers, those in forensic accounting can have a bit of unpredictability. A forensic accountant also acts as an investigator and analyzes financial data and records to piece together information. They determine a timeline based on what is given to them and also decide ultimately if fraud has been committed or if insurance claims prove to be valid and true. Since each case is different, every interaction will be different.
• The salary is competitive and can steadily increase. As your skills and reputation grow, so can your salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most accounting careers have the median annual salary is $63,550. Again this salary can grow yearly or as your experience grows.
• You can wear different hats. Besides working with numbers, you must also work as an investigator and think outside the box. Also there are times where you will also work with law enforcement in certain cases and may present the evidence in court. Again unlike other accounting careers, your career in forensic accounting can prove to be one filled with excitement and intrigue.
Cons
• There are certain risk factors involved. Because you will often be working in cases that involve fraud or insurance claims, you do risk a chance of the person or company of interest wanting to do harm to you in order to prevent you from presenting the information you have. Besides having threats, you also have risks on your reputation as well. If continuously make errors in your findings, you may find that you will not be hired because of your lack of attention to detail. Those in this career must make sure that they do their due diligence and have little to no errors in their findings.
• The journey to becoming a forensic accountant can be long. Most accounting careers needs a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some accounting positions can be obtained with just a bachelor’s degree but those interested in a forensic accounting career must also be certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and some positions may require you to have a master’s as well.
• There can be an irregular work schedule. Depending on your work case you may find your schedule or your hours erratic. Sometimes you may work nights and weekends and it may create an imbalance in your personal life. While this may not always be the case, there will be times where you can find yourself frustrated with the lack of personal time you have due to the work load you have.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-1
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2011.01

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