Bachelor of Science (BS): Fraud Examination Degree Overview

Students who are interested in fraud examination can pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) in the field. Get more information about the accounting-related curriculum and future opportunities for graduates.

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Essential Information

Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in fraud examination train students to search financial paperwork and reports for evidence of fraudulent claims. Students learn about financial business practices, financial spreadsheet applications and cross-examination. Other topics of study include business law, corporate finance, tax law and auditing.

For admission into one of these four-year programs, an applicant must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some universities may require that applicants have completed college preparatory coursework in high school or that they meet minimum GPA standards.


Bachelor of Science in Fraud Examination

Students receive training in conducting fraud examinations, auditing financial records and documenting evidence of fraud for use in legal proceedings. The majority of programs in this field cover topics related to general accounting, criminal justice, business administration and fraudulent claims. Common coursework may include:

  • Government accounting
  • Fraud investigation
  • Fraud prevention
  • Interview techniques
  • Fraud detection technology
  • Business operations

Popular Career Options

Graduates can choose between careers that focus on identifying fraud or on preventing fraud within organizations. Graduates typically possess the skills to verify the accuracy of financial records and identify potential acts of fraud. Possible career titles may include:

  • Forensic accountant
  • Internal/external auditor
  • Fraudulent claims examiner

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that employment of accountants and auditors, including those who specialize in forensics and fraud investigations, will increase 11% from 2014-2024; the median annual salary for these jobs was $67,190 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET Online reports that jobs for fraud examiners, investigators and analysts are expected to grow 5%-8% from 2014-2024, and people in these jobs were paid a median annual salary of $66,670 in 2015 (www.onetonline.org).

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Beyond the bachelor's degree level, an accounting professional could go on to study accounting at the graduate level through a Master of Accountancy or Master of Business Administration with an accounting specialization. Either of these accounting programs may include a fraud examination specialization, and graduate certificate programs in forensic accounting and fraud examination may also be available.

Accounting professionals may choose to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) for professional advancement. This typically requires the completion of at least 150 credit hours of study, which can be accomplished through the completion of a master's degree program. Besides the CPA designation, earning other industry certifications remains mostly voluntary. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) provides the certified fraud examiner (CFE) certification program. To be eligible for the CFE exam, applicants must be members of ACFE, meet academic requirements and possess two years of related work experience. CFE professionals must recertify yearly by completing ACFE's continuing professional education coursework requirements (www.acfe.com).

In summary, BS programs in fraud examination are ideal for students who want to dedicate their careers to preventing or identifying financial irregularities. The accounting-related training they get can also enable graduates to seek higher education in the field.

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