The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has rolled out two certificate programs for professionals in forensic accounting.
The new programs are offered at the intermediate level, address core and specialized forensic strategies, and come at a time of increasing concerns about financial crimes.
“Our certificates provide new options to CPAs seeking a comprehensive pathway to the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential, as well as to other financial professionals who wish to show competency in financial forensics but are not eligible to get the CFF credential,” said Barbara Andrews, AICPA Director of Forensic Services, in a prepared statement. “Anyone wanting to expand his or her knowledge of financial forensics can benefit by enrolling in our new certificate programs.”
Here’s the difference between the two:
Core Certificate. The program is the more basic of the two and covers the essentials of planning, performance and reporting of forensic accounting. This includes forensic engagement and management, evidence identification and gathering, the discovery process, how to conduct effective interviews, depositions and testimonies, and preparing sustainable reports.
Specialized Certificate. This program gets into more forensic depth, addressing bankruptcy, technology, data recovery, damages, lost earnings and fringe benefits; patents, copyrights and trademarks; mergers and acquisitions, detecting and investigating fraud, and divorce and family law.
CPAs who complete both programs are considered to have met the education and exam requirements for getting the CFF credential. However, CFF candidates must also have 1,000 hours of business experience in forensic accounting to meet CFF requirements.
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.