What is an Accounting and Financial Forensics Degree?

Accounting and financial forensics is a specialized field of accounting born out of the need to look beyond general accounting functions to identify concerns in the financial industry, including financial discrepancies, fraud, risk assessment, cyber crime, compliance concerns and other issues related to complex financial transactions.

Students earning a Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Forensics (MSAFF) degree are also on the front lines of tax fraud and money laundering, as well as non-criminal investigations such as determining the value of a business or collecting relevant data related to a bankruptcy.

The MSAFF at Florida Tech prepares graduates with advanced investigation, critical thinking and financial auditing expertise to perform work such as financial and tax accounting research, information systems and internal auditing, fraud examination, information security and data intelligence, as well as financial management and portfolio analyses, among others. Accounting and financial forensics experts can act as financial fraud prevention advisors and must be able to put complex financial information in simple terms for others, such as lawyers, CEOs, members of a jury, or other investigators to understand.

The MSAFF degree positions forensic accounting professionals for one of the fastest growing specialty areas for CPAs. It allows students to continue their education in an innovative and highly sought-after area of accounting, while also providing the 150 credit/classroom hours required for CPA licensure. All accounting classes are approved by the Florida State Board of Accountancy for credit toward the requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

While many students’ earning a MSAFF have undergraduate accounting degrees, the MSAFF degree program allows undergraduates without an accounting or business degree to take advantage of this program to prepare for high-demand career opportunities.

What Does Florida Tech Offer Accounting and Financial Forensics Students?

Florida Tech professors use hands-on learning experiences and case methodology to ensure MSAFF degree majors gain practical experience applicable to the type of work they will perform in their job. As one of the top global universities, Florida Tech students enjoy a unique, personalized experience with small classes and one-on-one interaction with their faculty mentors. Professors at the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business provide research and internship opportunities, including but not limited to, information gathering, preservation and analysis, audit asset identification, examinations of fraud and sensitive financial information systems, due diligence reviews and asset recovery. The MSAFF provides graduates more than a master’s degree in accounting, but a degree that affords a wider scope on the issues facing the financial industry, concentrating on the ever-increasing amount of data, and the myriad of tools needed to more effectively manage and secure the modern financial climate. Florida Tech boasts one of the best faculties in the country, and through their teaching, authored-education material, research, professional networking and community activities, they build a solid business and academic framework necessary for the real world.

Beyond the classroom, MSAFF degree majors develop leadership experience through internships and participation in academic organizations like Delta Mu Delta (national business society), the Society for Advancement of Management, the International Business Club, student government and over 100 other student organizations. In addition, students have the opportunity to learn about international business through Florida Tech's culturally enriched study abroad programs (Spain, the Netherlands and Oxford, England), and through working closely with global virtual teams on case studies through the internationally recognized X-Culture project.

What Type of Careers Will Accounting and Financial Forensic Graduates Find?

Accounting and financial forensics degree specialists work with public accounting firms, banks, corporations, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and government entities to conduct any number of accounting and financial management duties, as well as combat fraud, bribery, money laundering and embezzlement. Employers look for candidates who have an eye for detail and accuracy, as well as a desire to investigate and maintain a grasp on the changing banking, investment and accounting industry. Accounting and financial forensics specialists often work closely with other professionals including legal, information technology, human resources and c-suite executives.