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Certifications Relating to Forensic Accounting

Part of the Forensic Accounting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To become a forensic accountant, no government-issued license is required. However, certifications related to forensic accounting and fraud investigation are issued by several professional associations. Here are some of the certifications you may wish to pursue en route to becoming a forensic accountant:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): You don't have to be a CPA to be a forensic accountant, but this certification is very valuable. These three letters say that you are an accountant who has had a rigorous education and passed one of the toughest licensing examinations in the United States. Also, the Association of Certified Public Accountants issues a Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential for forensic accountants.

  • Certified Forensic Examiner (CFE): The CFE is arguably the most recognized credential related to forensic accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) issues the CFE designation; visit www.acfe.com.

  • Certified Forensic Financial Analyst (CFFA): The CFFA designation is sponsored by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA), which is best known for its Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) certification: a certification in the valuation of businesses. Business valuations are often performed for forensic purposes: matrimonial disputes, torts, and litigation with the IRS related to estate and gift taxes. See www.nacva.org.

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