The most commonly known differences between Forensic and Traditional Accounting:
1. An obvious difference which one can see between a traditional auditor and a forensic accountant is that the former is someone who looks for math accuracy in the accounting department, while the latter looks behind all the financial numbers to catch fraud or embezzlement.
2. The second difference is investigative intuition. Intuition is the gut instinct which one has to channel to the right direction, especially about where your investigation should begin. This is not book-learned, but achieved through experience, and is very important in forensic accounting.
3. Traditional auditing is auditing others’ work to see if they have followed all the documented official policies and procedures of the company. It is based on evidence and not simply a matter of opinion or hunches.
4. Traditional auditing focuses on fault identification and its prevention. Prevention happens because of a good effective internal control system. The auditor sees the effectiveness of those internal control systems.
5. Traditional auditors make use of statistics to determine the probability and identification of material errors, while forensic accountants make use of physical evidence, testified evidence, documented evidence and demo evidence to help identify suspects.
6. In forensic accounting, any kind of evidence could be used as information, whether documentary or electronic, even computer video or audio. However, it needs an expert to interpret and present it. Demonstrative evidence is not real evidence, but just an aid to understanding the rest.
7. Forensic Accountants often serve as expert witnesses for a lawsuits or criminal cases in a court. They need to have applied and reliable principles and methods to prove any wrong-doing.
8. Forensic Accountants also need to possess skill and expertise in 2 fields: Private Investigation and Accounting. These are required to become a good forensic accountant. However, no such requirement in traditional accounting is needed.
So you may be thinking about studying to be a CPA. The CPA exam will not be a simple examination to take, as we probably already know. It requires considerable time and effort to be spent to get the best results and achieve a pass in the CPA Exam. Having said that, you are going to reap the rewards when you are ultimately minted as a CPA.
1. The career paths for CPAs are varied. It is not all about accounting for big corporations. There are a number of different CPA career paths, including Forensic and Information Technology (IT). As the criminal activity becomes more regularly occurring and given the growing variety of company related investigations, Forensic Accountants are currently in much more demand. Certified Public Accountants are able to work for either a big global CPA firm or maybe a modest local accounting practice. Teaching accountancy can also be yet another career path you can think about
2. Your colleagues will have more respect for you after you achieve your CPA License. You can demonstrate that you truly have the ambition, drive and perseverance to progress your career. Employers will see that you are committed to your career and may see you as a hardworking and dedicated individual. You own self esteem should grow as well – envision those feelings of reaching your main goal and becoming a CPA.
3. Accountants with a CPA License are in great demand. According to Reuters there is a shortage of experienced CPAs. Because of the recent corporate scandals the amount of jobs that require a CPA title has increased considerably. As public corporations have to meet stringent accounting guidelines as a result of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley act there exists an increased need for accounting professionals.
4. A CPAs salary is more in comparison to a regular accountants?. Recent research verify that a CPA could make 10% more salary, on average, compared to regular accountants. Without a doubt, more experience will bring a greater salary. Improving your credentials by becoming a CPA will bring you the rewards of a higher salary.
Add in the option to be ready to retire in fifteen years and you will see that deciding to become a CPA could be the best decision you ever made.