11. How do I become a Forensic Accountant ?
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) has established The Alliance for Excellence in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (Alliance) to encourage and recognize excellence in the provision of Financial Investigation, Forensic Accounting and Financial Litigation Support services by Chartered Accountants.
One of the objectives of the Alliance is to develop and manage a specialist certification program. In Canada, CAs who wish to be designated as specialists in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA· IFA) must successfully complete a Diploma Program.
The Diploma Program is not restricted to Chartered Accountants. The Diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (DIFA) is designed as a comprehensive program for someone who wishes to practice in the area of Investigative and Forensic Accounting.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has established the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) designation for CPAs who practice in the area of forensic accounting. More information about the CFF program can be obtained at the AICPA web site.
The Forensic CPA Society was created to promote excellence in the area of forensic accounting. They offer a certification in forensic accounting called the FCPA. This stands for Forensic Certified Public Accountant. This designation is open to CPAs and CAs as well as another country’s CPA equivalent. More information about the FCPA can be obtained at the Forensic CPA Society web site.
In addition, an accountant can learn about Forensic Accounting by attending various seminars, courses and obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
The Forensic Accountant's prior audit and accounting experience will be of tremendous assistance. But ultimately, it is only through working with experienced Forensic Accountants on various cases that one can learn the skills necessary to become a capable Forensic Accountant.