History Of Accounting And Forensic Accounting Accounting Essay

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Abstract

"Accounting has been around since the beginning of civilization" (Giroux, 1999). With that being said as we look back at the history of accounting we can see that accountants in a way helped to shape history. Accountants were responsible for inventing writing and were needed by Industrial Revolution inventors and entrepreneurs for survival. Accountants were also responsible for innovating the double entry accounting that according to Giroux, fueled the Italian Renaissance. Accounting systems have since came a long way. Forensic accounting on the other hand, which is basically a mix between detective and accountant, has not been around as long. In fact this career did not start to grow until around 2008. This is when the AICPA created the Certified in Financial Forensics Credential and since its creation the profession has grown faster than was expected.

Exploring Career Opportunities in Accounting: Specifically Forensic Accounting

History of Accounting and Forensic Accounting

"Accounting has been around since the beginning of civilization" (Giroux, 1999). With that being said as we look back at the history of accounting we can see that accountants in a way helped to shape history. Accountants were responsible for inventing writing and were needed by Industrial Revolution inventors and entrepreneurs for survival. Accountants were also responsible for innovating the double entry accounting that according to (Giroux, 1999), fueled the Italian Renaissance. Accounting systems have since came a long way. Forensic accounting on the other hand, which is basically a mix between being a detective and an accountant, has not been around as long. In fact this career did not start to grow until around 2008. This is when the AICPA created the Certified in Financial Forensics Credential. Since 2008 the profession has grown faster than was expected.

Available Accountant Positions

There are four major fields in accounting; they are public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, and internal auditing. Public accountants work for different types of entities like corporations, government agencies and individuals. They provide such services as basic accounting and preparing income tax returns or tax related consulting. "Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting" (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Forensic Accountants are accountants/detectives; they also serve as expert witnesses. Management accountants work for companies and are usually part of executive teams. Government accountants and auditors work in the public sector.

Tax Examiners

Tax Examiners fall into the category of government accountants and auditors. Since governments always collect taxes tax examiners will always have job opportunities. Basically a tax examiner's job is to verify that tax returns filed by individuals have correct deductions and tax credits. They also verify that tax payer's social security numbers are entered correctly and that their math is right. Tax examiners also perform clerical duties at the entry level. Most tax examiners normally work a 40 hour work week except during tax season. They usually work in offices and may have to do some travelling.

Education, Qualifications, Training and Organizations with Positions

A bachelor's degree is held by a lot of tax examiners but is not always required to procure employment, although it is preferred. Some employers may be willing to hire you if you can show that you have the proper experience and "can demonstrate experience working with tax records, tax laws and regulations, documents, financial accounts, or similar records" (Bureau of Labor Statistics). However the federal government does require a bachelor's degree or experience in accounting, bookkeeping, or tax analysis for at least one year then they will receive some official training. Tax examiners mainly work for federal, state or local government. At the federal level most work for the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Academic Innovations "The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to determine the skills our young people need to succeed in the world of work" (Academic Innovations). This site offers several workplace competencies needed to be successful. I have chosen two of these skills/competencies that are essential to this career path. The first is in the heading of Resources: Money- basically this means that you can prepare budgets, keep good records and prepare financial statements and adjust them accordingly. The second one is Information, meaning that you are able to acquire, evaluate, organize, maintain, interpret and communicate information (Academic Innovations).

Salary Expectations and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) wages for tax examiners in 2008 ranged from a low of approximately $28,390 to a high of $89,630, this being the top 10 percent. IRS employees also receive benefits. Wages vary depending on where you work. The job outlook for this occupation is expected to have an average growth rate for the next ten years. The U.S. Department of Labor states on their website that the projected growth rate for tax examiners from 2008-18 is 13 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors help individuals with tax laws, investments and they help with long term investments like retirement and education expenses. Personal financial advisors may also be licensed to buy and sell stocks, bonds, annuities, etc. Most personal financial advisors work normal business hours and usually work in offices or from their homes. Some also work teaching evening classes.

Education, Qualifications, Training

Most companies prefer a bachelor's degree in any of the following disciplines: "accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law" (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Personal financial advisors can apply to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to receive a certification as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). In order to be certified you need 3 years of experience in this or a related field, a bachelor's degree, pass a comprehensive examination, and adherence to a code of ethics (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Salary Expectations and Job Outlook

The average salary for personal financial advisors in 2008 was $69,050 for those who worked for a firm and they usually received a bonus. I did not at the time of writing this paper find any wage information foe advisors who were self-employed. This occupation is expected to grow by 30 percent during the period of 2008-18. Workplace competencies for this career would be "Serves Clients/Customers--works to satisfy customers' expectations and Time--Selects goal-relevant activities, ranks them, allocates time, and prepares and follows schedules" (Academic Innovations)

Forensic Account

Forensic Accounting is defined as "A science (i.e., a department of systemized knowl­edge) dealing with the application of accounting facts gathered through auditing methods and procedures to resolve legal problems. Forensic accounting is much different from traditional auditing. Forensic accounting is a specialty requiring the integration of investigative, accounting, and auditing skills. The forensic accountant looks at documents and company financials and other data in a critical manner in order to draw conclusions, calculate values and to identify irregular patterns and/or suspicious transactions. A forensic accountant does not merely look at the numbers but rather looks behind the numbers" (Forensic Accounting: West's Encyclopedia of American Law). It is rumored that that the first known use of forensic accounting was to convict Al Capone for tax evasion.

Some public accountants specialize in forensic accounting-investigating and interpreting white-collar crimes such as securities fraud and embezzlement, bankruptcies and contract disputes, and other complex and possibly criminal financial transactions, including money laundering by organized criminals. Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and finance with law and investigative techniques to determine whether an activity is illegal. Many forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement personnel and lawyers during investigations and often appear as expert witnesses during trials (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Education, Qualifications, Training

As with most accounting certifications in order to qualify to take the CPA exam, you must have 150 semester hours of education. The degree would be a bachelor's degree adding 1 year of education past the typical four year degree. There are a few places that offer a combination master's/bachelor's degree. For this position you would need the Certified in Financial Forensic Credential (CFF) issued by The American Institute of CPAs. This certification was introduced in June 2008 and as stated earlier since its creation the profession has grown faster than was expected. "AICPA in partnership with Golden Gate University has developed a series of 15 courses titled Financial Forensic Accounting Education Series to educate CPAs about financial forensics" (AICPA, 2006-2010). These courses are broken down into three categories which is: professional responsibilities and practice management, fundamental forensic knowledge and specialized forensic knowledge. Some companies also require 3 years' experience as a CPA.

Salary Expectations and Job Outlook

The salary for forensic accounts looks very promising. According to payscale.com the average salary for a forensic account with 1-4 years of experience is $51,000 annually. With more experience the earnings continue to go up. The job outlook for this career is very promising due to all the financial corruption in recent years. "According to U.S. World and News Report, forensic accounting is one of the secure job opportunities for the future" (Forensic Accounting Information Home). Forensic accountants work in different areas such as the FBI, CIA, public accounting and law firms. Some forensic accountants are self-employed as expert witnesses and as such they charge thousands of dollars for a couple of hours in court. So all in all the job forecasts for forensic accountants are excellent and on the rise. I myself can't wait to get started in this exciting career. I have taken the first step in making this possible by taking classes at Bryant & Stratton College Online. I will continue to work hard and keep my nose to the wheel to achieve my goal to be a Forensic Accountant.References

Academic Innovations. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from Academic Innovations Website: http://www.academicinnovations.com/report.html#math

Academic Innovations. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from Academic Innovations Website: http://www.academicinnovations.com/report.html#math

AICPA. (2006-2010). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from American Institute of CPAs Website: http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/ForensicAndValuation/Membership/DownloadableDocuments/CFF%20CSO%20-%20with%20logos.pdf

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Accountants and Auditors. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos001.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Personal Financial Advisors. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos302.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos260.htm

Forensic Accounting Information Home. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2010, from Forensic Accounting Information: http://www.forensic-accounting-information.com/

Forensic Accounting: West's Encyclopedia of American Law. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2010, from Answers.com: http://www.answers.com/topic/forensic-accounting

Giroux, G. (1999). A Short History of Accounting and Business.

Giroux, G. (1999). A SHORT HISTORY OF ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS.

U.S. Department of Labor. (2009, December 17). Accountants and Auditors. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos001.htm

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