What You Can Expect From A Forensic Accounting Salary
Forensic accounting is a subset of accounting that specifically looks at what the actual or forecasted accounting-related resulting from litigation. For example, if a firm is favored to win a case, a forensic accountant would look at the accounting effect that victory will have on the firm; big settlement, reduction in debt/liability, etc.
Forensic actually means “suitable for use in court.”
When looking at a forensic accountant salary, a few things should be at the top of your list. A good forensic accounting salary can be demanded if you meet certain criteria like having the right degree, the right certifications, and the right job prospects in the right part of the country. Applicants that meet all of these qualifications stand a great chance of hitting at least the average forensic accounting salary; if not beating them.
The average forensic accounting salary in the United States is $74,000. In bigger metropolitan areas, the average could be much higher. For example, the average forensic accounting salary in New York, NY is over $100,000 while the average in Orlando, FL maybe under $60,000.
It’s important to do your research on local salaries in your desired work location after obtaining your job. So, essentially a good forensic accounting salary range would be $60,000 – $100,000+. This is obviously a wide range; below are a few tips to help you hit the upper end of it.
Tips On Increasing Your Forensic Accounting Salary
- As mentioned above, the CFE certification is crucial to commanding the highest possible salary as a forensic accountant.
- Another certification, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFFs) will demand more respect and get you additional opportunities which will, in turn, create more income.
- A bachelors degree in Accounting will help you stand out from the crowd. A Masters Degree in an accounting discipline, or an MBA, will really help give you a legal up.
- A minimum of two years of job experience as an accountant, preferably in a legal discipline, will give an applicant that additional edge that can help elevate them to another level.
- Become a forensic accounting consultant. Consultants may be much better paid than staff accountants, however more experience is needed. If you are currently a forensic accountant and want to increase your salary, perhaps it’s worth while to look at the option of branching out on your own and becoming a consultant.
Forensic accountants have the ability to earn into the six figures with the right profile. Getting the right forensic accounting certifications is an important step in that process. With this in mind, it’s important to have a plan from the beginning if this is the career path you are looking at. A simple 3 Step plan can help you land your dream forensic consulting job and make sure you destroy the average forensic accounting salary.
- Get a degree in accounting from a reputable school.
- Get a job in a legal discipline post-college and get a few years of quality education under your belt.
- Get certified while working with the two certifications mentioned above: CFFs and CFE.
Completing these three steps will give you the best possible chance to hit your salary goals as a forensic accountant.
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