Forensic accountants need to have a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting at a minimum. Forensic accountants must also pass the Uniform Certified Public Account Examination to gain entry into the field.
The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination allows a forensic accountant to become a certified public accountant, otherwise known as a CPA. The test includes four parts, but students have 18 months to complete the test.
There are separate organizations that offer training and certification. For instance, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners offers programs for aspiring forensic accountants. However, these institutions require a certain level of experience and education for members to be accepted. For example, the American College of Forensic Experts requires students to pass an online exam and become a CPA to be considered.
Another pathway to becoming a forensic accountant is combining CPA certification with fraud examiner licensing. This type of qualification may require a background in law, criminology or sociology to be considered by an organization.
The process of becoming a forensic account requires continuing education, and many forensic accountants engage in graduate study to satisfy these requirements. Some universities offer master's degree programs in forensic accounting or business administration with a special focus on the field. The type of continuing courses needed may include business, finance and accounting classes.