Known for its Jack Welch Management Institute, Strayer University-Alabama is a private, cost-effective nontraditional learning branch operated by Strayer Education Inc. that generates $441 million annually to teach over 48,000 adults at 78 U.S. campuses and online via the Google Cloud platform. Strayer was ranked America's 178th most focused accounting school on College Factual and 12th most popular online education on Eduventures with 3.5 stars from Consumer Affairs. The 8:1 student-faculty ratio keeps cohorts for the Business School's Online Master of Science in Forensic Accounting small with Success Coach mentoring. Mandating a 450 GMAT score or better, the 54-credit, two-year program offers financial aid like the Graduation Fund to afford CPA preparation. Accelerated eight-week courses dig into auditing technologies, risk management, and more before the ACC 599 graduate capstone.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Accounting Online in 2021
Dreams of becoming the Nancy Drew or Columbo of finance are within closer reach thanks to affordable online master’s in forensic accounting programs. Forensic accounting master’s degrees are awarded by graduate B-schools to train detectives who are capable of drawing legal conclusions from transactional data.
PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that 36 percent of global organizations in 2016 experienced some economic crime. Numbers won’t lie, so forensic accountants can follow the money to uncover securities fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, bribery, money laundering, bank fraud, and more for justice. Advancing to the master’s level is increasingly necessary to compete, especially to fulfill states’ Certified Public Accountant requirements. According to the American Institute of CPAs, there’s been a 19 percent increase in master’s enrollment since 2013. Many online forensic accounting master’s degrees offer great bargains with 24/7 access to virtual classrooms and no commutes.
Accredited Online College Programs
10 Most Affordable Forensic Accounting Master’s Programs Online in 2021
Our Methodology, Explained
Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30% Program Offerings Number of program options 20% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
Other Master’s in Forensic Accounting Online Degree Offerings
Online Masters of Accounting – Forensic Accounting Certificate
Average Graduate Tuition: $13,560 per year
Executive Master of Accounting in Forensic Accounting Online
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,325 per year
Online MBA: Fraud and Forensics Concentration
Average Graduate Tuition: $16,261 per year
Online M.S. in Financial Crime and Compliance Management
Average Graduate Tuition: $17,483 per year
Master of Accountancy (MAc) Forensic Accounting Concentration Online
Average Graduate Tuition: $17,550 per year
Online MS in Accounting, Forensic Accounting Concentration
Average Graduate Tuition: $18,810 per year
Online MAcc Concentration in Forensic Accounting
Average Graduate Tuition: $22,239 per year
Forensic Accounting Concentration M.S. Online
Average Graduate Tuition: $22,420 per year
Online M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics Program
Average Graduate Tuition: $22,420 per year
Online MS in Accounting: Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation
Average Graduate Tuition: $24,120 per year
Which Careers Can Online Forensic Accounting Master’s Graduates Enter?
Spending one to three years on master’s in forensic accounting online study prepares graduates for mid- and upper-level careers solving financial “mysteries.” Master’s degrees are helpful in unlocking several certifications that employers adore. For example, the American Institute of CPAs gives the Certified Public Accountant designation to post-grads who have finished 150+ credits and passed the 16-hour, computer-based exam. The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) title is bestowed by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners for master’s-trained forensic accountants with 2+ years of experience in scam detection. After CPA licensing, some become Certified Forensic Accountants from the American Board of Forensic Accounting too. Here are five sample careers benefiting from online master’s in forensic accounting training:
Forensic Accountant- Online forensic accounting master’s programs most obviously lead to this fast-growing title in public firms, government agencies, consulting businesses, banks, and investigative bureaus like the FBI. Forensic accountants are sleuths who evaluate balance sheets for discrepancies, investigate any economic-related crime like tax evasion, give litigation support, conduct compliance reviews, and stay updated on legislation changes.
Fraud Investigator- QuickBooks reports that organizations lose five percent of revenue to fraud annually for $3.7 trillion total worldwide, so fraud investigators are essential examiners for finding malicious money use. The job description involves analyzing financial documents, scrutinizing potential fraud, interviewing suspects, coordinating with police and lawyers, testifying evidence in court, and helping companies thwart criminal activity.
Anti-Money Laundering Specialist- Financial crime fighters who focus on investigating white-collar criminals cycling in illegally gained revenue are called anti-money laundering specialists. Typical AML responsibilities include identifying suspicious transactions, tracking dirty money, reporting evidence to law enforcement, remedying system vulnerabilities, addressing FINRA violations, auditing high-risk accounts, and preventing market manipulation.
Operational Risk Consultant- Earning a forensic accounting master’s online might boost confidence to become self-employed and market one’s assessment skills for pinpointing financial risks. Traditionally holding IRM certification, operational risk consultants meet companies’ third-party requests for reviewing transactions, checking contracts, investigating business policies, implementing fraud prevention, and tightening up security protocol.
Internal Auditing Manager- Labeled America’s 40th best job by CNN Money, internal auditing is another forensic accounting master’s opportunity where poring over financial documents to find misstatements is paramount. Managers are responsible for collating ledger data, examining financial controls, gauging regulatory compliance, supervising internal auditors, identifying fraud, and suggesting policy changes to safeguard corporate assets in-house.
What is the Salary Potential After Master’s in Forensic Accounting Online Programs?
According to the Pew Research Center, attending graduate school pushes median monthly income from the bachelor’s level of $3,836 to $4,772 for faqs/what-millennials-need-to-know-when-applying-to-grad-school. Cheap online forensic accounting master’s programs reap generous ROI for a mean annual wage of $76,730 on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey are the top-paying states where forensic accountants earn $93,280, $93,210, and $88,940 on average. The Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide stated that corporate forensic accounting jobs generate yearly profits of $75,000 to $143,250. Public accounting pays slightly less with fraud investigation salaries of $58,000 to $111,000. Master’s graduates climbing the ranks to Chief Risk Officer (CRO) can take home top pay of $275,750.
How Are Hiring Opportunities with Forensic Accounting Master’s Online Degrees?
Since the 2008 U.S. financial crisis, we’ve seen big crimes being prosecuted more frequently. Therefore, one study from Kessler International found that 75 percent of surveyed companies believe the in-demand forensic accounting field lacks enough seasoned investigators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 140,300 new accounting jobs will blossom by 2026 for faster-than-average growth of ten percent. Accountants are most heavily concentrated in California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Fraud examiners and risk analysts are classified under the financial analysis umbrella where 11 percent growth will spark 32,000 jobs this decade. Though more competitive, a forensic accounting master’s online could prepare grads for top executive roles, growing by eight percent too. Prove your keen analytical skills and inspecting nature to employers by earning one of the cheap online master’s in forensic accounting degrees.
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This concludes our list of the 10 most affordable online master’s in forensic accounting.
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