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A.S. Forensic Accounting

Get cracking with a forensic accounting associate degree

Investigating suspected or actual financial fraud requires an enormous paper trail of evidence. That’s why banks, businesses, insurance companies, government agencies, attorneys and others rely on forensic accounting professionals to help uncover and report the facts.

Jumpstart your career in this growing and specialized field by earning your A.S. Forensic Accounting from Franklin. Get the forensic accounting education that’ll give you the skills and abilities to start or advance your career in occupational fraud detection and prevention.

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IACBE Accredited

Our program follows best-practice standards for business education.

Real-World Practitioners

Learn best practices from in-the-field accounting professionals.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Program Overview

Develop specialized accounting skills

Franklin’s transfer-friendly A.S. Forensic Accounting degree program prepares you to help businesses understand the big-picture impact of fraud as well as the fine details. You’ll learn how to take a business management approach, learning how to research and analyze fraudulent activity, and recommend preventive and control measures.

You’ll also learn how to assist in auditing and investigating financial statements, identifying assets, compiling evidence, and reporting on the findings -- sometimes in a court of law. 

Because our program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), you’re assured your forensic accounting education complies with the high principles of excellence set by the IACBE board and follows best practices in business education.

Earn your degree 100 percent online in just two short years and start a career helping businesses prevent and prosecute white-collar crime. And when you’re ready to go to the next level and earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be ready, thanks to your transfer-friendly associate degree in forensic accounting from Franklin.

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today.

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

64 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

WRIT 120 - COLLEGE WRITING (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, WRIT 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.

Mathematics (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of three semester hours from:

MATH 215 - STATISTICAL CONCEPTS (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.

Choose either MATH 115 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Both can count as a general education or University elective.

Choose either MATH 115 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Both can count as a general education or University elective.

*At least one mathematics or statistics course beyond the level of intermediate algebra.

Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

SCIE 210 - UNDERSTANDING SCIENCE: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICE, & THEORY (2)
Understanding Science: Principles, Practice & Theory is a two credit hour course that introduces students to the major themes, processes, and methods common to all scientific disciplines. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate all kinds of phenomena, scientific, pseudoscientific, and other. The focus is on the nature of science so students will develop an understanding of how science works and develop an appreciation for the process by which we gain scientific knowledge.
SCIE 211 - INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS & REASONING (4)
Introduction to Scientific Analysis and Reasoning is a four credit hour course consisting of three credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of laboratory. This course is an introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. The student will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate popular sources of (mis)information and to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims and arguments. The focus of the course is on students developing thoughtful and critical use of scientific information and research to be able to separate truth from deception and make decisions that affect their personal lives and roles as informed and engaged citizens.

*Two science courses, with one having a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

ECON 220 - INTRODUCTION TO MACROECONOMICS (4)
An introduction to economic theory involving the basic underlying causes and principles of the operation of an economic system. Emphasis is placed on studying the economy as a whole. Issues of inflation, unemployment, taxation, business cycles and growth are discussed in the context of the global economic system.
  • Choose an additional course from the Anthropology, Psychology, or Sociology discipline, or PUAD 295 American Government in Action.

*The six semester hours must come from at least two different disciplines

Arts and Humanities (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

HUMN 210 - INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC & CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.
  • Choose additional coursework from the Humanities discipline.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
COMP 106 - INTRODUCTION TO SPREADSHEETS (1)
This course focuses on using spreadsheets to solve business applications.
COMP 108 - INTRODUCTION TO DATABASES (1)
This course focuses on using databases to solve business applications.
PF 321 - LEARNING STRATEGIES (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
COMM 150 - INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
OR SPCH 100 - SPEECH COMMUNICATION (4)
A basic public speaking course intended to improve the student's ability to think critically and to communicate orally. Theory and practice are provided in various speaking situations. Each student is required to speak before an audience, but class work also involves reading, gathering and organizing information, writing and listening.
WRIT 320 - BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WRITING (4)
This is an advanced composition course that focuses on writing for business and professional purposes. Students will review the writing conventions commonly expected within business and professional environments, as well as strategies for analyzing rhetorical situations within those environments. Coursework includes analysis, revision, and research exercises, as well as substantial practice in composing business correspondence. The final project is an extensive, researched business proposal developed in stages and presented to the class. Students will be encouraged to relate course materials to their major programs and workplace experiences.
Business Core (12 hours)
ACCT 215 - FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING (4)
An introduction to accounting emphasizing how general purpose financial statements communicate information about the business corporation's performance and position for users external to management. Approximately one third of the course emphasizes how the accountant processes and presents the information and includes exposure to recording transactions, adjusting balances and preparing financial statements for service and merchandise firms according to established rules and procedures. The balance of the course examines major elements of the statements such as cash, receivables, inventory, long'lived assets, depreciation, payroll, bonds, and other liabilities and stocks. Concepts of this course are applied to Managerial Accounting (ACCT 225). Students are advised to avoid any time lapse between these courses.
ACCT 320 - INTERMEDIATE ACCOUNTING II (4)
The second of two in-depth financial accounting courses. Theory, concepts and applications are stressed. Topics include time value of money, current and non-current liabilities, leases, deferred taxes, retirement benefits, stockholders' equity, earning per share, accounting changes and errors, and statement of cash flows.
ACCT 341 - FRAUD EXAMINATION (4)
This course provides an overview of the behavioral research associated with occupational fraud and the methodology of fraud examination (i.e., obtaining documentary evidence, interviewing witnesses and potential suspects, writing investigative reports, testifying to findings, and forensic document examination). The majority of the course is focused on detecting the most common types of occupational fraud, determining how each type of fraud is committed, and implementing prevention strategies.
Major Area (12 hours)
ACCT 310 - INTERMEDIATE ACCOUNTING I (4)
The first of two in-depth financial accounting courses. Theory, the conceptual framework, development of generally accepted accounting principles, and applications are stressed. Topics include the income statement, the statement of cash flows and the balance sheet, specifically asset accounts.
ACCT 320 - INTERMEDIATE ACCOUNTING II (4)
The second of two in-depth financial accounting courses. Theory, concepts and applications are stressed. Topics include time value of money, current and non-current liabilities, leases, deferred taxes, retirement benefits, stockholders' equity, earning per share, accounting changes and errors, and statement of cash flows.
ACCT 341 - FRAUD EXAMINATION (4)
This course provides an overview of the behavioral research associated with occupational fraud and the methodology of fraud examination (i.e., obtaining documentary evidence, interviewing witnesses and potential suspects, writing investigative reports, testifying to findings, and forensic document examination). The majority of the course is focused on detecting the most common types of occupational fraud, determining how each type of fraud is committed, and implementing prevention strategies.
Major Electives (4 hours)

Select 4 hours from:

ACCT 342 - INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES FOR FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS (4)
This course provides an overview of techniques and strategies useful in interviewing and interrogating occupational fraud suspects and other parties of interest. These techniques and strategies include interpreting the verbal and nonverbal cues of an interviewee, as well as planning, conducting, and documenting the findings from investigative interviews.
ACCT 343 - LEGAL ELEMENTS OF FRAUD (4)
This course explores the legal issues associated with occupational fraud investigations with a primary emphasis on the proper preparation of a fraud report. Related topics addressed include analyzing relevant criminal and civil laws, the rights of the parties involved in an investigation, rules of evidence, and expert witnessing.
ACCT 344 - CORPORATE GOVERNANCE & INTERNAL CONTROL ASSESSMENT (4)
This course starts with an overview of key legislation and guidelines associated with corporate governance. This includes analyzing the components of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations' (COSO) internal control framework, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 99, and the role of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). However, the primary focus of the course is on identifying, documenting, analyzing, and testing internal controls in an organization as part of an effective fraud prevention program.
Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (WRIT 120), either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) or Learning Strategies (PF 321) and either Speech Communication (SPCH 100) or Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) prior to enrolling in any other course at the 200 level or above. Either PF 121 or PF 321 must be taken prior to the first BLF course, or it may be taken concurrently with the first 15-week BLF course. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) in place of Learning Strategies (PF 321). Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

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Program Details

Career Opportunities

Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are responsible for recording a business’ financial transactions, including payments, invoices, checks and bills. 

Accounting Assistant

Accounting assistants use software programs to perform a variety of financial-related tasks, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, collections and reconciliations.

Accounting Technician

Accounting technicians are responsible for assisting in the reporting and maintenance of financial accounting data, records and transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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