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B.S. Forensic Accounting

Uncover your competitive edge with a forensic accounting degree

It’s a statistical fact: Most forms of occupational fraud are finance related. That’s why forensic accounting is such a fast-growing segment of the accounting profession. Forensic accountants help prevent and investigate corporate fraud. From tracking terrorist funding, to helping organizations stay compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley, to exposing money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement, a variety of organizations across an array of industries are in need of well-prepared forensic accountants.

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IACBE Accredited

Our program follows best-practice standards for business education.

Certification Preparation

Build the foundation for seeking CFE, CPA and CIA certification.

Industry-Aligned Curriculum

Learn to apply best-practice accounting guidelines.

Hands-On Experience

Learn from industry-standard software and real-life simulations.

Real-World Practitioners

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

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Program Overview

Become a financial detective and prevent white-collar crime

While many colleges offer forensic accounting programs at the graduate level, Franklin is one of the few universities offering a forensic accounting bachelor's degree program in this high-demand field. That means you’ll acquire specialized forensic accounting knowledge to qualify you for an exciting career position—without the time and expense of a graduate degree.

Get a solid foundation in accounting, fraud prevention, and detection

Our transfer-friendly Forensic Accounting degree program combines solid accounting principles with fraud detection and prevention techniques, preparing you to enter or advance in this exciting career field. When you graduate from the Forensic Accounting program you’ll have the educational framework to readily seek professional certification including: Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

At Franklin, you’ll take many of the same classes as our undergraduate Accounting Degree Program, but you’ll also take concentrated coursework in occupational fraud forensics. From fraud examination to interviewing techniques to legal elements to corporate governance and internal control assessment, you’ll gain the highly coveted skills your current or next employer is looking for.

Impress your future employer with valuable, hands-on experience

Our online Forensic Accounting degree program features a unique hands-on curriculum to help you attract hiring managers’ attention and immediately put your skills to work. One of your real-world project assignments is a simulated investigation with a growing company needing help with accounting issues that surfaced during financial statement preparation. As part of a team, you’ll help with the investigation, correct the financial statements, and report your group findings.

You’ll also learn to create and streamline accounting systems and processes using industry-standard Microsoft® Visio software, which is an important part of preventing fraud as well as positively impacting the bottom line.

Learn from the experts in our well-respected, accredited program

And because credentialed instructors with professional accounting experience teach our classes, you’ll benefit from their years of experience in the field and learn from their successes and mistakes. In addition, our curriculum is based on industry standards, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), auditing standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and fraud detection and prevention techniques of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

You can be sure you’re receiving a respected degree with real value in the workplace since our Forensic Accounting degree program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), the leader in outcomes-based accreditation in business.

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.

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

124 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 (28 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 225 - MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (4)
The study of management accounting for internal reporting and decision-making. The course introduces a business-management approach to the development and use of accounting information. Major topics include cost behavior, cost analysis, profit planning and control measures. Accounting for decentralized operations, capital budgeting decisions, and ethical challenges in managerial accounting are also covered.
BSAD 220 - BUSINESS LAW (4)
A study of the everyday legal problems encountered in business with emphasis on the areas of legal procedure, contracts, agency, employment law, business organizations and torts, with cases relating to these and other areas.
ECON 210 - INTRODUCTION TO MICROECONOMICS (4)
An introduction to economic theory involving the examination of how decision making by firms and individuals is shaped by economic forces. Emphasis is placed on demand, supply, market equilibrium analysis, and basic market structure models. The invisible hand as the driving force for economic decisions as well as market externalities are discussed. The class concentrates on providing a balanced approach to studying economic agents' behavior and the global implications and outcomes.
FINA 301 - PRINCIPLES OF FINANCE (4)
This course is designed to survey the field of finance and provide the foundation for more advanced finance coursework. Topics include sources of business and financial information, financial statement analysis, the time value of money, the nature and measurement of risk, financial institutions, investments and corporate finance.
MGMT 312 - PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT (4)
This course explores the basic concepts and processes of management. Students will explore the functional roles and processes of planning, leading, organizing, and controlling comprising the manager role. Students develop skills related to the manager function that are required in today's competitive environment.
MKTG 300 - MARKETING (4)
Theory, strategies and methods are foundational to the informed practice of marketing. Students investigate the importance of marketing to an organization or cause, the interrelationship of the difference phases of marketing, the marketing of goods versus services, analysis and identification of markets, pricing strategies and digital marketing tactics. 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.
University Electives (20 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Major Area (36 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.
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.
ACCT 425 - ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS (4)
This course creates a framework for accounting information systems by combining knowledge about business as it relates to information systems, information technology, and accounting. Students will examine the REA enterprise ontology as it relates to databases which can be used to store and retrieve information for decision-making within an organization. Students learn that in the competitive organizations of today, and tomorrow, accountants cannot simply prepare and report information; they must take a more active role in understanding and creating systems and processes that impact the organization's bottom line. 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.
ACCT 470 - AUDITING (4)
A study of the planning, evidence gathering, internal control review, sampling, and application of procedures used to audit assets, liabilities, equity and related income statement accounts of a profit-oriented enterprise. Includes an evaluation of the audit profession including professional standards, ethics and liability of CPAs. Also includes a student-prepared audit case for hands-on application of audit procedures. The reporting requirements for compilation and review services and a thorough study of the types of audit opinions will also be studied. In addition, an audit research paper is required.
ACCT 495 - ACCOUNTING RESEARCH & ANALYSIS (4)
This course is designed to build upon previous research assignments in all upper level accounting courses and provide a capstone experience for accounting majors by challenging them to identify accounting issues, locate and research appropriate accounting concepts, standards, statements, pronouncements or tax authorities, and then provide a thorough analysis for determination of an appropriate conclusion for the decision-making process. Communication of such research and analysis will require students to prepare organized/structured written papers utilizing appropriate APA format and then present such findings to various audiences. Areas of research will include but will not be limited to SFACs, FASs, SASs, the Internal Revenue Code, and Treasury regulations.
Major Electives (4 hours)

Select 4 hours from:

ACCT 330 - COST MANAGEMENT (4)
This course is an in-depth study of cost accounting focusing on its role in internal reporting and the resulting decision-making processes. Students will evaluate the foundation, ethics and basic costing systems employed in the management accounting profession; analyze budgeting, cost behavior, pricing and profitability concepts and principles; determine how cost allocations, product quality, and investment decisions are applied by management accountants; determine how current trends in various industries impact cost accounting; and demonstrate knowledge that is in accordance with the educational requirements for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam.
ACCT 360 - GOVERNMENT & NOT FOR PROFIT ACCOUNTING (4)
This course is designed to provide a framework for understanding the special accounting and reporting requirements of nonprofit organizations. The emphasis is on reporting concepts and budgeting principles for governmental and nonprofit economic entities.
ACCT 390 - FEDERAL INCOME TAX I (4)
An introduction to the federal income tax structure with emphasis on the individual taxpayer, including employee, sole proprietor and investor. This course also provides exposure to basic concepts that apply equally, or with slight modification, to taxpayers other than individuals. Major topics include filing status, exemptions, excludable and includable income, business and non-business deductions, disallowances, technical tax research, and computer problem applications.
ACCT 401 - ACCOUNTING ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES (4)
This course explores ethics and professional responsibility in the accounting profession. Students will discuss the evolutionary role of ethics as it pertains to the accounting profession. The course will also have students investigate and analyze case studies regarding ethical situations and issues confronted by the accounting profession. The course will also provide an introduction to professional responsibilities required of those in the CPA profession as prescribed by the state boards of accountancy.
ACCT 410 - ACCOUNTING INTERNSHIP (1-9)
This course provides qualified students with an opportunity to receive academic credit for supervised professional training and experience in an actual work environment. This Internship is an ongoing seminar between the student, the faculty member and the employment supervisor. It involves an Internship Application and Learning Agreement, periodic meetings with the faculty representative, professional experience at a level equivalent to other senior-level courses and submission of material as established in the Internship Application and Learning Agreement. Participation cannot be guaranteed for all applicants.
ACCT 420 - FEDERAL INCOME TAX II (4)
Analysis of the income tax consequences of the formation, operation and liquidation of C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts including the treatment of distributions by these entities and tax planning considerations. Also examined is the tax effect of property transfers by gift or death. Technical tax research and tax memo documentation also required.
ACCT 480 - SPECIAL TOPICS IN ACCOUNTING (1-4)
A variable content classroom course in Accounting in which students pursue topics or subjects of current interest that are not part of the regular curriculum. A specific course description will be published online in the Course Schedule for the trimester the course is offered.
ACCT 499 - INDEPENDENT STUDIES IN ACCOUNTING (1-4)
Independent studies courses allow students in good academic standing to pursue learning in areas not covered by the regular curriculum or to extend study in areas presently taught. Study is under faculty supervision and graded on either a Pass/No Credit or a letter grade basis. (See the "Independent Studies" section of the Academic Bulletin for more details.)
ENTR 395 - FOUNDATIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP (4)
Foundations of Entrepreneurship is an introductory course that examines the theory, practice, and tools of entrepreneurship. Various entrepreneurship structures and how such structures result in different unique pathways to success are explored. Students will focus on the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset as they assess their individual values and determine their affinity for entrepreneurial thinking, while also reviewing the risks and rewards of entrepreneurial businesses in the context of their chosen entrepreneurial philosophy. Finally, students will identify and evaluate opportunities for new ventures, and consider a strategic approach for successful business plan development.
MIS 478 - QUANTITATIVE METHODS & ANALYSIS (4)
This course addresses the importance of applying quantitative methods and analysis to the solution of business problems using structured problem solving and specialized data analysis software tools. Focus will be on solutions to problems of inefficiency, poor productivity and risky situations within the management of business and technical processes, projects and operations. Some of the methodologies covered are linear programming, PERT-CPM analysis, time series and decision tree analysis, forecasting, regression analysis and data mining. Key success factors in the course will be for the student to build on statistical techniques and spreadsheet tools covered in prerequisite(s) courses.
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

Accounting Consultant

Accounting Consultants analyze financial information and develop recommendations to enhance, improve or facilitate financial performance, processing, or workflow.

Corporate Accounting Officer

Corporate Accounting Officers oversee fiscal activities and financial transactions, including tracking expenditures, allocating resources, and monitoring compliance with regulations and laws.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountants conduct white-collar crime investigations, perform due diligence reviews, and identify potential fraudulent financial activities.

Independent Forensic Auditor

Independent Forensic Auditors conduct financial, operational and compliance audits and investigations, monitor controls to ensure financial integrity, and assist with risk remediation.

Internal Auditor

Internal Auditors evaluate operating guidelines, controls, and procedures to ensure compliance with policies, standards, and regulatory requirements.

Litigation Expert Witness

Litigation Expert Witnesses provide expert testimony in order to help prove or disprove a legal case.

Employment Outlook

All Occupations

2015
27,248 jobs
2025
1,600,000 jobs


Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) - June 2016

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