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Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program

The Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program (21.5 CPE credits) covers those areas representative of the AICPA's Body of Knowledge in the financial forensics area. This certificate program is tailored to provide an introduction to financial forensics and help you become familiar with the forensic accountant's professional responsibility. 

It provides a foundational knowledge of:

  • The legal system
  • How to plan and prepare a forensic engagement
  • Gathering information
  • Discovery
  • Reporting
  • Providing expert testimony

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The Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program (21.5 CPE credits) covers those areas representative of the AICPA's Body of Knowledge in the financial forensics area. This certificate program is tailored to provide an introduction to financial forensics and help you become familiar with the forensic accountant's professional responsibility.

It provides a foundational knowledge of:

  • The legal system
  • How to plan and prepare a forensic engagement
  • Gathering information
  • Discovery
  • Reporting
  • Providing expert testimony

This online CPE self-study certificate program consists of 19 required modules that utilize interactive scenario-based learning, including audio and video animation, to guide you through the concepts, including:

  • AICPA Guidance for the Forensic Engagement
  • Understanding the Forensic Accountant Role
  • Understanding the Basic Structure of the Legal System
  • Managing the Forensic Engagement
  • Identifying and Obtaining Evidence
  • Conducting Effective Interviews
  • Common Investigative Techniques
  • Deposition and Testimony
  • Reporting Requirements & Preparing Sustainable Reports
  • Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Reorganization
  • Leveraging Technology in Forensic Engagements
  • Economic Damages in Business
  • Economic Damages for Individuals: A CPA's Role
  • Economic Damages for Individuals: Case Studies and Analysis
  • Calculating Intellectual Property Infringement Damages
  • Family Law Engagements
  • Fraud Prevention, Detection, and Response
  • Financial Statement Fraud and Asset Misappropriation
  • Valuations in Litigation Matters

Key Topics

  • Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Reorganization
  • Computer Forensic Analysis
  • Economic Damages Calculations
  • Family Law
  • Financial Statement Misrepresentation
  • Fraud Prevention, Detection and Response
  • Valuation

Learning Objectives

  • Interpret regulatory standards and legal system requirements applicable to forensic accounting engagements
  • Describe the elements essential to accepting forensic accounting engagements such as identifying the engagement terms and client provisions, managing the engagement, and reporting requirements
  • Identify the means of gathering evidence and conducting research critical to forensic engagements through the use of effective interviewing and investigative techniques
  • Describe the role of the expert and non-expert in participating in depositions and providing testimony


Credit Info

  • CPE CREDITS: Online: 21.5 (CPE credit info)
  • NASBA FIELD OF STUDY: Accounting
  • LEVEL: Basic
  • PREREQUISITES: None
  • ADVANCE PREPARATION: None
  • DELIVERY METHOD: QAS Self-Study
  • COURSE ACRONYM: FACERTBundle.EL


Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program, please read the FAQs.

1. What is the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program?

Developed by the AICPA, this certificate program is specially designed to help accountants and others 1) build the knowledge needed to gain a basic understanding of the field of forensic accounting, 2) earn CPE credits needed to meet the 75-hour education requirement for the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential, or 3) earn CPE credits needed to maintain the CFF credential.

2. Why should I participate?

Certificate holders will learn or be refreshed on the core material in professional standards that applies to forensic engagements. The program provides participants with a solid understanding of how to work within the court system when engaged as a forensic accountant. With information provided by subject matter experts from each of the specialization areas, participants are provided first-hand knowledge that guides them through solid investigation, documentation, reporting and other required skills. A series of 20 courses takes you through the "best practices" styles for performing an engagement. These knowledge and skills are necessary for an accountant and others who are considering entering or are already in the field of forensic accounting.

3. Is the certificate program available to both CPAs and other accounting professionals who are not CPAs?

Yes. The courses that comprise the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program curriculum are available for CPAs, CAs and other accounting professionals who do not have one of these credentials or their equivalent.

4. What level of knowledge should I possess prior to starting the certificate program?

All individuals pursuing the Forensic Accounting Certificate of Achievement should possess a base knowledge of AICPA Auditing Standards.

5. What course topics are included in the curriculum?

The certificate program features 19 required modules, including: 3 Fundamental modules, 6 Forensic Engagement modules, and 10 Specialized Knowledge modules. In total, the program provides 21.5 CPE hours at a basic level. Visit AICPAStore.com/forensic for a list of modules included in the program. All modules will be approximately 50-minutes long and provide individual CPE credit upon successful completion of the end-of-module exam. Some modules may be longer than 50 minutes, as required by the depth or complexity of the content, with a maximum length of 2 hours.

6. How long will it take me to complete all of courses of the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program?

This varies from individual to individual and is completely dependent upon the time the participant allocates to completing the coursework. There is a commitment of 21.5 required hours to successfully complete the program.

7. What period of time do I have to complete the entire curriculum?

Once you enter the program you have twenty-four (24) months from the date of purchase. You are encouraged to complete the program within a twelve (12) month period or less.

8. Once I complete the curriculum and obtain my Forensic Accounting Certificate of Achievement, is there a time period for which it is "active?"

No. The Forensic Accounting Certificate is not a professional credential or license. It is evidence of successful completion of a required course curriculum as of a point in time. As a result, it has no period for which it is deemed "active" or in-force.

9. Am I required to obtain a certain number of CPE credits annually for the certificate to remain current and active?

No. The Forensic Accounting Certificate of Achievement is not a professional credential or license. It is evidence of successful completion of a required course curriculum as of a point in time. As a result, it has no period for which it is deemed "active" or in-force.

10. If I am a CPA, will I receive CPE credit toward my CPA license if I take this program?

Yes, all of the courses in the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program will qualify for CPE credit. The AICPA is a NASBA-approved provider of CPE.

11. How many credits of CPE will I receive if I earn the certificate?

Completing the curriculum will result in earning 21.5 credits. All of these credit hours will qualify for CPE credit and can count toward meeting your state's CPE requirements.

12. Will the CPE credit satisfy my requirements for CMA, CIA or other certifications?

The courses in the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program will be classified as Accounting for purposes of granting CPE credits. As with other AICPA courses that are approved for other certifications, we fully expect the Forensic Accounting Certificate courses will satisfy those requirements. To be certain, please check with the organization that issues your CMA, CIA or other certifications.

13. If I am unable to complete the entire Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program, will I receive CPE credit for the courses I do complete?

Yes. The courses are offered individually, so you will earn NASBA QAS CPE credit for each course you take and successfully complete the exam. You are not required to complete the entire program to earn CPE credit. However, you must successfully complete the exam for all required courses in the entire program in order to receive the Forensic Accounting Certificate of Achievement.

14. I have prior experience in working with forensic accounting. Will I be allowed to test out of certain courses while still earning the certificate?

Actual completion of the courses is required to earn the Forensic Accounting Certificate. CPE credit will be awarded for the courses, and the CPE standards do not allow for "testing out of" a course as a way to earn credit.

15. Is the entire program fixed, or are their elective courses I can select from in earning the certificate?

The curriculum for the Forensic Accounting Certificate is fixed. It is designed to provide participants with a solid understanding of knowledge required to perform forensic accounting engagements. In order to receive the Forensic Accountant Certificate of Achievement all required modules must be completed.

16. What are the systems requirements for the e-learning portion of the program?

Please review the information on the System Requirements tab for this product for complete information on minimum operating system and browser requirements.

17. I am already proficient in forensic accounting but would like to learn more about a few select topics that are specific to my job. Can I purchase individual titles in the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program separately?

Yes. Courses in the Certificate Program may be purchased individually. If you decide that you would like to enroll in the full Certificate Program after purchasing one or more individual courses, credit for those courses may be applied to the purchase amount of the full program as long as they have been purchased within one year of enrolling in the full program. Please call the AICPA service center at 888.777.7077 for more information.

18. Can credits earned in the Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program be applied towards the 75-hour minimum CPE requirement to apply for the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) Credential?

Yes. Courses in the Certificate Program can be applied toward the requirement to apply for the credential as well as the ongoing education requirement.

19. When will I receive a hard copy of my certificate?

You will receive your certificate in the mail 6-8 weeks after completing the program.

Gain Immediate Access

This is a digital product that requires a stable and continuous internet. Upon purchase, you will gain immediate online access. Please review the Purchase Information and System Requirements tabs on this page for more information.

Earn Your Certificate and Digital Badge

After passing the exam, you will be awarded with a certificate in the form of a digital badge. Digital badges allow you to distinguish yourself in the marketplace and show your commitment to quality. The badge can be posted to your social media profiles and linked to your resume or email signature, providing maximum visibility to your achievement.

You will receive your official score and certificate or retake information 5 business days after completing the exam.

This product is published by AICPA and sold through an exclusive partnership with Wiley.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialized credentials for qualified professionals who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.

The AICPA and CIMA also make up the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), which represents public and management accounting globally, advocating on behalf the public interest and advancing the quality, competency and employability of CPAs, CGMAs and other accounting and finance professionals worldwide.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

How do I access my digital product?

After purchasing, you will gain immediate online access to your product by entering your account credentials established at time of purchase.

How do I receive my certificate and digital badge?

After passing the exam, you will be awarded with a certificate in the form of a digital badge. Digital badges allow you to distinguish yourself in the marketplace and show your commitment to quality. The badge can be posted to your social media profiles and linked to your resume or email signature, providing maximum visibility to your achievement.
You will receive your official score and certificate or retake information 5 business days after completing the exam.

For answers to additional questions, please visit:

This product is published by AICPA and sold through an exclusive partnership with Wiley.

Order online with our secure system, or call: 888.884.5669 (toll-free) or 928.204.1066 (international).

Important Note

Your exam purchase entitles you to one exam and one re-take if you do not pass the exam. Prior to using your re-take, the AICPA recommends you study any topics identified in your initial exam results. If you do not pass either the initial exam or the re-take, you must purchase the exam again, in order to take it again. Exams passed outside of these purchase and re-take rules will not result in the issuing of a digital badge. If you have any questions regarding the completion of your exam or re-take, please contact digitalbadge@aicpa.org to verify your results.

By making this purchase, you must understand and agree that the AICPA has the absolute and unrestricted right to revoke or suspend any rights to use the digital badge image, or any representation thereof, if you are (a) convicted of any crime punishable by more than one year in prison or for any crime related to dishonesty, or (b) disciplined by any governmental or non-governmental authority that regulates, or enforces a code of conduct related to, your professional activities, including but not limited to, a state board of accountancy, AICPA, IRS, SEC, or PCAOB, or (c) a peer reviewer restricted from performing peer reviews by the Peer Review Program.

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We stand behind our products and want to ensure our customers are completely satisfied.
In the event you are unsatisfied with your purchase, a full refund will be issued upon request within 10 business days of purchase. Refunds will not be issued after this time. This refund agreement is subject to change without notice.

To request a refund, please contact us.

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We accept payment in the form of credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover or American Express) or via PayPal.

AICPA’s online CPE courses will operate in a variety of configurations, but only the configuration described below is supported by AICPA technicians.

A stable and continuous internet connection is required. In order to record your completion of the online learning courses, please ensure you are connected to the internet at all times while taking the course. It is your responsibility to validate that CPE certificate(s) are available within your account after successfully completing the course and/or exam.

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Technical Support: Please contact service@aicpa.org.

Fundamentals of Forensic Accounting Certificate Program

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