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As Financial Scandals Proliferate, More Colleges Offer Forensic Accounting Courses

The prevalence of massive corporate financial scandals and white-collar crimes such as embezzlement in recent years has increased demand for forensic accountants. Colleges are meeting the demand by starting up courses of study that provide students with a degree or certificate in forensic accounting.

One such institution is Middlesex County College in New Jersey, which began offering a certificate program in forensic accounting this fall.  Richard Ellison, chair of the Department of Accounting and Legal Studies at the county college, described forensic accounting as part accounting and part "detective work" that requires a combination of auditing and investigative skills.

Middlesex's program is patterned on the Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation program offered at West Virginia University. WVU's program is among the most highly regarded in the nation.

Utica College in central New York offers a program in Economic Crime Investigation.

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