Forensic accounting is a discipline which utilizes accounting, auditing, and investigative methodologies to conduct an examination into the finances of individuals or businesses. This program trains individuals to become financial experts who conduct accounting analyses that are suitable to be used in legal proceedings. This discipline of accounting is often used in fraud and embezzlement cases to explain the nature of a financial crime. Students will acquire techniques in identifying and preventing financial crimes in support of fraud risk assessment, data analytics and security, and understanding the psychology of fraudsters. Students will learn how to unpack the core areas of forensic accounting, including dispute and litigation support, expert witnessing, fraud examination, regulatory investigations, business valuation, assessment of economic damages, and other financial crimes and fraud. Students in this program are required to take the following 11 course for a total of 36 credit hours:
Course No. Course Title Credit Hours
MSIS 500 Introduction to Information Security and Privacy - 3
MSIS 507 Governance and Controls for Information Security - 3
MSIS 509 Information and Network Security Policy - 3
MSIS 521 Introduction to Business Intelligence - 3
Required Non-Accounting Majors Only
MSFA 498 Principles of Accounting - 3
MSFA 499 Intermediate Accounting - 3
MSFA 635 Introduction to Forensic Accounting - 3
MSFA 646 Forensic and Litigation - 3
MSFA 652 Fraud and Regulatory Failures - 3
MSFA 658 Accounting and Forensic Evidence - 3
MSFA 665 Governance, Assurance and Compliance - 3
MSFA 687 Financial Statement Analysis - 3
Exam or Thesis Choose One
MSFA 698 Non-Thesis: Forensic Accounting Comprehensive Exam - 6
MSFA 699 Thesis: Forensic Accounting Master Thesis - 6
PROGRAM TOTAL 36/42
MSIS 500: Introduction to Information Security and Privacy
This course covers the three basic security concepts that are important for information in print or on the internet, including confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The course explores these concepts, presents and discusses them in relation to the people who use information, and the authentication, authorization, and non-disclaimer of such information.
MSIS 507: Fundamentals of Information Security
The foundational concepts of information security and privacy are explored in this course. The course also covers information value, classifications and threats. It discusses how to identify identity and access controls, trust frameworks, encryption, digital signatures and network, web, software and cloud security, and it reviews privacy laws, regulations and public policy.
MSIS 509: anthropological study of information
This course examines how information is socially and culturally variable and fluid, and has changed throughout history, and differs from place to place. Topics include the anthropological study of information; societal norms, individual, device, communal, and organizational information strategies.
MSIS 521: Governance and Controls for Information
This course is an overview of how information and public policy relate to each other. The course examines key information policy areas including privacy, surveillance, theft, health information, business-to-business relationships, and the co-evolution of personal data and information technologies. The course covers governance and controls from an information security organizational perspective and the management of information. The course also examines business practices and governance mechanisms for minimizing risks and how to maximize the return on information.
MSFA 635: Introduction to Forensic Accounting
This course covers the nature and purpose of a forensic accounting investigation, internal and external audits; and it discusses the common conceptions and nature of accounting fraud. The course provides an overview of forensic accounting within an accountability framework of business, industry and government. The course content explores professional ethics of forensic accounting and audit standards, common concepts of fraud, corruption, and other forms of unethical accounting.
MSFA 646: Forensic and Litigation
This course addresses legal aspects of accounting fraud or misconduct, and the legal framework of forensic accounting from an investigation, discovery, reporting and litigation perspectives. The course covers international case studies of accounting fraud, and discusses the duties, roles, responsibilities and obligations of professional auditors, and the implications of their findings. The course discusses the meaning of ‘forensic’ accounting in the context of financial investigations. Students will learn the role of organizational decision-makers in forensic investigations and the legal and professional obligations of employees, officers, accountants and auditors; and the potential implications of their roles and actions.
MSFA 652: Fraud and Regulatory Failures
In this Course, students will examine various forms of fraud and abuse such as Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes, identity theft and credit card fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and the factors that contribute to such activities. The course teaches students how to develop strategies for the detection, investigation and prevention of individual, corporate, government and not-for-profit frauds. Course content explores a global approach and includes analyses of corporate governance and best practice. The course also focuses on the theories of criminology and regulatory failures, the role of regulation in corporate and governmental failures and strategies to articulate, strengthen and enforce compliance. The harmful economic impact of money laundering, tax evasion and other types of fraud on any national economy are covered.
MSFA 658: Accounting and Forensic Evidence
The focus of this course is the procedures of evidence in respect to forensic accounting and investigation. Students will learn the implications of how accounting evidence is identified, sourced, collected and presented in the litigation of a relevant matters. Topics such as the admissibility of evidence, presenting evidence, and the use of experts in collecting and or presenting evidence are covered. Students will learn how to identify the sources of evidence that are suitable for presentation in court, while recognizing potential issues of admissibility of such evidence. Learners will be exposed to the importance of chronologies and other methods of marshalling evidence of fraud or mismanagement. Students will learn how to identify errors and irregularities and how to present them in investigatory reports.
MSFA 665: Governance, Assurance and Compliance
In this course, students will learn how to apply forensic accounting principles and practices to assess and design quality information assurance for compliance and good governance. Topics such as social responsibility mechanisms, internal controls and proper reporting processes are covered in the course. Students will learn the types of compliance and applicable legislations, policies and procedures of compliance, and the principles of best practice. The course covers fraud control and risk assessment standards, international anti-money laundering and tax evasion principles and practices, and corruption prevention and deterrence systems. The course also exposes students to the identification and evaluation of internal and external compliance risks at any level of an organization.
MSFA 687: Financial Statement Analysis
In this course, students will learn how to perform an extensive analysis of financial statements, and learn various methods, types, and approaches to financial analysis, including review of income statements, balance sheets, cash flow, and rates of return. Students will learn procedures for rearranging and reordering statements for consistency and ease of use. The course will also expose students to how to presents financial objective, forecast, derive historical performance, and establish financial ratios, and percentages. Students will learn Horizontal, vertical, and ratio techniques used in analyzing financial statements.
(MSFA 498 & 499)
MSFA 498: Principles of Accounting
This is a course that sensitizes students to the international dimensions of financial accounting and reporting, it introduces them to accounting in general, and it covers the basics of financial accounting through the accounting cycle of business and industry. The course focuses on the theoretical foundation of financial accounting, including concepts, assumptions, and principles; and the financial statements of a for-profit organization. Students will also learn the various steps of the accounting cycle for service and merchandising businesses. Students will learn how to identify the basis of measures and disclosures relative to income statements and balance sheets; and learn about journals and ledgers.
MSFA 499: Intermediate Accounting
In this course students will discuss the theoretical foundation of financial accounting, basic issues related to measurement, reporting of financial statements, and disclosure issues related to current assets. Students will learn the basic principles, assumptions and constraints of accounting. The course also focuses on the process of selecting and presenting information related to balance sheets, income statements, and statement of cash flows. Students will review the accounting process, function, and reporting as it relates to asset accounts of the balance sheet, and income statements. The course explores real life applications to financial reporting requirements.
MSFA 698/699: Forensic Accounting Exam or Thesis
Learners are required to enroll in this course in prepare for meeting final academic requirements Learners are required to enroll in this course in preparation for meeting final academic requirements of the program. Candidates will choose to take a comprehensive exam (MSFA 698) in lieu of thesis or conduct research (MSFA 699) on information security focusing on the study of a discipline-specific problem, phenomenon or professional issue in an institutional setting.