M.S. in Forensic & Fraud Examination
Students will complete ten courses, six of those courses are devoted exclusively to forensic and fraud examination knowledge, skills and abilities development and four courses parallel those in our nationally ranked MBA program and develop the broader skills of the well-rounded business professional.
All six FFE courses are taught using actual and simulated case materials, a hands-on approach to prepare students for their careers in litigation support, forensic accounting and fraud examination. To mimic real-world expectations, students are required to perform two actual engagements and report their findings both in writing and orally – see pitch-to-prosecutor and moot court exercise description below.
- ACCT 580 Forensic and Fraud Examination (FFE) Skills: This course provides an introduction to forensic and fraud examination and explores the interface between traditional financial and accounting topics and forensic and fraud examinations
- ACCT 581 Fraud Investigation (MPA equivalent course is ACCT 556): Types of fraud, sources of evidence, and analysis of internal and external fraud schemes with an emphasis on the skills needed to identify, investigate and litigate fraud and forensic accounting allegations.
- ACCT 582 Fraud Data Analysis (MPA equivalent course is ACCT 521): Digital prevention and deterrence, digital evidence, digital detection and investigation including data mining, digital presentation and reporting tools, cyber-crime and electronic case management tools.
- ACCT 583 Fraud Criminology/Legal Issues: The professional's/ fraud examiner's responsibility to detect fraud, investigative techniques, interviewing skills, legal concepts, evidence management, criminology, and ethics. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE) CFE Exam Prep Course, embedded in Accounting 583, is the ACFE Exam Prep Course, making you eligible and qualified to sit for the CFE Exam.
- ACCT 584 Advanced Fraud Investigation: Investigation of complex frauds and financial crimes and an emphasis on forensic and litigation support investigations, including international money laundering, organized criminal activities and terrorism financing. The course requires testimony of case investigative results in a moot court setting.
- ACCT 585 Advance Analytical Techniques: Development and mastering of litigation support, valuations as they apply to litigation and FAFE issues and financial statement fraud. Topics would be centered on civil litigation, valuation techniques and complex financial reporting frauds.
Courses Mirroring the MBA curriculum:
- BADM 622 - Financial Statements Analysis: Provides an overview of the current financial reporting process. Includes discussion of the respective reporting vehicles, financial statements, and the alternatives available which affect the reporting process.
- BADM 621 - Business Research: Develops skills in data- driven, fact-based decision making; develops the ability to critically evaluate research proposals and studies which rely on business research; provides a basic understanding of reading and conducting empirical research.
- BADM 641 - Decision Analysis for Executives: Applied mathematical course in solving business problems and decision making issues from a general managerial perspective with particular emphasis on the operations management area of the organization.
- BADM 644 - Legal Environment and Ethics: An overview of the legal system and the legal and ethical issues relevant to business decision-making, planning, and the interface between business, government, and society.
The program includes two in-class/online case examinations and two examination engagements that students must complete in a team format. Both require students to present and defend their work in front of practicing professionals as follows:
- "Pitch to Prosecutor" Exercise in Accounting 581
- Moot Court" Exercise (Capstone Experience) in Accounting 584
Residency Requirements to Complete the Program
While WVU is embracing the online instructional delivery, we are also committed to experiential learning, so two 2-day residencies are required (generally, Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday). These residencies will enhance your educational experience by exposing you to practicing experts currently working in the fraud examination and forensic accounting profession. Meeting your classmates and expanding your WVU network adds to the experience.
The online format enables working professionals to take advantage of graduate education without taking a leave of absence from work or being confined to evening or weekend classroom commitments.
- Residency 1: As part of the residency, students participate in (1) Financial Crime Scene Investigation (CSI-F) at WVU's Crime Scene Complex, (2) Pitch-to-Prosecutor and (3) Advanced Data Mining.
- Residency 2: As part of the residency, following the successful completion of the Acct 583 and 584 on-line requirements, students participate in (1) a full day of Interviewing and Interrogation training, (2) Moot Court and (3) a wrap-up session.