Online Fraud and Forensic Accounting
Certificate Program

Course Descriptions


Managerial and Financial Accounting gives the students a solid foundation in understanding the accounting process, preparation of financial statements, requirements for public and private company disclosure, and analysis for interpreting financial information. Underlying theory and generally accepted accounting principles are studied with an emphasis on fair presentation and deviations that may lead to fraudulent reporting and misappropriation of company assets.  This course sets the framework for understanding how fraud can occur, the underlying relevance of evidence, and managerial analysis to pinpoint fraudulent activities.

This course will enable students to do the following:

  • Understand the form and content of a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flow.
  • Read footnotes to the financial statements highlighting business and financial risks of the organization.
  • Identify the inherent weaknesses in our reporting system using historical cost and depreciation of fixed assets, and not recognizing intangible assets developed within the organization.
  • Understand the roles of the external auditors, internal auditors, and fraud specialists within the organization.
  • Perform analytical procedures including ratio analysis, horizontal and vertical analysis, and trend analysis. 
  • Identify the "red flags" of fraud, once the analysis is performed.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding generally accepted accounting principles, including the difference between the cash basis of accounting and the accrual basis of accounting
  • Form and content of financial statements
  • Revenue and expense recognition principles
  • Manufacturing and services companies
  • Disclosure of business risks and accruing liabilities
  • Financing business operations through debt, preferred stock, and common stock
  • Understanding cash flow
  • Performing financial statement analysis


This course will provide students with the weapons to fight fraud by focusing on basic fraud schemes, information and evidence gathering, criminal and civil prosecution, and criminology and ethics. The objective of this course is to provide students with methodologies for resolving fraud allegations from inception to disposition. Students taking this course gain an understanding of the different types of fraud, the legal environment of fraud, and the means to obtain evidence and assist in the detection and prevention of fraud.

Topics covered:

  • Financial statement fraud principles
  • Occupational fraud principles
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Laws related to fraud
  • Federal rules of evidence
  • Analyzing documents
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Chain of custody
  • Sources of information
  • Tracing illicit transactions
  • Theories of crime causation
  • White-collar crime
  • Ethics for fraud examiners


Financial statement fraud involves intentional misstatements or omissions of financial statement amounts or disclosures to deceive users of the statements. This topic, commonly known as "cooking the books," will introduce students to managements' motives and pressures to achieve desired financial results as opposed to true economic financial results. This course will enable the student to both understand and detect the creative accounting methods management employs to "cook the books" along with related fraud prevention strategies.

Students completing this course will gain an understanding of the following:

  • How fraudulent financial reporting is accomplished
  • The distinguishing features of financial statement fraud
  • The victims of financial statement fraud
  • The tools and techniques used in cooking the books
  • How to design various fraud detection techniques
  • How to design and implement proactive fraud prevention strategies

Topics Covered:

  • The role of financial statements in U.S. business
  • Nature of financial statement fraud
  • Responsibility for detection of financial statement fraud: Management-Auditors-Counsel
  • Signposts of financial statement fraud
  • Analytical tools for the detection of financial statement fraud
  • Revenue-related financial statement fraud schemes
  • Expense-related financial statement fraud schemes
  • Asset overstatement financial statement fraud schemes
  • Liability understatement financial statement fraud schemes
  • Financial statement disclosure fraud schemes
  • Misuse of estimates in the financial statement reporting process
  • Corporate ethics for financial managers
  • Fraud prevention strategies
  • Impact of laws regulating financial reporting, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, RICO, Sarbanes-Oxley, S.E.C. Act 1933, and S.E.C. Act 1934


Occupational fraud and abuse is described as the use of one's occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of one's employing organization's resources or assets. Through the use of real-life case examples, this course will illustrate the types of persons most likely to perpetrate occupational fraud, under what conditions fraud might be committed, and the specific schemes used to defraud organizations of amounts ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars.

The Occupational Fraud and Abuse course will enable the student to do the following:

  • Understand the various schemes used by executives, owners, managers, and employees to commit these offenses.
  • Quantify the losses from these fraudulent schemes.
  • Understand the human, psychological, and socioeconomic factors in the perpetration of fraud.
  • Recognize the various signposts of fraud.
  • Design and implement proactive fraud prevention strategies.

Topics covered:

  • Occupational fraud and abuse and its impact on U.S. businesses
  • Occupational fraud and its sociological factors
  • Occupational fraud and the corporate environment
  • Cash fraud
  • Accounts receivable fraud
  • Inventory fraud
  • Investment fraud
  • Fixed asset fraud
  • Procurement fraud
  • Payroll and employee reimbursement fraud
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Money laundering techniques
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Code of business ethics and conduct


Computers have made organizations easier to run. All accounting information, inventory records, customer data, and intellectual property that an organization possesses is contained somewhere in an electronic file. As such, these electronic files are vulnerable to attacks from both employees and outsiders from around the world. This course will provide the student with an understanding of how computer fraud and manipulation is accomplished and what security measures should be instituted to prevent it.

Students completing this course will gain an understanding of these technology issues:

  • Legal elements of computer fraud
  • Destruction and manipulation of data
  • Intrusions and viruses
  • Common computer fraud schemes
  • E-mail and e-mail monitoring
  • Internet fraud and hacking
  • E-commerce fraud
  • Presentation of fraud perpetrators and working with law enforcement
  • Applications and systems security
  • Implementation of computer and information security policies

Topics Covered:

  • The computer as a tool for fraud
  • Electronic mail abuse and electronic mail security concerns
  • Theft and unauthorized access to data
  • Internet and e-commerce fraud
  • Computer security controls
  • Security auditing and testing
  • Legal issues regarding computer fraud
  • Dealing with electronic evidence
  • Prosecuting computer fraud
  • Data mining and data extraction and analysis using tools such as Excel, ACL Software, or Idea Software


The opportunity to commit and conceal fraud exists only when there are assets susceptible to misappropriation and a lack of internal controls to prevent or detect fraud. This course will focus on the high-risk fraud environments wherein assets are more vulnerable to misappropriation and fraud environments heightened by either a lack of, or non-functioning of, internal controls. Various fraud investigative methods and the process for communicating an expert report will play an essential role in these studies.

This course will enable the student to do the following:

  • Identify fraud exposures in areas where the organization is more vulnerable to fraud.
  • Obtain a detailed understanding of internal control weaknesses that provide opportunities for fraud.
  • Conduct a fraud risk assessment.
    Identify inappropriate behavior patterns of management and other individuals in high-risk situations.
  • Understand why fraud is so prevalent in bankruptcy and divorce matters.
  • Understand different bankruptcy and divorce fraud schemes and how fraudsters conceal and transfer assets and income in bankruptcy and divorce.
  • Understand various fraud investigative techniques.
  • Communicate the results of a fraud investigation in an expert report defensible before a trier of fact.

Topics Covered:

  • The fraud environment
  • Fraud-related internal controls
  • Fraud signposts in high-risk businesses
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Divorce fraud
  • The fraud investigation process
  • Fraud investigations in specialized industries
  • Hospitality
  • Construction
  • Financial institutions
  • Government
  • Not-for-profit
  • Insurance
  • Communicating the results of a fraud investigation
  • Fraud examiner as an expert witness