If you’re a forensic accountant looking to craft a CV or resume that stands out, this article is for you. We’ll walk you through the essential elements to include, provide tips for highlighting your skills and experience, and show you real examples to help you understand what a successful forensic accountant CV looks like. Whether you’re just starting in the field or looking to advance your career, our straightforward advice will help you create a CV that gets noticed. Let’s get started.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 Forensic Accountant CV Tips – Recap
- 10 Forensic Accountant CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
Forensic Accountant Job Description Example
Forensic Accountant Position Available
We are seeking a highly skilled and detail-oriented Forensic Accountant to join our dynamic team. This role is ideal for a professional who thrives in investigating complex financial transactions and is passionate about uncovering financial discrepancies, fraud, and embezzlement.
- Conduct thorough financial investigations into cases of fraud, embezzlement, and other financial irregularities.
- Analyze financial data using advanced forensic tools and software to identify and trace questionable transactions.
- Prepare detailed reports of findings, including the methods used to detect and quantify financial discrepancies.
- Collaborate with legal teams to provide expert witness testimony and support during litigation processes.
- Work closely with internal and external stakeholders to understand financial concerns and develop effective investigation strategies.
- Stay abreast of the latest developments in forensic accounting, including new tools, techniques, and regulatory changes.
- Mentor and guide junior forensic accountants, fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development within the team.
- Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or a related field. A Master’s degree is preferred.
- Professional certification such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in forensic accounting or a related field.
- Proficiency in forensic accounting software such as IDEA, ACL Analytics, or similar tools.
- Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, with a keen eye for detail.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present complex financial information clearly and concisely.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
- High level of integrity and professionalism, with a commitment to ethical conduct.
This position offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity to play a key role in uncovering financial fraud and protecting the financial integrity of our clients. The successful candidate will be part of a supportive and collaborative work environment, with opportunities for professional growth and development.
We offer a competitive compensation package, commensurate with experience and qualifications. If you are a motivated forensic accountant looking to make a significant impact in your field, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
Forensic Accountant Professional Summary Example
- With over 10 years of experience in forensic accounting, holding a CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification. Specialized in financial fraud investigations, embezzlement cases, and litigation support, utilizing tools like ACL Analytics and IDEA for in-depth financial analysis.
- Led a high-profile investigation into a multinational corporation’s financial irregularities, uncovering fraudulent transactions totaling over $4 million. This involved meticulous analysis of complex financial records and collaboration with legal teams, contributing significantly to successful legal outcomes and asset recovery.
- Most recently focused on developing and implementing advanced fraud detection strategies at a leading financial firm. This included leveraging data analytics software and machine learning techniques to identify and prevent potential financial fraud, enhancing the firm’s financial security and integrity.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When writing about your job responsibilities, focus on how you’ve made a real impact. For example, instead of just saying “Conducted financial audits,” you could say “Led comprehensive financial audits that identified and rectified $2 million in discrepancies, enhancing financial accuracy and integrity for the organization.” This way, you’re not just listing a task – you’re showing how your work as a Forensic Accountant directly contributed to the company’s success, highlighting your skills in uncovering significant financial issues.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
Forensic Accountant CV Tips – Recap
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far:
Understand the Role and Tailor Your CV Accordingly 🔍 Every forensic accounting job has its unique requirements. Make sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your CV to match those needs. Highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Highlight Relevant Qualifications and Certifications 🎓 Include your relevant educational background, such as a degree in accounting or finance. Don’t forget to list any professional certifications like CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), as these are highly valued in the field.
Showcase Your Technical Skills 💻 Forensic accounting relies heavily on software and tools. Mention your proficiency in specific software like ACL Analytics, IDEA, or QuickBooks Forensics. Also, include any other technical skills relevant to the job, such as data analysis or financial modeling.
Quantify Your Achievements 📈 Instead of just listing your duties, focus on what you’ve achieved. Use numbers and statistics to demonstrate your impact. For example, “Identified financial discrepancies that saved the company $500,000” is more impactful than just saying “Conducted financial audits.”
Detail Your Experience in Investigations 🔎 If you have experience in specific types of financial investigations, such as fraud or embezzlement, make sure to detail this. Explain the nature of the investigations and your role in them.
Communication Skills Are Key 🗣 Highlight your ability to communicate complex financial information clearly. This could be through written reports, presentations, or as an expert witness in legal cases.
Keep It Professional and Concise 📄 Your CV should be professional and to the point. Avoid unnecessary jargon and keep it to a maximum of two pages. Ensure it’s well-organized and easy to read.
Proofread for Perfection ✅ Always proofread your CV multiple times to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors. A well-polished CV reflects your attention to detail, a crucial skill for a forensic accountant.
Forensic Accountant CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.