Forensic accountants have specialised training and skills that allow them to work on financial data used in civil and criminal legal cases. In addition to auditing data, forensic accountants may testify at trials for cases that involve fraud, insurance claims or other financial disputes. Depending on their experience, the type of work that they do and the part of the country that they work in, median salaries for forensic accountants range from just over £26,000 to nearly £65,000 per year.
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In general, the more experience forensic accountants have, the more money they earn. According to Payscale.com, forensic accountants with one to four years of experience in the field earn a median salary of about £36,400 per year (see Resources below). Forensic accountants with five to nine years of job experience earn about £41,600 per year, and those with at least ten years’ experience earn significantly more, with salaries of about £63,700 per year.
The salary of a forensic accountant varies according to part of the country and the city they work in. In California, forensic accountants earn a median salary of about £44,200, with those in Los Angeles making about £56,550 per year and those in San Francisco earning about £45,500 per year. Forensic accountants in the state of New York also earn about £44,200, with those in New York City making about £46,800 per year. Forensic accountants in Washington state earn about £41,600. Georgia based forensic accountants have median salaries of £39,000 per year. In New Jersey, forensic accountants earn about £35,100 per year. Those in Philadelphia earn about £32,500 per year. Forensic accountants in Florida have some of the lowest median salaries, at about £27,950 per year.
How much money forensic accountants make depends on the type of company for which they work. Forensic accountants who work for accounting and auditing firms make a median salary of about £37,050 per year, while those who work for public accounting companies make about £39,000 per year. Forensic accountants who are employed by private investigation firms have the highest median salaries, at about £52,000 per year.
Salaries for forensic accountants also vary according to their age and gender. Forensic accountants who are between the ages of 25 and 44 have median salaries of about £36,400 per year, while those ages 45 to 65 earn about £58,500 per year. Of the forensic accountants surveyed by Payscale.com, about 40 per cent were female and 60 per cent were male. Female forensic accountants earned a median salary of about £31,850 per year, while males had median salaries of over £42,900 per year.
In addition to regular salaries, most forensic accountants report receiving benefits from their employer. Over 93 per cent of forensic accountants surveyed by Payscale.com reported getting paid vacation time, with most receiving between two and three weeks of paid time off. Seventy per cent of forensic accountants had an employer sponsored 401(k), while nearly 50 per cent had life or disability insurance. More than 40 per cent had employer sponsored education or training, and 34 per cent had a company laptop computer. Of the forensic accountants who received annual bonuses, most reported a bonus of £1,462 to £2,600 per year.