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Should I do forensic accounting?

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dear Career Advisor:

I am a student at The University of the West Indies (Mona), currently in my final year of a BSc majoring in accounting and minoring in management studies. I have developed an interest in forensic accounting over the years, but I am not sure I should pursue that field. Upon conducting research, I saw an article in Jamaica Observer dated March 11, 2017 in which you advised an individual about forensic accounting and your response caught my interest. If possible, I would really appreciate an hour or so of your time to discuss my options.

Looking forward to your response.




Dear Precelia:

Congratulations on your advancement to your final year. We are happy that you have found merit in the advice given to the previous reader.

Regrettably, we are not able to provide personalised career services tangential to this column. We can, however, offer general advice, and based on the previous column to which you referred.

As we said then, forensic accounting is a relatively new specialisation but one which has been internationally ranked among the top 20 trending careers. Success in the field will be enhanced by a strong business background, excellent understanding of the operations of business, and a keen appreciation for legal processes.

While you might not necessarily see many local vacancy advertisements for the position, there are many organisations in which the knowledge, competencies and skills derived from the training can be applied and are in demand. These include, but are not limited to:

• accounting firms

• law firms

• the justice system

• banks

• insurance companies and insurance assessors

• the police force

• teaching

• government ministries and agencies

• private investigating companies

• management

• independent investigating and consultancy

Note too, that opportunities for certified fraud examiners, though also a relatively new field in Jamaica, are increasing.

For personalised assistance with your career decisions, we advise you to make an appointment with your Placement and Career Services Office. For the benefit of our other readers who might not be aligned to an educational institution, you too can have access to personalised professional career advice from a career development officer at any of the regional or parish offices of the HEART Trust/NTA.

The services offered include, but are not limited to:

• expert advice and information

• access to career professionals who can assist you with:

• career selection

• job market research

• résumé preparation

• developing strong interview skills

• analysis of career issues and decisions

As you are near the end of your programme of study, do make some time to schedule a visit to the career centre as soon as possible and utilise the resources available. You will find career professionals who are willing and committed to coach you towards the setting and achieving of your career goals.

All the best,

Career Advisor


Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at