Maintain a healthy skepticism re: BV-related ‘Societies’

BVWireIssue #58-1
July 4, 2007

In response to our recent exposure of BV “scam” sites, a subscriber asked about the “Forensic CPA Society,” which recently sent a spate of emails regarding self-study courses, texts, and certification.  The Society was formed just two years ago, in July 2005, and now offers a FCPA (Forensic Certified Public Accountant) certification.  “Use of this designation will tell the public and the business community that the holder has met certain testing and experience guidelines,” the email explains, “and is not only a CPA, but has been certified as a forensic accountant.”

We’re not saying the site (www.fcpas.org) isn’t legitimate.  But whenever double negatives creep into syntax, it’s best to keep a healthy skepticism.  Forensic accounting is now one of the hottest growth areas for CPAs and analysts—and so-called “societies” may be cropping up fast to take advantage.  Some may be nothing more than resellers of others people’s resources—including study books and guides, for which they charge an extra membership fee before permitting purchase.  In our opinion—better to spend limited training budgets on the offerings from well-established professional organizations, such as the fraud and litigation courses at NACVA and the extensive resources from the AICPA’s BV/FLS section, than to buy-into a certification from a society that may not be around in another couple of years.

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