Forensic Accounting


An In-class Course
Course Description


We read about fraud and white collar crime almost daily in the news.  Statistics provided through extensive surveys indicate that these are not isolated occurrences.  Kroll, a premier corporate security organization, has commissioned fraud surveys each year for the past eight years.  In its most recent survey (2015), it found that for the eighth consecutive year, the number of companies experiencing fraud has increased.  In 2015 the survey found that 75% of the respondents had suffered some level of fraud with the cost of fraud running between 0.9% – 1.4% of revenue.

While a corporate “whistleblower” is the most common method of exposing the fraud, external and internal auditors were responsible for exposing fraud in over 55% of the cases.  The Certificate in Forensic Accounting has been designed to help accountants and security professionals develop the expertise to investigate and uncover fraudulent activities within an organization.  The program will focus on the skills necessary to detect, identify, investigate and support litigation efforts on potential fraudulent activities.  Specific courses within the program will focus on: litigation and expert testimony; investigation and interviewing techniques; and digital forensics.

The program is comprised of four 5-week modules.  The modules focus on skills and knowledge sets that are required of professionals in forensic accounting. The titles of the modules are:

  • Introduction to Forensics
  • Litigation and Legal Issues
  • Digital Forensics
  • Detection & Investigative Techniques

Participants wishing to earn the Certificate in Forensic Accounting are required to successfully complete all four modules within two years of beginning the program.  Two modules are offered in the fall and two in late spring over 10 consecutive weeks.



Introduction to Forensics

This course is intended to provide an overview of forensic accounting, the various roles of forensic accountants, and discuss the fraud investigation process.  The course will include a detailed overview of financial statement fraud schemes, red flags and detection techniques for identifying fraud, waste and abuse.  Additionally, the course will discuss financial crimes and money laundering as well as industry-specific trends and fraud risks within the healthcare, financial services, construction, and manufacturing sectors.  This course is designed to provide a foundational level of knowledge of forensic accounting prior to taking the additional certificate program courses focused on legal and litigation matters, digital and computer forensics, and detection / investigation techniques and practices.

Litigation and Legal Issues

Participants will understand the litigation process and the role of a financial expert throughout the process, including providing expert reports and expert testimony. This course will describe different types of litigation cases, the involved parties, and venues; the phases, remedies and burdens of proof associated with various case types; pleadings and motions; and related legal terminology. You’ll also understand damage calculation methodology, including estimating lost profits, economic losses, and lost earnings.

Digital Forensics

Digital forensics is the application of forensic science to the recovery and analysis of information from electronic devices.  Computers, tablets, and mobile devices are often used to conduct deceitful or illegal activity, including fraudulent transactions, collusive communication, or falsification or destruction of records; and these devices often contain valuable artifacts that can be used to support or refute an investigator’s hypothesis.

This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of the nature of electronic devices as they relate to the storage and transmission of data, and will address the guiding principles that digital forensic investigators follow as part of an investigation.  Basic knowledge of computer systems and digital forensic procedures allow forensic accountants to effectively communicate with a digital forensic analyst, increasing the likelihood of recovery of valuable forensic evidence.

Detection & Investigative Techniques

This module will explore methods of fraud detection and prevention.  The participant will learn the key indicators of fraud suggesting the need for further investigation.  The importance of strong internal controls and a functioning enterprise risk management process will be emphasized.  The course will then examine the fraud investigation process which involves gathering and reviewing evidence of the existence of fraud.  Participants will learn the key steps in the investigation process which begins after the first indication of fraud then proceeds through the engagement process, evidence collection, reporting and loss recovery.  The course will combine textbook reading assignments and class discussion with the use of a case study and expert outside speakers.

Career & Industry Outlook

In a 2013 survey CNN listed forensic accounting as one of the top 25 “Best Jobs.”  Average salaries for forensic accounting specialists located in metropolitan areas was close to $100K in 2013.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, “employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.”

What you’ll learn:

  • The role of a financial expert in the litigation process.
  • Understand different types of litigation cases and related involved parties, pleadings and motions, and related terminology.
  • Become familiar with the various types of damage calculation methodologies.
  • Understand several basic computer forensic techniques.
  • The technical skills needed to perform computer forensics investigations.
  • Become familiar with data mining concepts and strategies.
  • How to identify fraud by learning the key indicators.
  • Understand the importance of a strong internal control environment to detect and prevent fraud.
  • The key steps in the fraud investigation process. 


  • Learn the standards of conduct for performing legal services.
  • Know how to qualify as an expert witness.
  • Understand the rules of evidence and their importance to a financial expert.
  • Be able to use various methods to determine economic damages.
  • Learn the technical aspects of computer forensics.
  • Understand the guiding principles that digital forensic experts follow as a part of the investigation.
  • You will learn the key indicators of fraud.
  • You will gain an understanding of internal controls including the process of enterprise risk management.
  • You will understand the steps in a fraud investigation.

Who is this for?

This program is designed for professionals who work in the areas of: financial statement certification, IT security or corporate security functions and white-collar crime investigation and prosecution.  The program is particularly relevant to these professionals:

  • Internal & external auditors
  • Accountants
  • Fraud investigators
  • Attorneys
  • Information security officers
  • Risk managers
  • Loss prevention professionals
  • Ethics officers

Course Dates And Times

All classes are held from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center on 200 N. College Street in uptown Charlotte.

Module 1: Introduction to Forensics
Module 2: Legal & Litigation Issues
Module 3: Digital Forensics
Module 4: Detection & Investigative Techniques

Program Faculty

Richard S. Caswell, CPA

Former Vice President, Finance & CFO, United Technologies – Aerospace Services; BA, Alfred University; MS – Accounting, Syracuse University.

Rick Caswell

Rick recently retired after 22 years with United Technologies Corporation (UTC).  In his latest role he served as Vice President, Finance & CFO for the Power, Controls and Sensing System segment of United Technologies Aerospace Services.  In this assignment he had responsibility for the successful financial integration of major units of the Goodrich Aerospace acquisition by UTC – the largest aerospace combination in history.  He also served as V.P., Finance & CFO of Sikorsky Aircraft and Pratt & Whitney Canada – two units of UTC.  Rick joined UTC in 1993 in the Pratt & Whitney, Controllers’ Department where he became V.P. Controller.  Rick started his career at Price Waterhouse in Hartford, Connecticut serving multinational clients as a Senior Audit Manager.  Rick is a certified public accountant and received a B.A in economics from Alfred University and an M.S. in accounting from Syracuse University.  Rick is currently a financial consultant with a major aerospace company.  He is a board member of the Institute for Global Ethics, based in Madison, Wisconsin and a member of the Wake Forest Charlotte Executive Board.  He has served on several nonprofit boards including Boy Scouts – CT River Valley and Jane Doe No More.  In his spare time Rick is a private pilot, fitness runner and open water scuba diver.

Thomas K. Aleman, CPA

Principal, Deloitte Advisory; BS – Accounting, University of North Carolina – Charlotte; BA – Economics, University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

Thomas Aleman

Tom is a Principal with Deloitte delivering forensic investigation and litigation consulting services.  He is the Lead Entity Partner (LEP) for two of Deloitte’s largest financial services clients.  In this role he primarily works with the Office of General Counsel and their outside counsel.  He has over 30 years of experience with forensic litigation, data analytics and discovery matters for client companies. Throughout his career, he has worked with a number of companies facing contract disputes, fraud allegations, regulatory inquires and mass tort issues.  He has, additionally, advised legal departments on cost containment, claims and settlement strategy and process improvement.   Tom also leads the Deloitte Advisory Pursuit Center of Excellence which assists Deloitte client teams with winning more business in the marketplace through effective proposal strategy, writing and orals coaching.  Previously, he led Deloitte’s Analytic & Forensic Technology practice.

Jeremy Gilbert, CPA, GCFE, EnCE, CFE, MAFF

Manager, IT Advisory Dixon Hughes Goodman;

BS – Business Administration, Charleston Southern University; MBA, The Citadel.

Jeremy Gilbert 

Jeremy’s digital forensic experience includes extracting relevant data from computers, servers, cellular telephones, tablets, USB drives, SD cards, electronic mail accounts, and social media.  He assists attorneys and clients with computer forensics, digital forensics, and electronic discovery issues in a wide variety of matters, including intellectual property theft, improper computer use, hacking incidents, family law, personal injury, worker compensation, and financial fraud.  Jeremy’s forensic accounting experience includes calculating economic damages related to wrongful termination, unpaid overtime, and unpaid taxes.  His forensic accounting experience also includes supporting attorneys and clients with fraud risk assessments, fraud investigations, class certification, using specialized software to analyze data and extract data.  Jeremy also develops and teaches courses within the firm on using this data analysis software.  With this combination of digital forensics and forensic accounting experience, Jeremy assists attorneys and clients with matters that involve elements from both digital forensics and forensic accounting, which often eliminates the need to hire separate digital forensics and forensic accounting experts.

Erin Lentz, CPA, CFE, CMA

Partner, Advisory Services, Grant Thornton, LLP; BBA- Accounting, University of Hawaii – Manoa; MBA, Duke University.


Erin Lentz 

Erin is a partner in the Advisory Services practice located in Charlotte, NC specializing in forensic accounting investigations and regulatory compliance consulting services. She has extensive experience leading large, complex accounting and consulting engagements and assisting clients with compliance audits, forensic accounting, internal investigations and litigation support matters. Erin is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of North Carolina, a Certified Management Accountant, and a Certified Fraud Examiner.  She has previously led courses on Forensic Accounting and Financial Statement Fraud for the Pfeiffer University and also regularly speaks at a variety of industry conferences.  Erin’s representative engagements include Consent Order compliance validation, internal control assessment, forensic investigations and white-collar crime, litigation consulting, forensic due-diligence, and purchase price disputes.  Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Erin held finance and accounting positions in the service, retail and bio-technology industries.  Her experience includes loss prevention, internal audit, cost accounting and financial reporting.

Professional qualifications and memberships

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA – NC)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
  • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

Chris Lucado, CPA 

Principal – Financial Crimes, PwC; BA-Business Administration & Computer Information Systems, Queens University of Charlotte; FBI Academy.

Chris Lucado

As a Risk Assurance Partner in the PwC Charlotte office, Chris is responsible for helping to lead the continued national growth of the Risk Assurance Financial Services, Advanced Risk and Compliance Analytics Solutions solution area, with a specific focus on the Banking & Capital Markets industry sector.  Chris has over 16 years of experience in risk & compliance, operational risk, IT systems security, business process management, audit and law enforcement. He has a proven track record for building and managing high-performance teams while managing large scale corporate initiatives. Chris is also a former FBI Special Agent that worked high profile complex financial crime matters.  Prior to joining PwC, Chris led KPMG’s Forensic Practice in the Carolinas, specifically working in financial services (Wholesale & Retail environments) where he managed high profile/time sensitive projects that brought significant shareholder value to clients.  He assisted clients with managing investigations involving suspicions of fraud and misconduct by employees, management, or third parties, as well as, fraudulent financial reporting on the part of management.  He has conducted high profile sensitive investigations in the areas of corporate fraud, high yield securities fraud, financial institution fraud, wire fraud, bribery and money laundering.  In addition, he helped organizations protect value through the assessment of their risk and vulnerability to fraud and misconduct.

Cory Rogers, CFA, CPA/CFF

Senior Manager, Forensic & Valuation Services, Grant Thorton, LLP; BBA – Accounting, Mississippi College; MAcc, University of Mississippi.

R Corey Rogers
Cory is a Senior Manager in Grant Thornton LLP’s Forensic and Valuation Services practice located in Charlotte, NC.   He has over 12 years of experience working with legal counsel, board of directors, and senior executives on fraud investigations, complex business disputes, and regulatory and contract compliance matters.  Cory has led large investigations of public and private companies related to financial statement fraud and embezzlement.  In addition to the investigation assignments, Cory has assisted clients with litigation matters related to post-acquisition disputes, calculation of lost profits, and asset tracing. Cory has also assisted corporations and private equity firms with buy-side due diligence and business valuations for financial reporting purposes. He has previously led courses on Forensic Accounting and Financial Statement Fraud for the Pfeifer University and also regularly speaks at a variety of industry conferences.  Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Cory was in the Fraud Investigations & Dispute Services practice at Ernst & Young LLP.

Professional qualifications and memberships

  • Awarded designation of Chartered Financial Analyst by the CFA Institute
  • Louisiana CPA License #25234
  • North Carolina CPA License #34060
  • Certified in Financial Forensics
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • CFA Institute
  • CFA North Carolina Society

Thomas Tollerton

Consultant, Cyber Forensics & Cyber Security, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP; BS & MBA, Florida State University.

Thomas Tollerton

Tom is a cyber forensics and cyber security consultant with Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP.  He has over 12 years in the cyber security and forensics fields and provides forensics support in various forms of litigation, including financial fraud, divorce, and intellectual property theft.  Tom holds a Bachelor degree and Master of Business Administration from Florida State University.

Program Prerequisites

Participants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Any requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the program director, Carol Oliff, at

Program Materials

Course materials other than texts are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed in digital format and accessible through Sakai, Wake Forest’s learning management system. Students must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Certificate in Forensic Accounting from Wake Forest University, students must successfully complete all four modules within a two year period.  It is strongly recommended that students begin the certificate program with the Introduction to Forensics module.

Meeting Location

Wake Forest University Charlotte Center
200 N. College Street, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC  28202

Parking is available in the Wake Forest Charlotte Center parking deck, which is adjacent to the Wake Forest Charlotte Center on 5th Street.  Parking can be validated by bringing your parking pass to class.


The cost of each of the four program modules is $1,500 and is due in full at time of registration.  Students who register for all four modules in advance, will receive a 10% discount off the program fee.  With the exception of the course text, the program fee  includes most materials.  Students will need to purchase the course text from a local or on-line retailer. WFU alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 10% tuition discount.  Certain partner companies also receive a discount (email to determine whether your organization receives a discount).  There are also scholarship opportunities available upon request (email for additional information).

Payment Options

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

· Seek employer funding or reimbursement

· Apply for a private education loan

· Take advantage of tuition discounts for alums, groups, and select partner organizations

Registration and Payment Form

This certificate is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed and you receive a confirmation email. In order to register, you will need to render payment. Please begin registration when you are ready to render payment.

Registration Deadlines:

Register for all four modules (receive 10% discount): Registration for this course is now closed.

Registration Deadlines for Individual Modules:

Introduction to Forensics – Registration for this course is now closed.

Legal & Litigation Issues – Registration for this course is now closed.

Digital Forensics – Registration for this course is now closed.

Detection & Investigative Techniques – Registration for this course is now closed.

To Register:  Registration for this course is now closed.

Cancellation of Certificate Programs

This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered students will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered students will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.

Refund Policy

Refunds are computed based on the date and time that a student’s request to withdraw is received in writing. Prospective students who withdraw prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.

For More Information

For more information or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to or call 980-224-9276.