These steps are for those interested in the Certified Forensic Accountant, Government Forensic Accountant, Registered Forensic Investigator, Certified Forensic Bookkeeper, Certified Forensic Auditor, or Forensic Intelligence Specialist programs. For all other programs, please see the respective pages under Certifications and Designations.

1. Apply

Complete the General Membership Application (Free)

Apply Online

2. Prepare

Take the Forensic Accounting Review course.

Forensic Accounting Review

3. Pass

Take our Online Certification Exam and pass with a score of 70% or more

Certifications and Programs

Step 1 : Apply

Your first step is to complete the general membership application. There is no cost to apply for membership. Before you make any time and financial commitments, we want to make sure our programs and courses meet your individual academic and career needs.

After you complete the application, you will be directed to our Scoring Matrix process. The Scoring Matrix was developed to ascertain the amount of education and experience you have in accounting and auditing-related topics. We use a point system to determine your preliminary score based on the information you submit with your application. During the process, your score may be adjusted.

After we have reviewed your application and conducted our process, we will contact you and let you know which programs and courses are the best fit and develop an academic pathway towards learning forensic accounting.

The following is a summary of certification costs:

  • First year general membership in the ABFA: $165 for non-student US residents — other fees may be found here
  • Forensic Accounting Review (FAR) course: Member price $695 — other prices may be found here
  • The required textbook for the FAR is Forensic and Investigative Accounting by Dr. Larry Crumbley. You will need to purchase or rent this on your own. Please look for a good deal on Amazon or other book vendors. The 7th edition or newer will work well with the course.
  • Certification exam fee: $585 (this cost may be deferred until you’re ready to sit for the exam)
  • Payment plans are available–contact the ABFA for more information.

Step 2 : Prepare

All individuals seeking certification with the ABFA are required to take the Forensic Accounting Review as an educational requirement. We have found the best way to insure individuals have a solid foundation in forensic accounting is through our academic process. We value experience but granting certification on experience alone can be problematic as there is no true measurement process and it is subjective to the judgement of the person(s) making the determination. We want to give you the best opportunity to succeed as a forensic accountant and have developed our programs and courses to meet this objective.

All ABFA examinations are online using a dedicated testing platform. You may take these exams at work or home using a laptop or desktop computer.

Step 3 : Pass

The certification exam assesses your knowledge and competence in professional forensic accounting services and is a fully comprehensive exam covering forensic accounting, fraud, litigation services, cyber security issues, and valuations. It is offered online in a continuous testing format and consists of five (5) sections:

  • Practice and Theory – one hour with 25 multiple choice questions
  • Fraud – two hours with 50 multiple choice questions
  • Litigation – two hours with 50 multiple choice questions
  • Cyber – two hours with 50 multiple choice questions
  • Valuations – one hour with 25 multiple choice questions

Each section needs to be taken and passed in the order presented. The test is currently open book and covers a lot of information. Our goal is for you to become well versed in the subject matter. You may need to use a calculator or your computer to solve some of the questions.

You may retake a section of the exam but will need to complete all sections within thirty (30) days. Once you begin a section of the exam, you will need to complete it in one sitting as they are timed. You will need a score of 70% or greater to pass each section. If you don’t complete all five (5) sections of the exam within thirty (30) days, you will have to start over from the beginning.

There is one (1) retry for each section built into the testing platform, but you may request additional attempts by contacting the ABFA.