The Challenge of Teaching Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting in a Digital World

By Timothy A. Pearson, Ph.D., CPA;Richard “Dick” A. Riley Jr., Ph.D., CFE, CPA

tim-pearson-80x80    dick-riley-80x80.jpg  Fraud EDge
A Forum for Fraud-Fighting Faculty in Higher Ed

One extremely challenging area in the higher-education classroom is teaching the digital aspects of fraud examination and forensic accounting. Whether it is a series of information technology demonstrations, a singular class project, or an entire course dedicated to information technologies and their impact on fraud, it is imperative to include an examination of digital tools and electronic data. 


Cyberfraud and modern-day technological tricks of the trade require instructors to be on the cutting — if not the bleeding edge — of technology. However, monitoring, studying and obtaining CPEs on the latest and greatest cyber-schemes is only the beginning. The hard aspects of teaching fraud examination and forensic accounting in a digital environment include keeping pace with:  

  • The role of computers (hardware, software, processes and data) in financial crimes and forensic accounting.  
  • Cybercrimes, to include traditional or new schemes adapted to new technology.  
  • Digital evidence issues.  
  • Data extraction and analysis software (data analytics and mining).  
  • Graphical analysis, which includes investigation and communication skills. 
  • Case management software.  


The purpose of this column is to address each of these aspects so instructors can see the full scope of teaching topics and decide what they want to include.



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