Table of Contents

FCPA | Membership | Cost | FCPA Study Guide | FCPA Exam | CPE Credits


What is an FCPA?

FCPA stands for Forensic Certified Public Accountant, and the use of this designation will tell the public and the business community that the holder has met certain testing and experience guidelines and is not only a CPA, but has been certified as a forensic accountant by the Forensic CPA Society.

Why do I need this certification?

Recognition as a credentialed professional in the Forensic Accounting field will give you instant credibility with new and existing clients. Your testimony in court as an expert witness will carry more weight.

What do I get when I join the Society?

Once you join the Society, you have the right to use the professional credential “FCPA” after your name. For example, John Smith CPA, FCPA. We will also send you a certificate of membership suitable for framing. You will also get a listing on our website under “Find and FCPA.” This is free advertising for you and/or your firm.


How do I become a member of the Forensic CPA Society?

An individual MUST be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), or another country’s CPA equivalent to be eligible take our 5-part certification test.

Exemption: CFF
If a CPA or CA is also a CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics), then they are exempt from taking our 5-part certification exam. He or she can automatically receive their FCPA. Simply print and fill out our application form and email it in along with your first year’s dues.

Partial Exemption: CFE
If a person is a licensed CPA or CA and also a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), he or she is exempt from 2 of the 5 exams. He or she does not have to take:

  • FRD502 – Corporate Fraud Handbook
  • FRD510 – Principles of Fraud Examination

However, he or she must take the following exams:

  • CRM504 – Criminal Interrogation and Confessions
  • FRD506 – Financial Investigation and Forensic Accounting
  • FRD508 – Forensic and Investigative Accounting

If an individual is only a CPA, he or she must take our FCPA certification testing course and pass with a score of 70% or above.

Once an individual has earned their FCPA, he or she must take continuing professional education (CPE) courses each year to keep their certification active. We offer many interesting CPE courses that will satisfy our CPE requirements, as well as those of most State Boards of Accountancy.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and have been working in forensic accounting for most of my career. I also have my CFE. Can I become a FCPA?

Membership in the Forensic CPA Society is limited to Certified Public Accountants and Chartered Accountants. There are no exceptions.

Once I become a member, when does my membership expire?

Your annual renewal date will be on the first of the month following the month in which you become a member. For example, if you become a member on June 15, 2005, your renewal date will be July 1, 2006.

How much are the yearly dues?

Dues are $150.00 per year.

Do I have to take CPE to keep my FCPA license current?

Yes. You must take 20 hours of fraud or forensic accounting related CPE per year. Our subsidiary, Pony Express CPE, offers many CPE courses that can also be used to satisfy your state CPE requirements. However, you do not have to take your CPE from Pony Express CPE. We will accept credits from any NASBA approved CPE provider.


What is the total cost of the certification?

If you purchase all the materials available (books, study guide, tests), the cost is $1615.00 plus shipping for the 5-part certification.  If you only need to take the 3-part certification (you are exempt from two because you are a CFE) then the cost is $980.00 plus shipping for all the available materials.

Most CPA’s purchase the Study Guide and the five corresponding books. Using our Study Guide will save you hours of studying, since we are telling you what concepts that WE think are important. These five books contain a lot of information, and we cannot cover every important idea in one test without making it a 1000-question test.

It will take you much longer to prepare for the exams if you don’t use the study guide. You will have to read and review the material carefully and diligently to make sure you know the material adequately to pass the five tests. It comes down to whether you would rather save time or money.

FCPA Study Guide

What does your study guide consist of?

The Certification Test is in five parts and covers five books. The Study Guide is an online question database of about 200-300 questions for each book.

The study guide is divided into five sections, one for each book. Feedback is given for each question, explaining which answer is correct and the logic behind the answer. The feedback section also explains why the incorrect answers are wrong. The study guide is online and can be accessed with your email address and a username that we will email to you.

The study guide also contains practice tests for each book that you can take as many times as you would like. Each practice test will be 100 questions pulled randomly from the question database. Once you can consistently score 70% or more on these practice tests, you are ready to take the real certification test for that particular section.

Do I have to buy the study guide to take the test?

No. You are not required to buy the study guide. However, all of the questions that will be on the real certification tests are included in the study guide. So, if you use the study guide and score high on the practice tests, you are more or less guaranteed to pass the real certification tests. Using the study guide will cut your study time by 75%, since we are TELLING you what concepts we think are important. You need to place a value on your time versus your money. However, some individuals simply buy the five books, study them well, and when they feel that they know the material then take the certification tests.

Do I need to buy the five textbooks in addition to the study guide?

Purchasing these five books is not required, but very necessary. All 1300 questions in the study guide are pulled from these books. It is important as a forensic accountant to have a reference library to refer to when working on specific cases. Whether you purchase them from the Forensic CPA Society or another vendor, it is necessary that you purchase and read these informative and interesting books.

Can I buy the five textbooks from Amazon or another bookstore or must I buy them from you?

You may buy the books wherever you would like. We have them listed at a very reasonable price, which is consistently lower than Amazon. Here are the book titles with their ISBN numbers:

  • Criminal Interrogation and Confessions: 5th Edition  ISBN# 978-0-7637-9936-6
  • Corporate Fraud Handbook: 5th Edition  ISBN# 978-1-119-35198-6
  • Financial Investigation and Forensic Accounting: 3rd Edition  ISBN# 978-1-4398-2566-2
  • Forensic and Investigative Accounting: 9th Edition  ISBN# 978-0-8080-5322-4
  • Principles of Fraud Examination: 4th Edition  ISBN# 978-1-118-58288-6

If I fail any of the five tests, how do I retake a test?

You may retake any of the five tests. The cost to retake one of the tests is $50. You may purchase the tests here.


Once I have completed the study guide, what do I do?

The study guide contains practice tests that will help you determine when you are ready to take the certification test. When you are ready, you must pay the $250.00 testing fee. However, you can also pay for just one test at a time. Each of the five tests cost $50 each. You may order the tests here or by telephone. You will use your email address and a username that we will send to you that will allow you to take each of the five certification tests.

How long does the exam take to complete?

This test is in five parts and covers five books. Each test covers one book. The tests are timed and taken online. Each test is 100 questions and you are allowed two minutes per question. Once a test is started it must be completed within the 200-minute time limit. All five tests must be completed within a one year period from the time the first test is taken.

How will I know if I pass the exam?

You will see the score immediately after you complete each test. The results will automatically be emailed to us.

What happens if I only pass some of the five parts?

You can “keep” any part that you pass for one year. All parts must be passed within a one-year period.

CPE Credits

Do I earn CPE credits if I pass the FCPA exam?

Yes. Each of the exams is worth 20 CPE hours.

Do I have to take CPE to keep my FCPA certification current?

Yes. The Forensic CPA Society requires 20 hours of fraud or forensic accounting related CPE per year.

Can I fulfill my CPE requirement through any CPE provider?

Yes, you may take your CPE from any qualified NASBA approved provider, although, in order to do so, the course must be fraud or forensic accounting related. Be sure to check out our wholly own subsidiary, Pony Express CPE, to see the many courses we have available that will fulfill your FCPA requirement.

How do I report my CPE credits?

Please print out and complete the CPE Reporting Form and email it in to us.

Will other organizations (such as AICPA, IIA, CFE) accept CPE credits earned through the Forensic CPA Society?

It is up to each individual organization to determine which courses they will accept for credit, but generally everyone accepts our credits.