Jim DiGabriele, partner and co-founder of DiGabriele, McNulty, Campanella & Co., a New Jersey-based forensic accounting and business valuation firm, has spearheaded the development of a forensic accounting certificate program for accounting graduate students at Montclair State University. The program launched in September 2015 and is different compared to other university programs because DiGabriele, the developer and primary lecturer, is a practitioner bringing nearly 30 years of industry expertise from DMC & Co. into higher education.
Even before the certificate program launched, DiGabriele taught accounting courses at the university since 2006. He is a natural fit for academia, holding a doctorate in accounting from the Middlesex University Business School in London, a doctorate from Pace University's Lubin School of Business and a Master of Science Taxation from Seton Hall University.
DiGabriele's expertise took on greater importance at the university a few years ago when he expanded on the graduate accounting program to introduce the forensic accounting certificate. The certificate program is composed of four three-credit lecture courses in fraud examination, forensic accounting, business valuation and legal issues in forensic accounting, and has served nearly 75 students.
DiGabriele believes forensic accounting is one of the highest growth areas in the accounting profession. New graduates entering the industry are expected to possess important skills associated with this field. As a New Jersey native, he is proud the certificate program increases Montclair State University's reputation in accounting education and offers the chance to train the next generation of industry leaders.
He developed the program so students participating in the business valuation and fraud examination courses could also sit for exams to earn, respectively, the certified valuation analyst credential (CVA) from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts and the certificate in fraud examination from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. These provide extra value as graduates begin their careers.
DiGabriele develops students' knowledge through the discussion-method of teaching and by giving them hands-on experience in simulated court scenarios and via case studies based on trials in areas such as expert bias and employment discrimination. Many of the examples come directly from cases that DiGabriele won, giving students a first-hand look at the expertise that a forensic accountant brings to a financial dispute.
In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, DiGabriele is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, a Certified Financial Services Auditor, a Certified Forensic Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst. He is accredited in business valuation, certified in financial forensics and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Accounting and a fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners.
"The goal of this program," he says, "is to make sure the forensic accountants entering the profession in the 21st century have the tools and expertise they need to make the right decision and serve their profession well. I hope to inspire them by sharing my success record and the deep-level of knowledge it takes to win."
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