Institution(s): 1. NMSU
Observational evidence for strong magnetic fields of accreting white dwarfs, in cataclysmic binaries, and accreting neutron stars, in low mass X-ray binaries, is reviewed. Increasingly, complex magnetic fields have been involked to explain effects that cannot be modelled with pure dipolar fields. This has been the result of both improved observations, providing stronger field constraints, as well as robust modelling techniques. While observations are often not able to clearly differentiate between dipolar and multi-polar fileds, examples are shown that suggest that complex fields are likely a quite common feature of compact stars.