5 Capstone Projects for a Forensic Accounting Student

Final Research Projects for Forensic Accounting Majors

  • Bitcoin and Online Currency
  • Preventing Wage Theft
  • Internal Investigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Online Drug Trafficking

Forensic accounting is a field of study that looks at some of the criminal activities associated with the industry, and many college graduate programs require that students complete a capstone. This is similar to a thesis and is a type of final research project that students complete and submit for review. They typically take a capstone course and spend the semester working on the project. Accounting majors interested in forensics can choose from a range of project ideas.

Related Resource: Top 15 Online Master’s in Forensic Accounting

1. Bitcoin and Online Currency

Bitcoin started as a type of online currency that only a few people used. As it became more popular, the market grew and increased the worth of each coin. Though bitcoin is no longer worth as much as it once was, other types of online currencies popped up over the years. Students can do projects comparing and contrasting those currencies; evaluating which one will eventually replace bitcoin; or analyzing the security features of these cryptocurrencies.

2. Preventing Wage Theft

Wage theft is a serious issue that affects millions of people every year. According to a survey from the Economic Policy Institute, wage theft causes workers to lose more than $8 billion each year. This includes employers who make employees work late without paying them overtime and those who make employees work through their breaks. It can also include commissions that they take from workers. Accounting majors can do projects that look at ways to prevent wage theft.

3. Internal Investigation

Forensic accountants are often responsible for conducting internal investigations within a company or a corporation. Those in a forensic accounting program can do a capstone that involves some type of internal investigation. They might work for the college or university and do research to identify which professors use more funds from their annual budgets than others do. Looking at individual departments is another way they can do research. They can identify which departments cannot show proof of the funds used that year and which departments have receipts and other information to show how they spent their budgets.

4. Estate Planning

Estate planning can involve both accountants and lawyers. It allows individuals to write out their wills and decide what should happen to everything they own, including homes and investment accounts. Accounting majors in graduate programs can do final research projects that identify some of the issues that arise when someone dies without a will. They may also look at the steps that the loved ones can take to claim property or to contest the will. Students can also research some of the statues in their state that determine what happens when someone dies and leaves behind an estate.

5. Online Drug Trafficking

Another project idea for students interested in forensics is the study of online drug trafficking. The Silk Road was a place on the Dark Web that allowed people to buy illegal drugs and weapons. Though the Silk Road is now gone, there are other similar sites that still exist. Accounting majors can put their skills to the test and track the activities of those who sell or trade drugs on the web. They can also write about the steps that the government took to prevent drug and weapons traffickers in the past.

Graduate accounting programs provide students with the minimum number of credit hours that they must take before sitting for any professional licensing exam. Some programs include concentrations that let students pick from different areas within the accounting profession. Forensic accounting students can do capstone projects on topics such as drug trafficking and estate planning.

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