HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 29, 2021 – High Point University students in the Department of Accounting teamed up with IRS Criminal Investigation agents on Oct. 27 to gain hands-on experience by simulating criminal accounting scenarios.
The exercise is known as the Adrian Project and exposes students to different investigations in which IRS-CI agents are involved. Bringing the project to campus provides yet another opportunity for experiential learning.
“HPU is extremely gracious to host IRS-CI and allow us to spend an afternoon with students,” said Richard Dawson Jr., special agent with the IRS-CI. “IRS-CI is an alternate career path for students with an interest in accounting, finance or criminal justice. We have teamed up with HPU in the past to conduct the Adrian Project on campus. IRS-CI is grateful and looks forward to continuing additional Adrian Projects at HPU in the future.”
A team of IRS agents led three groups of students investigating potential crimes. Some of the agents also portrayed the “suspects” in the realistic role-play mock investigations that were set up all over campus.
Special Agent Jared Peck helped lead one of the groups questioning an “informant” whose accountant filed his tax return with false information.
Trevor Campbell, a junior from Albany, New York, led the questioning of the “informant” in his group. Students then sifted through evidence from a mock IRS database and decided how to proceed with the investigation by generating different surveillance tactics. At the end of the simulation, students arrested the “suspects” once they collected all the evidence.
The exercise exposed students to a different career path within accounting.
“I’ve thought about working for the government,” said McKenzie McNall, a junior from St. Albans, Vermont. “My parents are both involved in government work, and I wanted to check out other paths I could take to work in accounting. The Adrian Project is another way that HPU offers real-world experience to you. We’re able to use this experience as our classroom for the day, which is awesome.”
This is the fourth year HPU has hosted the Adrian Project.
“We are proud to once again participate in the IRS Adrian Project,” said Dr. Daniel Hall, interim dean of the Phillips School of Business. “We believe in the power of experiential learning at High Point University, and this forensic accounting simulation puts students’ accounting skills to the test while they work through an accounting crime case they could encounter working for the IRS.”