Professorship for Accounting, Auditing & Corporate Governance

Organisational unit: Section

Organisation profile

The professorship for Accounting, Auditing & Corporate Governance works in the areas of financial accounting, external audit and corporate governance. The research activities involve the study of selected issues in regulation, in particular such topics as the economic impact of audit committees, integrated and CSR reporting, aspects of auditor independence and board diversity. The professorship also teaches in the Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes, including modules in the Business Administration Major as well as interdisciplinary modules in the complementary studies programme and integration modules.

Topics

Audit Quality
Following EU legislation on reform of the audit market, provisions on mandatory firm rotation and limits to non-audit services raise issues of the impact of major regulatory measures on safeguarding the independence of the audit firm. Internationally, empirical research on auditor independence has seen considerable attention for a number of years, with mixed findings on its economic impact. This also holds for the impact of joint audits, even though European regulation did not make this a mandatory requirement. This research project studies the effect of audit and non-audit fees of German capital market oriented companies on audit quality.

 
Integrated-/CSR Reporting
After the most recent financial crisis 2008-9, there has been a decline in trust of stakeholders in capital-market oriented reporting by corporations. As a result, traditional financial reporting should be complemented by corporate sustainability reporting, which would ideally be unified into integrated reporting. While there has been considerable empirical research into CSR reporting, this is not yet the case for integrated reporting in the 2013-framework published by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). This research project examines the content elements investors demand and their relationship to the quality of integrated reporting in the German capital market.

 

Audit Committees
In both one and two-tier systems, the appointment of audit committees with independent financial experts is seen as a necessary measure to ensure good corporate governance. There has been considerable research undertaken into the Anglo-American board system and the impact of audit committees on financial reporting quality and on the cooperation with the external auditor and with the internal auditor. This research project studies to what extent characteristics of the audit committee as established by supervisory boards in German companies are able to contribute to the discussion on quality.

 

Board Diversity
Recently there have been a large number of reform efforts aiming at improving corporate performance by increasing board diversity. In addition to introducing the legal gender quota now at the focus of much political discussion, other diversity characteristics such as ethnicity or occupation are increasingly being studied in empirical research on corporate governance. This research project looks at the dual system of corporate governance in Germany and studies the effects of diversity in the management board and supervisory board on the capital market.

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