Accounting, auditing and governance are among the central topics of modern business life and at the same time among the areas with the fastest growth of worldwide regulatory activities. As a consequence, financial statements are increasingly complemented with detailed information on complex topics such as risk management, corporate governance, and executive compensation. The research and teaching activities within this topic focus on the fundamental roles of accounting information in facilitating sound economic decisions and in evaluating the management’s stewardship function.
Recent research has analyzed the impact of regulatory changes on these fundamental accounting objectives. Representative research questions are the economic consequences of adopting new accounting standards, the cost and benefits of central corporate governance reforms such as “say on pay”, as well as the impact of the financial crises on the disclosure policy of European banks.
Exemplary project: Say on Pay and CEO’s Investment Incentives (R. Göx)
We conduct a laboratory experiment to study the consequences of a binding "say on pay" (SoP) on the investment incentives and the compensation of a CEO who has discretion over her own pay. We find that a binding SoP effectively reduces the rent of a powerful CEO but it also creates a hold-up problem that undermines the CEO’s investment incentives. The problem is that shareholders can refuse the CEO’s bonus after she has chosen a profitable investment project. Therefore, a binding SoP effectively reduces the CEO's compensation but also the firm's profit. We find that neither a repeated interaction nor communication between the CEO and long-term oriented shareholders improves investment efficiency and the firm’s profit but it allows the CEO to extract higher rents.
Selected research projects
- Causes and Consequences of a Voluntary Turn Away from IFRS to Local GAAP (C. Meyer, J. Halberkann)
- How Performance Expectations Affect Managerial Replacement Decisions (E. Franck, J. Pieper, S. Nüesch)
- Say on Pay, Executive Compensation, and Board Dependence (R. Göx)
- Agency versus Hold-up: On the Impact of Binding Say-on-Pay on Shareholder Value (A. Wagner, C. Wenk)
- The Executive Turnover Risk Premium (F. Peters, A. Wagner)
- The Impact of the Greek Sovereign Crisis on European Banks’ Disclosure (J. Zhou)
- The Impact of Bonus Caps on Lending Volumes and Interest Rates in International Lending Markets (O. Dürr, R. Göx)
- Voluntary Disclosure Quality, Operating Performance, and Stock Market Valuations (F. Eugster, A. Wagner)
Connections to courses
Accounting, Auditing and Governance addresses students interested in a professional or academic career in these areas. Experts will find attractive positions in auditing or consulting firms, accounting departments of banks, manufacturing or pharmaceutical firms as well as in public institutions or regulatory authorities. Contents of Accounting, Auditing and Governance are taught in the Business Administration core elective areas 1, 2 and 5 in the Management and Economics specialization at the Assessment, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral level. The following list provides examples of courses particularly related to Accounting, Auditing and Governance.
List of courses
More detailed information on each module can be found by copying the 8-digit code into the search field of the University’s course catalogue.
|Advanced Managerial Accounting||BOEC0329|
|Financial Statement Analysis||BOEC0226|
|Internal and External Auditing||BOEC0288|
|Case Studies in Managerial Accounting||BOEC0037|
|Internal and External Auditing||BOEC0306|
|SAP Managerial Accounting||BOEC0317|
|Unternehmensberichterstattung und Corporate Governance||BOEC0088|
|Accounting and Economics||MOEC0259|
|Advanced Financial Accounting||MOEC0213|
|Executive Compensation and Incentives Systems||MOEC0368|
|Case Studies in Managerial Accounting||MOEC0075|
|iDecor - the strategy and accounting business simulation game||MOEC0095|
|Managerial and Tax Aspects of Transfer Pricing||MOEC0367|
|Selected Cases in Auditing||MOEC0132|
|Sustainability Reporting - Strategy, Implementation and Reporting||MOEC0366|
Doctoral Students will find a variety of core and elective courses in Accounting, Auditing and Governance and can take advantage of the courses offered by the Doctoral Program Network in Accounting DAR-CH+ (Basel, Bern, Zurich) and its Austrian Partner Network DART (Graz & Vienna).
Faculty members involved
The following Faculty members research and/or teach in Accounting, Auditing and Governance.