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"jcr:3039df5d-7ebe-47db-b72d-915e5475fd6d" (String)
Degree
Dr. rer. pol.

Language
EN

Scholarship
Stipend & Tuition Waiver

Granted to all successfull candidates

Programme Start
September

Duration
5 Years

Application Deadline
15 January

Accounting Concentration

This concentration is one of the three concentrations offered in the Frankfurt School's Doctoral Programme.

It is offered by one of the most productive faculties in Europe. Ranked among the top in Europe of Brigham Young University’s prestigious research ranking, Frankfurt’s Accounting group is known for its innovative research in capital markets and managerial accounting.

We train our students in applying state-of-the-art techniques to address questions that advance contemporaneous accounting research. Our faculty is at the forefront of their research area and shape the profession not only through originality, but also by their editorial work and involvement in global research initiatives. Our doctoral programme, uniquely positioned in Germany, includes a structured coursework programme that provides students with methodological skills as well as with an in-depth knowledge of economics, finance, and accounting. Faculty has a proven track record of working closely with doctoral students throughout the programme and has placed students in some of the best research schools in the world.

Accounting research has little to do with refining the workings of double-entry bookkeeping. Instead, scholars examine a broad range of questions about the role of information in markets and within firms. Accounting research is strongly related to practice, studying questions such as the enforcement of international accounting standards or the way firms use incentives and performance measures to motivate employees. But accounting research is also empowered by the latest theoretical insights from economics, finance, psychology and related disciplines (sociology, linguistics, even biology) and has recently made significant strides forward by adopting methods developed by (big) data science. Accounting, contrary to some stereotypes, therefore is one of the most exciting fields of research in business.

Sample Publications

Frankfurt School publishes in the top outlets for accounting research. To get a sense for the kind of research we conduct, please click on the following sample publications:

Publication

Title

Professor

Review of Accounting Studies

Non-random sampling and association tests on realized returns and risk proxies

Frank Ecker

The Quarterly Journal of Economics

Firm-level political risk: measurement and effects

Laurence van Lent

Journal of Accounting Research

Masculinity, testosterone, and financial misreporting

Yuping Jia

Laurence van Lent

The Accounting Review

Unraveling the black box of cost behavior: An empirical investigation of risk drivers, managerial resource procurement, and cost elasticity

Matthias D. Mahlendorf

Management Science

Performance pay and prior learning: Evidence from a retail chain

Timo Vogelsang

Accounting Curriculum

Grounded strongly in economics and quantitative methods, our faculty encourages students to explore creative, new ideas in a rigorous way.

We prefer students to extend the boundaries of the field by incorporating insights from adjacent areas such as finance, management, and the behavioral sciences rather than making incremental technical improvements.

The accounting concentration offers the following courses to help students achieve those goals:

1

Mathematics & Statistics

Mathematics & Statistics

This class sets the foundations for later applications of analytical methods. This includes linear algebra, calculus, optimization, and probabilistic inference. Additionally, a preparatory maths class in the summer is offered for those aiming to brush up before entering this course.

Econometrics I

Econometrics I

The class provides key knowledge on how different econometric models work and most importantly sheds light on their limitations. The course also provides step by step application of new tools to different data sets in the computer lab. You will be asked to replicate, and in some cases improve, prior empirical studies.

Microeconomics

Microeconomics

A graduate-level micro-economics course. It begins with consumer decision making and general equilibrium, followed by game theory. Also covered are bi-forms, i.e. the combination of the two game theoretic solution concepts as applied by incomplete contract theory.

 Accounting Information and Capital Markets

Accounting Information and Capital Markets

This empirical class in accounting aims to provide a broad overview over the most important strands of literature, while the in-class discussion will also highlight test design choices. Students gain hands on programming experience through a replication of an existing study.

Independent Study Courses

The Accounting Seminars offer new insights into a broad range of accounting, managerial or economic issues. The seminars are a forum for mostly external researchers to present and discuss their work, employing rigorous methodological approaches, including theoretical models, empirical-archival methods or experimental methods.

2

Econometrics II

Econometrics II

The class provides key knowledge on how different econometric models work and most importantly sheds light on their limitations. The course also provides step by step application of new tools to different data sets in the computer lab. You will be asked to replicate, and in some cases improve, prior empirical studies.

Game Theory

Game Theory

The course aims to familiarize students with the basic concepts of game theory. Students learn different classes of games and a variety of solution concepts to predict strategic behavior in these games. They will learn how to capture practically relevant situations in a game and the necessary tools to solve these games.

Empirical Methods in Accounting and Finance

Empirical Methods in Accounting and Finance

The main goal of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of empirical economics-based research in accounting. A secondary goal is to broaden the students’ view of what constitutes accounting research by showing how it is embedded in work in other disciplines such as economics, finance, and biology. Topics discussed include machine learning and firm disclosures, politics, regulation and enforcement in capital markets, China as a research lab for accounting, and firms in the media.

Elective

Elective

Students can choose up to three elective courses suitable for their chosen area of specialisation. These can be offered by Frankfurt School but often are found at other research universities. Faculty and the programme office help the student identify appropriate courses.

Independent Study Courses

Independent Study Courses

The Accounting Seminars offer new insights into a broad range of accounting, managerial or economic issues. The seminars are a forum for mostly external researchers to present and discuss their work, employing rigorous methodological approaches, including theoretical models, empirical-archival methods or experimental methods.

3

Performance Measurement & Incentives

Performance Measurement & Incentives

This module provides an introduction to academic empirical research on performance measurement and incentives. It covers topics such as financial and nonfinancial performance measures, subjective performance evaluation, target setting and target ratcheting, relative performance evaluation and management control systems.

Topics in Empirical Accounting Research

Topics in Empirical Accounting Research

The main goal of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of empirical economics-based research in accounting. A secondary goal is to broaden the students’ view of what constitutes accounting research by showing how it is embedded in work in other disciplines such as economics, finance, and biology. Topics discussed include machine learning and firm disclosures, politics, regulation and enforcement in capital markets, China as a research lab for accounting, and firms in the media.

Elective

Elective

Students can choose up to three elective courses suitable for their chosen area of specialisation. These can be offered by Frankfurt School but often are found at other research universities. Faculty and the programme office help the student identify appropriate courses.

Elective

Elective

Students can choose up to three elective courses suitable for their chosen area of specialisation. These can be offered by Frankfurt School but often are found at other research universities. Faculty and the programme office help the student identify appropriate courses.

Independent Study Courses

Independent Study Courses

The Accounting Seminars offer new insights into a broad range of accounting, managerial or economic issues. The seminars are a forum for mostly external researchers to present and discuss their work, employing rigorous methodological approaches, including theoretical models, empirical-archival methods or experimental methods.

4

Master Thesis / 2nd year paper

Master Thesis / 2nd year paper

The second year paper is the first piece of the student’s very own presentable research work. It can also be used to obtain a Master’s degree in Business Research and Analytics.

5-10

Research (Dissertation and Defence)

Research (Dissertation and Defence)

Upon passing the Qualifying Exam at the end of the 2nd year, students enter the research phase of the programme. Students dedicate themselves to their research projects, produce scholarly papers and present their research at international academic conferences. They also have the opportunity to interact with international scholars visiting Frankfurt School to present research in the seminar series.

Research at FS

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Why do managers so often underestimate the risk of their strategic decisions? Management professor Stevo Pavicevic tries to answer this question in his work:

"Making decisions is at the heart of professional lives of managers. Despite managers' best efforts, their decisions are often hopelessly erroneous. Here at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, we investigate why managers make poor strategic decisions, and more importantly, how firms can build safeguards into the decision-making process to reduce the risk of flawed decisions."

Tetyana-Kosyakova.jpg

Decision making is also important in marketing professor Tetyana Kosyakova’s projects, but rather than on managers, she focuses on consumers:

"My research is mainly in the area of choice and Bayesian modeling. Currently I am working on a series of projects, which focus on developing the methodology for estimating consumer preferences based on consumer choice (or purchase) data, when consumers are making choice decisions given a large choice set.

More Less

A typical purchase decision from a large choice set could be a consumer picking a yoghurt in a supermarket given a large yoghurt assortment in a dairy shelve or a consumer configuring a laptop given multiple options for processor, memory and other technical features. Traditional models don’t scale to large choice sets or large product assortments due to difficulty of likelihood evaluation. My work is aimed at contributing to this research area."

matthias-mahlendorf-16.jpg

Ph.D. students at Frankfurt School often work closely together with faculty on (larger) research projects. Digitalization and its corporate impact is at the core of a project of accounting professor Matthias Mahlendorf:

"In a joint project with PhD students and international coauthors, we are currently investigating how senior managers develop their expectations about their company's future performance.

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This is important, because many firms are currently investing in new approaches (such as Google's "Objectives and Key Results", OKR) as well as in predictive analytics. These tools have the potential to solve some challenges that firms have struggled with for decades, such as slack building in performance goals and biased forecasts. However, we need solid research to distinguish between hype and actual improvements."

Yigitcan_Karabulut_746x450.jpg

Research at Frankfurt School often centers on big problems in society, including climate change and wealth inequality. Take, for example the work of finance professor Yigitcan Karabulut:

"My current research interest lies in household finance, with a particular emphasis on studying the factors that contribute to household wealth dynamics and their implications for the evolution of wealth inequality. In other words, I examine why some families are poor and some are wealth and how this changes over time. Lately I am working mostly to understand the impact of robots on differences in wealth."

Sashca-steffen_746.png

After a lot of hard work, the tangible output of research is a publication in a scientific journal. We asked Professor Sascha Steffen about the publication that is closest to his heart:

"Even though it is not my best published paper, I am very happy about my paper on the "dash for cash" of firms during the current COVID crisis. It was not only the first paper that scrutinized this but also unearthed some subtle drivers of corporate cash holdings.

More Less

First, cash does not seem to be just "negative debt" (or a waste of resources that some literature seems to suggest) but there is an economic rationale for holding cash. Second, credit risk matters for cash holdings (which has been somewhat neglected in the literature); it is not only default risk, though, but there is a "cliff risk" for firms to become downgraded to non-investment grade which significantly affects cash holdings."

Accounting Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Frankfurt is among few schools in Germany and even in Europe to offer full-fledged coursework, which prepares students for the demands of dissertation research, on par with what has traditionally only been available in top schools in the U.S. The program has achieved remarkable successes:

Doctoral students have been invited for visiting scholarships in top schools in the U.S. (e.g., MIT) and in Australia (University of Melbourne).

The accounting faculty has placed their doctoral students at renowned international research institutions in Europe, in Australia and in the U.S.

Doctoral students have presented their dissertation work in highly visible and competitive conferences such as the Singapore Management University Accounting Symposium and the MIT-Asia conference.

Become an integral part of the Accounting group

We want our students to share the faculty’s passion for research. Students are an integral part of the Accounting group, benefiting from the many workshops, conferences, and visitors and overall lively, informal, but intellectual culture.

We encourage students to work together with faculty on their research ideas and students have easy access to all the group’s research resources, including essential databases such as WRDS, IncentiveLab and many more.

Doctoral students have their own discretionary annual research budget.

The annual Doctoral Boot Camp provides students with an informal setting to present their research ideas, proposal, and early draft papers for the entire faculty and receive constructive feedback.

Faculty play key roles in the profession, serving as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for the major journals in the field (including, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, Accounting, Organizations, and Society, Management Science, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies).

Student funding and scholarships

Frankfurt School offers fully-funded study places for the doctoral programme in order to attract and support the brightest minds in academia.

Students are expected to devote 100% of their working time to their doctoral studies at Frankfurt School for up to five years.

Funding includes a tuition fee waiver and a cost-of-living stipend. The monthly stipend comprises of € 1,200

The stipend will be granted for five years conditional on the continued satisfaction of all academic programme requirements.

From the second year onwards doctoral students may receive an additional €400 for their involvement as a teaching or research assistant. Frankfurt School students thus have a total of €1,600 for their living expenses.

Furthermore Frankfurt School covers costs related to research, including conferences and overseas visits.

Application process

1. Target Group

Outstanding graduates of a Bachelor‘s or Master’s programme in business administration, finance, management, accounting or related fields who aspire to launch an academic career.

Candidates in the final year of a Master’s or Bachelor’s programme are welcome to apply with their most recent academic transcript. Please note that the degree has to be completed by the time of the beginning of the programme.

2. Online Application

The first step of our application process is to complete the online application form. You will need to upload the following required documents. Please note that you need a certified English or German translation for all documents, that are not originally in German or English. The application platform will be open between September 15th and January 15th.

Required Documents

  • CV and list of publications (if existent)
  • Certified copy of your University Entrance Qualification (Abitur, A-levels or equivalent)
  • Certified copy of your University Degree Certificate or equivalent and academic transcript of records
  • Official GMAT or GRE results
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency Test (TOEFL IBT min. score of 100/IELTS min. score of 7.0)
  • Statement of Purpose (up to 2 pages): Why are you interested in your chosen field of study? What are the potential areas of research you might pursue? Have you completed any research projects with faculty? Is the research of any member of the FS faculty of interest to you?
  • Optional Statement: If you would like the committee to consider any of the following factors, you can describe their relevance in a separate statement within the application. This can contribute to the diversity of the entering class: background, extracurricular activities, work experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation: To request the letters from your recommenders, you have to register on a separate platform and send your request from there.

    Please click on this link to access the platform: http://apply.interfolio.com/79802

    Create a profile by clicking on the button “Apply now”.

    If you require assistance, go to the “Home” tab and click the “Dossier Quick Start Guide”.

    Once you send your request to your potential recommender, they will receive an e-mail together with a link where they can upload their recommendation letter confidentially. Please provide a deadline for your recommendation letter to ensure we receive it on time. Once the recommender has uploaded the letter, we will be notified and will be able to access it.

3. Interview

Successful applicants will be invited to a skype interview with faculty members.

4. Results

The final decision regarding admission to our doctoral programme will be made by the Committee for Doctorate Proceedings. It is based on the overall portfolio of the candiate and the interview. The results will be communicated after the final decision.