Chair of Accounting and Auditing

Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch


Chair of Accounting and Auditing


Leipzig Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK)

Academic Group at HHL

Finance, Accounting and Corporate Governance


Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch

Associate Professor

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hoffmann

Honorary Professor

Prof. Dr. Mark-Ken Erdmann

Team Assistant

Kerstin Kaldenhoff

Research Associates

Josefine Böhm, Matthias Höltken, Johannes Hottmann, Stephanie Jana, Daniel Voll, Carl Weuster




Advanced International Financial Reporting
Consolidated Financial Statements
Consolidated Financial Statements and Analysis
Corporate Governance and Auditing
Financial Analysis
Financial Reporting and Communication
International Accounting

Research Areas

Reporting (IFRS adoption and enforcement, materiality of reported information, earnings management)
Investor relations (consistency of information from investor relations and reporting)
Capital markets (analyst behavior, financial covenants)


Center for Financial Reporting & Consolidation (CFRC)
Gesellschaft für kapitalmarktorientierte Rechnungslegung e. V. (GKR) (Society for Capital Market-Oriented Financial Reporting)
Ernst & Young Stiftung
Rickmers Holding GmbH & Cie. KG
Wiley / Erich Schmidt Verlag (ESV) / nwb Verlag



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The aim of the Chair of Accounting and Auditing is to equip HHL´s students with profound and multidisciplinary knowledge in the field of accounting, especially international financial reporting (IFRS), combined with a sense for quality and professionalism, in order to prepare them for leading positions in their future career.

The chair offers a variety of graduate courses which do focus on critical thinking and challenging the state of the art. With regard to research and education, we closely collaborate with major companies and audit firms in Germany.
In order to incorporate our strategic objective the Chair founded the Center for Financial Reporting & Consolidation and the Society for Capital Market-Oriented Financial Reporting. Both aim at combining accounting and auditing practice with state-of-the-art science.


The Chair offers introductory and elective courses in accounting and auditing. Furthermore, students may major in financial accounting, with the flexibility to explore fields of special interest. To impart profound knowledge about International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS) and the differences to German GAAP is a main objective of the academic program.


Course List

  • Advanced International Financial Reporting
  • Consolidated Financial Statements
  • Consolidated Financial Statements and Analysis
  • Corporate Governance and Auditing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting and Communication
  • International Accounting


The Chair of Accounting and Auditing pursues an active research program in the context of accounting according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The main areas of research are:


Consolidation entails group reporting according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by capital-market oriented companies, i.e. those firms that have shares or bonds listed on a stock exchange. This field of research covers the whole process of group accounting: the acquisition of new businesses (Business Combinations), consolidation technique (Regulation and Procedures) and the identification of potential impairments of acquired assets (Impairment of Assets).

Business Combinations covers the accounting standard IFRS 3 which regulates how newly acquired businesses are to be integrated into group reporting structures. In this context, research, inter alia, examines managements’ motivation for choosing specific account treatments. Regulation and Procedures critically analyzes regulatory changes which determine how to prepare consolidated financial statements.

Possible consequences of a business combination are dealt with in the field “Impairment of Assets” which focuses on the identification and explanation of impairments of previously acquired businesses and assets.

Performance Reporting

Performance reporting investigates the presentation and disclosure of firms‘ profits and losses. In context of the Financial Statement Presentation Project both international accounting standard setters, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US-American Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), aim at harmonizing and converging their accounting standards IAS 1 „Presentation of Financial Statements“ and SFAS 130 „Reporting Comprehensive Income“, respectively.

The project is about to make the information on profits and losses more useful for users of financial information. Beyond a critical assessment of the proposed regulations also the analysis of management discretion in reporting about a firm’s performance is subject to the Chair’s research.

Accounting in Private Firms

Private firms that are not capital-market oriented typically report according to national GAAP. The Chair’s research in the field of “Accounting in private firms” therefore focuses mainly on accounting under German Commercial Code (HGB).

Taking into consideration private firms’ specifics also the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) accounting standard “IFRS for SME” plays a role. The EU is considering adopting this standard into European regulations which could make this standard being relevant for small and medium-sized companies in Germany as well.

Current research analyzes how an integration of IFRS for SME could work out given that the accounts of private firms need to be the basis for profit distribution. This research develops options to modify potential IFRS for SME accounts in order to maintain the financial reports’ legal functions in Germany.

Standard Setting and Enforcement

The research field “Standard setting and enforcement” on the one hand deals with the emergence of accounting standards (Standard setting) and, on the other hand, with the legal enforcement of a compliant application of the standards (Enforcement).

In context of accounting standard’s emergence the behavior of regulators (like e.g. the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)), corporations and auditors in this process is subject to research. Moreover, the institutional, organizational and procedural aspects of the standard setting process are examined with regard to lobbying potential.

Researching the enforcement of accounting standards is important because one still finds a significant number of financial reports that are erroneous. The Chair’s research aims at informing firms about the procedural aspects of the enforcement system in Germany and point to the most critical accounting issues. Based on these insights the Chair comes up with recommendations that may help companies to avoid erroneous financial reporting thus not being branded as a “firm with false accounts”.

The research areas are based on the practical relevance of the topics covered and reflect a demanding academic level. Current questions and problems of corporate practice are always taken into account or are the starting point of each research project conducted. In order to enhance that approach, many of our research projects are realized in collaboration with corporations and firms. This practical experience directly influences the content of our academic program.

Learning from World-Class Academics in Accounting History

In 2012, Dominic Detzen, who obtained his doctorate from HHL in July 2013 and now is an Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, spent a semester as a visiting scholar at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

During the visit, he pursued two main objectives: On one hand, he participated in two semester-long accounting seminars – “Introduction to Accounting Research”, taught by K. Ramesh, professor of accounting, and “Applied Empirical Methods in Accounting” by Brian Rountree, associate professor at Rice.

Both lecturers are extensively published and highly-regarded accounting researchers, who brought their unique insights into the courses. On the other hand, Dominic Detzen made use of the extensive library, which Professor Stephen Zeff, arguably the best known researcher in the field of accounting history, holds.

Based on this large collection of books, journals and official publications by accounting standard setting bodies worldwide, Dominic Detzen drafted a research article titled “Inflation, Exchange Rates and the Conceptual Framework: The FASB’s Debates from 1973-1984”, which is part of his dissertation work.

Besides the direct support of Professors Ramesh, Rountree and Zeff, Dominic Detzen acknowledges the engaging research environment at Rice and the interaction with the school’s world-class faculty as well as doctoral students at an institution that is truly dedicated to advancing accounting thought and practice.

Interested in a doctoral project at our Chair? Please see our list of research topics.

Center for Financial Reporting & Consolidation

The Center for Financial Reporting & Consolidation (CFRC) is assigned to the Chair of Accounting and Auditing. It began its activities in July 2009.

The aim of the CFRC is to provide high quality research and consulting services to help companies, investors, banks and analysts manage the challenging environment of international accounting (IFRS) and corporate valuation. Bringing together accounting and valuation experts from both academia and corporate practice, the CFRC aims at promoting understanding and knowledge of IFRS reporting, consolidation and valuation.

The CFRC thus combines consulting services with academic input based on scientific expertise in the area of international financial reporting and consolidation.


Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch (Academic Director)
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler (Academic Director)
Prof. Dr. Mark-Ken Erdmann (Member of the Advisory Board)
Dr. Johannes Wirth (Member of the Advisory Board)

Research Areas

The research activities of the Center for Financial Reporting and Consolidation (CFRC) focus on IFRS accounting, consolidation and valuation questions as well as on current topics in corporate practice.

The Center’s research is based on profound academic knowledge and the results excel in high relevance in practice. Besides current topics in the areas of international accounting, consolidation and valuation, the following fields are of particular relevance to the Center’s activities:

  • Accounting for business combinations according to IFRS 3
  • Impairment of assets according to IAS 36
  • Measuring corporate performance
  • Corporate valuation (in collaboration with HHL’s Center for Corporate Transactions)

Accounting for business combinations according to IFRS 3
Impairment of assets according to IAS 36
Measuring corporate performance
Corporate valuation (in collaboration with HHL’s Center for Corporate Transactions)
Accounting for business combinations according to IFRS 3
Impairment of assets according to IAS 36
Measuring corporate performance
Corporate valuation (in collaboration with HHL’s Center for Corporate Transactions)


Financial reporting, consolidation and valuation according to IFRS have evolved into a complex subject area that requires a high level of expertise. These topics have become even more demanding due to the high pace with which the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published additional standards or revised existing ones.

The purpose of the Center for Financial Reporting and Consolidation (CFRC) is to promote HHL’s involvement in consulting challenges regarding current issues in these demanding areas.

The CFRC’s consulting services are based on academic input and scientific expertise in international financial reporting, consolidation and valuation. Contributions from experienced accounting and consolidation practitioners as well as valuation experts are a main part of the solutions the Center offers and round up our consulting approach.


We are looking forward to hearing from you.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Jahnallee 59
04109 Leipzig
T: +49 341-9851-701
F: +49 341-9851- 702

Knowledge Transfer

Accounting, financial reporting and auditing are among the business disciplines that interact most significantly with business practice: On the one hand corporations develop new accounting practices, reporting and management tools and procedures that require scientific analysis. On the other hand they depend on theoretically derived state-of-the-art research results in order to be competitive.

This is why the Chair is heavily engaged in exchanging knowledge with corporate practice. By giving lectures in companies, inviting practitioners for special lectures, conducting field projects and actively participating in the work of corporate and scientific societies the Chair is transferring its expertise and research results into practice while identifying new research questions simultaneously.

Exploring the Market of Online Pharmacies – Field Project with Apologistics GmbH

Under the supervision of the Chair’s Assistant Professor Dr. Sebastian Hoffmann HHL students Marc Fischer, Elisabeth Handschuh, Maximilian May, Torsten Nowell, and Oliver Thiem ran a field project with Apologistics GmbH, operating one of Germany’s leading online pharmacies, in winter 2013.

The project aimed at analyzing the customer behavior in the e-commerce business. Based on scientifically derived hypothesis a number of field tests were conceptualized and conducted in order to achieve a better understanding of the so-called “customer journey” during the web buying process.

Additionally, the project team ran a comprehensive shopping basket analysis and developed a planning tool to facilitate calculating discount campaigns.

Project team member Oliver Thiem concluded: “For all of us the field project was a great opportunity to combine practical experience with theoretical knowledge. I am very happy with the outcome and proud of our well-reasoned recommendations that will positively affect the sales management of in its daily business.”

Society for Capital Market-Oriented Financial Reporting (GKR)

The Society for Capital Market-Oriented Financial Reporting (abbr. GKR, Gesellschaft für kapitalmarktorientierte Rechnungslegung) deals with highly topical issues in financial reporting and auditing. It aims at encouraging discussions between scientists and practitioners, not only within Leipzig but beyond.

GKR is backed by the theoretical expertise of HHL’s Chair of Accounting and Auditing Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch and the practical experience of numerous firms in industry, consulting and auditing. Also, well-recognized media partners are supporting the society’s aims.

Topicality, flexibility and excellence – these are the words that characterize GKR’s efforts. Current developments in accounting, financial reporting, auditing and corporate governance are discussed in a timely manner. The society’s members may suggest specific topics and GKR will thoroughly select adequate lecturers who possess an outstanding record in theory and practice.


Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch
Chairholder | Academic Director
M.Sc. Programs
T +49 341 9851-701
F +49 341 9851-702
Kerstin Kaldenhoff
Team Assistant
T +49 341 9851-701
F +49 341 9851-702
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hoffmann
Associate Professor
T +49 341 9851-708
F +49 341 9851-702
Prof. Dr. Mark-Ken Erdmann
Honorary Professor
T +49 341 9851-701
F +49 341 9851-702
Josefine Böhm, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-676
F +49 341 9851-702
Matthias Höltken, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-672
F +49 341 9851-702
Johannes Hottmann, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-676
F +49 341 9851-702
Stephanie Jana, M.Sc., LL.M.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-704
F +49 341 9851-702
Dipl.-Vw. Daniel Voll
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-670
F +49 341 9851-702
Carl Weuster, M.Sc.
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-656
F +49 341 9851-702
Corporate Responsibility & Governance

Accreditation & Rankings

Among the leading EMBA
programs worldwide

Top 3 in Germany

#6 for salaries worldwide

Top 5 in Germany

Favorite business school
in Germany