Accounting, Auditing and Analysis

Language Selection

Breadcrumb Navigation


5th Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR)

Introduction and objectives

Since 2010, the Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR) has been introducing European doctoral students to some of the central conceptual, methodological, and practical issues involved in conducting high-quality financial reporting research. The 5th SPAR continues this tradition by focusing on topics including accounting conservatism, earnings management, fair value reporting, and international topics in accounting. The SPAR will focus on research applying quantitative methods to archival data.
Throughout the four-day program, participants will be working on and discussing their doctoral projects with the SPAR faculty. As part of the SPAR faculty, Laurence van Lent, the Editor of European Accounting Review, will offer his views on conducting, reviewing and publishing research. Integrated into the SPAR, the 1st LMU Accounting, Auditing and Analysis Workshop will take place on day 3, featuring presentations and discussions of current research papers, offering further valuable insights into the process of developing, presenting, discussing and refining academic research projects. The 5th SPAR takes place on the LMU Campus in downtown Munich, a location that offers ample opportunity to socialize and network.

Program outline

Day 1

Mon., July 13, 2015

Research on accounting conservatism and fair value reporting

  • Introduction (Thorsten Sellhorn)
  • Measuring accounting conservatism (Dan Collins)
  • Fair value reporting (Eddie Riedl)
  • Discussion/feedback sessions on participants’ doctoral projects (SPAR faculty) 

Day 2

Tue., July 14, 2015

Tests of earnings management and international accounting
  • Firm growth and tests of earnings management (Dan Collins)
  • International accounting topics (Eddie Riedl)
  • Discussion/feedback sessions on participants’ doctoral projects (SPAR faculty)

Day 3

Wed., July 15, 2015

Presenting, discussing, reviewing and publishing financial reporting research
  • Conducting academic peer reviews (Laurence Van Lent)
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals – an editor’s view (Laurence Van Lent)
  • 1st LMU Accounting, Auditing, and Analysis Workshop
Day 4
Thu., July 16, 2015
Research design choices and empirical tests (Igor Goncharov)
  • Data sources and common research design choices
  • Managing data and conducting tests in Stata
  • Common empirical tests and their pitfalls  


The 5th Doctoral SPAR will be taught by:

Daniel W. Collins, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, Iowa City, U.S.A.
Igor Goncharov, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK
Laurence Van Lent, Tilburg University, Tilburg, NL (Editor, European Accounting Review)
Edward J. Riedl, Boston University – School of Management, Boston, U.S.A.
Thorsten Sellhorn, LMU Munich School of Management, Munich, Germany

Venue and organization

The 5th Doctoral SPAR is organized by the Institute for Accounting, Auditing and Analysis at the Munich School of Managament:

Contact person: Harm H. Schütt
Institute for Accounting, Auditing and Analysis (AAA)
Director: Prof. Dr. Thorsten Sellhorn
LMU Munich – Munich School of Management
Ludwigstraße 28 RG / 4. OG. Room 423
80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49 89 2180-6326
Website (German):


The full program will be conducted in English. To ensure an effective learning environment, the number of participants is limited. Interested doctoral students are asked to submit their application in electronic form to Claudia Haimerl ( by March 1, 2015 (MBR students by April 1, 2015). Early applications are encouraged. Please include:

  • A brief curriculum vitae (1-2 pages) indicating previous undergraduate and graduate coursework in accounting, finance and empirical methods; and
  • a brief outline (2-3 pages) of the doctoral research being pursued.

Applicants will be informed about admission decisions by April 15, 2015.

There is a participation fee of 250 € that covers course materials and catering during class hours. Other costs have to be borne individually by the participants. Successful participation in the program will earn 6 ECTS credits from the LMU doctoral program.
A syllabus including detailed instructions and a reading list will be distributed to participants by April 15, 2015. Participants are expected to read the assigned materials and reserve sufficient time to prepare four assignments prior to the SPAR.

Links to prior SPAR events can be found here:



Institute for Accounting, Auditing and Analysis hosts 5th Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR)

From 13 to 16 July 2015, a total of 26 doctoral students from 9 different countries attended the 5th Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR) which took place at the LMU for the first time. It was taught by

  • Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Collins, Professor and Director, PhD Program in Accounting, Henry B. Tippie Research Chair in Accounting, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, Iowa City/IA, U.S.A.,
  • Prof. Dr. Igor Goncharov, Lancaster University, Management School, U.K.,
  • Prof. Dr. Laurence van Lent, Full Professor of Empirical Research in Accounting, Department of Accountancy and CentER, Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University, NL, and editor of the European Accounting Review,
  • Prof. Dr. Edward J. Riedl, Boston University, School of Management, Boston, U.S.A., and
  • Thorsten Sellhorn, LMU Munich School of Management, Munich; Martin Glaum, Garen Markarian, Maximilian A. Müller, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany; Harm H. Schütt, LMU Munich School of Management, Munich, Germany.

The program, which is held once a year in July, was hosted by the LMU Institute of Accounting, Auditing and Analysis (AAA) and generously sponsored by EY. It introduces European PhD students in accounting to central theoretical, methodological and practical fundamentals that are essential for conducting high-quality research. Beyond that, the students were given the opportunity to discuss their own doctoral research projects in face-to-face settings with the SPAR faculty.

Highlights of this year's meeting were the lectures on research given by Dan Collins and Eddie Riedl, the detailed explanations on the publishing process in international scientific journals by Laurence van Lent, editor of the European Accounting Review, and the crash course in STATA, statistics software, and in econometrics by Igor Goncharov.

As in previous years an additional workshop, the 1st LMU Accounting, Auditing and Analysis Workshop, was integrated into the SPAR. A total of 4 young researchers in the field of accounting got the opportunity to present their research papers and to discuss them with the SPAR attendees and the experienced academics. Despite the tight and demanding agenda, the welcome reception, coffee breaks, lunches and an evening in the restaurant “Café Reitschule am Englischen Garten” offered plenty opportunities to network and to have a lot of fun. Based on feedback questionnaires the program was assessed very positively by the attendees without exception. The 6th Spar will probably be held at WHU in July 2016.




More impressions...

profil“The Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR) was an inspiring and unique experience that will greatly support me in further pursuing my academic career. The overall learning experience was facilitated by the perfect organization and the sensible design of the summer school, which combined -- with course work, individual feedback sessions and a paper workshop -- the best of all worlds.

Especially learning from internationally renowned accounting scholars, who presented state of the art accounting research, truly enhanced my understanding of several currently active research areas and further improved my skill-set to comprehend and evaluate work in the area of empirical accounting research. Also the first hand insights into the publication and reviewing process equipped me with essential tools necessary for the days to come.

Moreover, the individual sessions gave me the opportunity to discuss my own research projects face-to-face with two members of the SPAR faculty. I received valuable feedback on my own research and, thereby, learned how to improve specific parts of it. Also, the faculty’s recommendations on some of my rather raw ideas were very insightful and will surely assist me in transforming these ideas into fully-fledged research projects.

Aside from the curriculum, I also very much enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the nice exchange between students and the SPAR faculty. Spending time with fellow accounting PhD students from all over Europe was both enriching and fun. Overall, the SPAR was a very rewarding experience for me.”

Maximilian Muhn
Institute of Accounting and Auditing
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


2014 02 (1)"Above 30 degrees, bright sunshine, inspiring talks to friends, exchanging ideas, enjoying great venues in the beautiful city of Munich, laying down in the English Garden, “get together” in the evening … This summer dream surrounded the 5th Doctoral Summer Program in Accounting Research (SPAR) from 13th to 16th July 2015 what made it together with the excellent academic program a wonderful experience to all of us.

The program started with two days of sessions and presentations on the four topics. All students had to prepare paper presentations and discussions which were integrated in the different topics and covered core papers of the corresponding accounting literature. The highlights of these sessions were paper presentations by Dan Collins and Eddie Riedl which gave us the opportunity to see how professional paper presentation are structured and performed. In the evenings, we had individual research talks with the program faculty. We had the great opportunity to discuss our own research proposals and ideas with the professors and got various feedback and suggestions to our ideas. On the third day, Laurence Van Lent offered us great insights on conducting academic peer reviews and publishing in peer reviewed journals what – hopefully ;) – will get relevant for all of us one day. In the afternoon, the 1st LMU Accounting, Auditing and Analysis Workshop was held. The workshop was really interesting and led to lively discussions which we continued during a lovely dinner at Café Reitschule close to the English Garden. The last day was about statistics and empirical studies with Igor Goncharov. He took us through managing data and conducting tests in Stata and ended with some of the tests’ pitfalls.

Overall, we had some intensive and impressing days, a lot of input, new views and insights on various accounting topics, and some great introductions of how to do research. I definitely learned that research is more than only reading and writing papers – it is about exchange, about developing ideas with others, about different views and opinions, where more than only one may be right and valid, and about keeping your mind open to new streams and trends. In closing, I really say “Thank you” to everybody involved in making the 5th Doctoral SPAR possible and a wonderful seminar. I want to encourage doctoral students to participate in future Doctoral SPARs – it is a unique possibility to get in touch with other students of your field and to get involved step by step to the research community."

Barbara Seitz
Institute of Accounting, Control and Auditing
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland