Projektabschlussarbeiten

Aktuelle Themengebiete für Projektabschlussarbeiten (Bachelor/Master)

Der Lehrstuhl für Internationale Unternehmensrechnung arbeitet ständig an verschiedenen Forschungsprojekten, an denen interessierte Studierende im Rahmen ihrer Bachelor- bzw. Masterarbeit mitwirken können. Nachfolgend sind mögliche Themengebiete für Projektabschlussarbeiten genannt. Allgemeine Informationen zu Bachelor-/Masterarbeiten am Lehrstuhl für Internationale Unternehmensrechnung finden Sie hier.

Themen zur Internationalen Rechnungslegung

Themen zum Internationalen Controlling

Themen zu Unternehmerischer Nachhaltigkeitsleistung

Themenübergreifende Arbeiten

 

 

Internationale Rechnungslegung

Forward-looking disclosures in management reports across European countries (Matthias Nienaber)

Regulations on management reporting and especially on forward-looking disclosures differ significantly across countries. Within the European Union, a rather harmonized approach of regulations on forward-looking disclosures and the respective disclosure practice could be expected, though, as the EU directives provide requirements for the regulations in the member states. Nonetheless major differences of forward-looking disclosures can be found among reports from different EU countries.
A conceptual (bachelor or master) thesis would aim for a comparison of the regulations in particular countries. An empirical (master) thesis could further employ content analysis to examine the disclosure practice in selected countries and probably also analyze its impacts on properties of analysts’ forecasts or on the development of security prices using regression models. The theses should be written in English.

 

Capital market relevance of interim reporting: Evidence from Germany (Martin Nienhaus)

In 2004, the EU directive on the harmonization of transparency requirements 2004/109/EC was issued. German authorities transposed the directive into national law by the Transparenz-richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz (TUG) in 2007. This mandated a substantial reform of interim reporting requirements. The purpose of this thesis (Master) is to empirically analyze the relevance of quarterly and half year reports for the German capital market after the introduction of the TUG. Abnormal returns surrounding the publication date of interim reports could be analyzed in an event study. The presence of abnormal returns indicates that a specific piece of information is relevant and new to investors. Hence, an event study can provide evidence whether interim reports yield capital market relevance. Furthermore, the information content of quarterly and half year reports could be compared with the information content of annual reports to draw conclusions about the relative relevance of interim reports.
A basic knowledge of statistics is required. Data is available from the database DataStream.

 

An analysis of segment disclosures under IFRS 8 and IAS 14 (Martin Nienhaus)

In 2006, the IASB issued IFRS 8. The new standard replaced IAS 14 for financial years beginning 2009 and led to a fundamental change of segment reporting requirements by introducing the management approach to segment level information. Currently, IFRS 8 is still under the post-implementation review of the IASB. The objective of this thesis (Bachelor/Master) is to empirically compare the segment reporting disclosures reported under IFRS 8 with those reported under IAS 14. The analysis should particularly focus on the definition of segments, segment items disclosed for each segment as well as entity-wide disclosures. It is suggested to utilize a cross-national sample to facilitate an international comparison. Findings of the thesis should provide a comprehensive description how segment reporting practice changed under IFRS 8.

 

Nachhaltigkeitsinformationen in der Managementberichterstattung – Nationale und internationale Vorschriften (Matthias Nienaber; Tobias Gerwing)

Neben der Veröffentlichung separater Nachhaltigkeitsberichte machen Unternehmen zunehmend auch im Rahmen der Managementberichterstattung, wie dem Lagebericht in Deutschland oder der Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) in den USA, Angaben zu Nachhaltigkeitsaspekten. In einigen Ländern werden diese Angaben sogar explizit vom Gesetzgeber gefordert. Durch die EU Direktive 2013/34/EU sollen ab 2017 bzw. 2018 große Unternehmen ab 500 Mitarbeitern eine nichtfinanzielle Erklärung zu Umwelt-, Sozial- und Arbeitnehmerbelangen im Lagebericht abgeben. Bereits jetzt sind bspw. deutsche Unternehmen, die einen Konzernlagebericht nach § 315 HGB aufstellen, sowie große Kapitalgesellschaften, die einen Lagebericht nach § 289 HGB erstellen müssen, dazu verpflichtet, im Lagebericht über nichtfinanzielle Leistungsindikatoren zu berichten, sofern diese für das Verständnis des Geschäftsverlaufs und für die Lage des Unternehmens von Bedeutung sind. Darunter fallen auch Angaben über Umwelt und Arbeitnehmerbelange.

Im Rahmen konzeptioneller Abschlussarbeiten können die Vorschriften verschiedener Länder kritisch analysiert und miteinander verglichen werden. Ebenso können die Bachelor-/Masterarbeiten um empirische Auswertungen hinsichtlich der Berichterstattungspraxis in den verschiedenen Ländern ergänzt werden.

 

Nichtfinanzielle Leistungsindikatoren im internen und externen Rechnungswesen (Matthias Nienaber)

In den letzten Jahren haben nichtfinanzielle Leistungsindikatoren sowohl in der Unternehmenssteuerung als auch in der Unternehmensberichterstattung stark an Bedeutung gewonnen. Ursächlich hierfür sind gestiegene Erwartungen der Stakeholder an der Nachhaltigkeit der Geschäftstätigkeit von Unternehmen. Aber auch regulatorische Anforderungen durch DRS 20 Konzernlagebericht haben zur gestiegenen Relevanz nichtfinanzieller Leistungsindikatoren beitragen und die anstehende Umsetzung der CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU impliziert eine weiter steigende Bedeutung in der Zukunft. Dem müssen Unternehmen auch durch eine Anpassung ihrer Controllingsysteme und ihrer Prozesse zur Erstellung der Lageberichte Rechnung tragen. Empirische Studien zeigen jedoch eine große Varianz in der Berichtspraxis nichtfinanzieller Leistungsindikatoren. Im Rahmen von literaturgestützten und empirisch fokussierten Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten soll daher analysiert werden, welche Auswirkungen die Pflicht zur Berichterstattung über nichtfinanzielle Leistungsindikatoren auf das externe oder interne Rechnungswesen deutscher Unternehmen hat.

 

Technology as a change driver and enabler for corporate reporting (Kai Schaumann)

Corporate reporting is a vital means by which entities communicate with stakeholders as part of their stewardship and accountability obligations. However, rapid changes in the business environment have increased concerns over whether corporate reporting will continue to fulfill its objectives in the future. Thus, an increasing number of companies is already improving their corporate reporting. In this evolution, technology will undoubtedly play an important role in the future, both as a driver and an enabler for change. It will considerably change the way that corporate reporting is prepared and the way in which it is delivered to its stakeholders. Technology should not only allow companies to produce more relevant information but should rather enable them to provide information in a more interactive and easy-to-read way.

In this context, a bachelor or master thesis could analyze how changes in technology affect the delivery of corporate information itself as well as the way people interact with an entity. Therefore, a thesis in English or German could focus the implications of technology on preparers, users, or auditors of annual reports.

 

Digital financial reporting (Maximilian Wirth)

A standardized digital reporting format could ease the preparation, distribution, and analysis of financial reports and thereby represents a commitment to open access and transparency, which benefits entrepreneurs, businesses, and the public. Issuers in some countries already label financial information in their consolidated financial statements using the prevalent digital reporting format XBRL. However, XBRL requires companies to file two documents, their annual financial reports in a human-readable document and a separate document in XBRL. At this point, structured electronic reporting using a format known as inline XBRL (iXBRL) offers relief with a single human- and machine-readable presentation of information. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) requires 5,300 capital market oriented companies to publish their financial statements in a European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) from January 2020, with iXBRL being the most suitable technology.

In this context, a bachelor or master thesis could analyze potential costs and benefits of digital financial reporting and the process of harmonization in Europe. Hereby, a thesis could focus on the effects of digital financial reporting on preparers, investors, regulation authorities or auditors of annual reports. It can be written in English or German language.

 

Internationales Controlling

Internationaler Vergleich von Controllinginstrumenten und/oder Anforderungen an Controller (Henrik Schirmacher)

Zur Steuerung von Unternehmen haben Wissenschaft und Praxis eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Controllinginstrumente entwickelt. Diese weisen im internationalen Vergleich zum Teil bemerkenswerte Besonderheiten auf. Ausgehend von national geprägten Controllinginstrumenten (bspw. der deutschen Kostenrechnung, der Balanced Scorecard oder dem Resource Consumption Accounting) sollen im Rahmen von literaturgestützten und/oder empirisch fokussierten Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten die Besonderheiten und Gemeinsamkeiten einzelner Controllinginstrumente im internationalen Vergleich herausgearbeitet werden.

 

Controlling und/oder Kostenrechnung in ausländischen Tochtergesellschaften (Martin Vogelpohl)

Im Rahmen ihrer Internationalisierung gründen oder akquirieren Unternehmen regelmäßig ausländische Tochtergesellschaften. In der Folge sind die Controllingsysteme von Mutter- und Tochtergesellschaften aufeinander abzustimmen. Im Rahmen von literaturgestützten und/oder empirisch fokussierten Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten soll die Gestaltung und/oder Nutzung des Controllings bzw. der Kostenrechnung in ausländischen Tochterunternehmen sowie das Verhältnis von lokaler Differenzierung und weltweiter Standardisierung von Controllingsystemen in international agierenden Unternehmen herausgearbeitet werden.

 

Performance Measurement in Multinational Corporations (Henrik Schirmacher)

Given the fact that many Multinational Corporations (MNC) generate more turnover abroad than in their home countries, foreign subsidiaries play an important role for MNC. Having numerous subsidiaries spread out around the globe, MNC face the challenge to create goal congruence between headquarters and subsidiaries. However, different external environments and geographical and cultural distance between headquarters and subsidiaries increase the risk that decision-making at the subsidiaries is not in line with the overall corporate goals.

Therefore, headquarters of MNC implement Performance Measurement Systems (PMS) at their subsidiaries to monitor their behavior und to align their decision-making with the overall corporate strategy. Recent studies however have shown that subsidiaries tend to independently design and use own PMS. As a result, conflicting goals may arise within the whole MNC. An empirical master thesis could conduct expert interviews to investigate the design of subsidiary-PMS and their impact on headquarters' ability to influence subsidiaries' behavior. The thesis can be written in English or German.

 

Einfluss von Divergenzen in nationaler Rechnungslegung auf den Erfolg von M&A Transaktionen (Martin Vogelpohl)

Der Erfolg von Fusionen und Übernahmen ist maßgeblich von der Quantität und Qualität verfügbarer Informationen über das Zielunternehmen geprägt. Divergenzen in nationalen Rechnungslegungsvorschriften können daher vor allem bei der Bewertung und  Integration von Unternehmen eine entscheidende Erfolgswirkung entfalten. Ziel einer Abschlussarbeit ist es zu untersuchen, inwieweit Unterschiede in der Rechnungslegung zwischen Käufer und Akquisitionsobjekt Kapitalmarktwirkung entfalten oder aber rechnungslegungs-basierte Indikatoren des M&A-Erfolges beeinflussen. Die Arbeit soll empirisch fokussiert und in englischer Sprache verfasst werden.

 

Unternehmerische Nachhaltigkeitsleistung
 

Sustainability control systems (Daniel Gayk)

The expectations of society towards companies are changing. Nowadays, companies are not merely responsible for earning decent returns for their shareholders. Instead, the impact of all their corporate activities on the whole society should be considered. Hence, it is essential to manage corporate sustainability performance by integrating sustainability dimensions into management control systems. Therefore, companies have established various sustainability control systems (e.g. carbon accounting, sustainable supply chain targets, employee satisfaction index) to address relevant components of sustainability performance.

A conceptual bachelor thesis could review the relevant literature and provide an overview of the current discussion on specific aspects regarding sustainability control systems. An empirical master thesis could conduct expert interviews to investigate the use, determinants or implications of specific sustainability control systems. The thesis can be written in English or German.

 

Determinants of corporate sustainability performance (Niklas Kerkhoff)

In recent years, initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, the sustainable development goals, or the EU directive on sustainability reporting resulted in increased public awareness for concepts like sustainability and corporate social responsibility. However, corporate scandals (such as the diesel emissions fraud or labour rights conflicts in Southeast Asia) illustrate that not all companies act in equally responsible manners. Consequently, research tries to discover which factors determine whether a firm acts in a responsible and sustainable manner or not.

A bachelor thesis could review the relevant literature in this field and provide an overview of the determinants that are most likely to influence firms’ sustainability behaviour. An empirical master thesis could test the influence of various determinants identified in prior studies. Furthermore, it could investigate what role a firm’s country of origin, the institutional context and the prevalent cultural orientation in that country play for its sustainability performance. Data for empirical theses is available through the Thomson Reuters Eikon database. The thesis can be written in German or English.

 

 

Corporate sustainability – Doing well by doing good? (Niklas Kerkhoff)

In recent years, initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, the sustainable development goals, or the EU directive on sustainability reporting resulted in increased public awareness for concepts like sustainability and corporate social responsibility. However, it remains controversial whether investments in sustainable behaviour only constitute costs or whether they also lead to improved performance and hence entail financial benefits for the firm.

A bachelor thesis could review the relevant literature in this field and provide an overview of the research findings regarding the outcomes of corporate sustainability performance. A conceptual master thesis could explore and critically analyse firms’ motives for engaging in sustainability efforts. An empirical master thesis could for example test whether good sustainability performance leads to benefits such as lower cost of capital, improved earnings, better stock performance or reduced information asymmetries. Data for empirical theses is available through the Thomson Reuters Eikon database. The thesis can be written in German or English.

 

 

Themenübergreifende Arbeiten
 

Applications of Blockchain in Accounting (Niklas Kerkhoff, Kai Schaumann)

Blockchains are a novel application of advances in cryptography and information technologies. As they allow transparent and verifiable record keeping, their applications reach far beyond the use in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. In the realm of accounting and auditing, they can be applied to financial record-keeping and securing transactions and are hailed by some as a new, more transparent and secure alternative to double entry bookkeeping. Due to its security and transparency, the technology can also be used to mitigate information asymmetries and agency problems. Thus, it has important implications for corporate governance and potential users range from financial entities and stock exchanges to institutional investors, auditors, and businesses in general.

A conceptual bachelor thesis could review the relevant literature and critically examine potential applications of blockchain technology in the realm of accounting and auditing. A master thesis could extend the analysis and evaluate if blockchain technology and its applications are indeed well suited to overcome information asymmetries and reduce moral hazard problems. The thesis can be written in German or English.