Aller à : contenu haut bas recherche
EN     FR
Vous êtes ici:   UNIL > HEC Inst. > HEC App. > SYLLABUS


Empirical Research in Financial Accounting

  • Teacher(s):   P.André  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2022-2023, 0.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programme: Master of Science (MSc) in Accounting, Control and Finance
  • Permalink:




This course provides an introduction to empirical research in financial accounting and capital market. It aims to provide students with conceptual arguments underlying current accounting thought and on-going controversies and debates on selected accounting issues. The emphasis is on developing an inquiring mind and a critical approach to conceptual as well as related practical issues.

Learning goals

- Knowledge: a critical appreciation of different classical and more recent accounting empirical studies

- Skills: an ability to critically review different studies, an ability to read, synthesize and critique academic papers, an ability to present and communicate complex ideas in a classroom setting, an ability to build theoretical frameworks that synthesize different perspectives.




The context of accounting

  1. Course Overview
  2. Theory & theory formulation in Accounting
  3. The context of financial reporting - markets, contracts, society and bounded rationality.
  4. The role of accounting theories.

Accounting and decision making in ideal and non-ideal conditions.

  1. An ideal condition criteria
  2. Simple decision models
  3. Accounting under an ideal condition
  4. Accounting under non-ideal conditions
  5. Earnings quality

Accounting under non-ideal conditions –Information perspectives on decision usefulness

  1. Market efficiency – CAPM-CMR
  2. Full & continuous disclosure – voluntary disclosure
  3. Capital Market Research
  4. Implications for Financial Reporting
  5. Early empirical findings

Accounting under non-ideal conditions –Measurement Perspective on Decision-Usefulness

  1. Efficient Securities Market Anomalies
  2. Ohlson’s Clean Surplus Theory
  3. Measurement perspective in practice
  4. Clean surplus in practice

The role of accounting in management contracts.

  1. Theory of the firm
  2. Agency & contracting cost theories
  3. Accounting policy choice
  4. Economic Consequences
  5. Implications of Agency Theory for Accounting
  6. Executive compensation

COVID-19 Information: Due to the current situation, the schedule and classrooms may change without warning until further notice. The initial mode of delivery of the courses will be face-to-face (colour scheme) but could change based on future developments. Please consult these pages regularly to keep abreast of developments. The method of evaluation could also change if course and/or exams are online.


Scott, William R., 2011, Financial accounting theory, 6th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall

Beaver, W., Financial Reporting: An accounting revolution, Prentice-Hall, 1989

Watts, R.L. and J.L. Zimmerman, Positive Accounting Theory, Prentice-Hall, 1986




First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

Article discussion: 50%. Slides should: Set-up the stage with background readings, Clearly state what are the research questions, What is the motivation, What is the theoretical framework used to justify hypotheses and model, How are we measuring the variables/proxying for the constructs, Main results, Personal evaluation (limitations, avenues for future research)

Presentation of empirical results 50% Slides should present sample, descriptive statistics and early univariate and multivariate test results.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

Students who fail one or the other presentation must redo such a presentation (to be determined with myself and this before the end of the retake exam period in August/Sept. 2023.

[» go back]           [» courses list]

Internef - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse  -   Tél. +41 21 692 33 00  -   Fax +41 21 692 33 05
Swiss University