Empirical Research in Accounting


Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to explore and provide an understanding of
the different research methods employed in empirical accounting
research (Bridging theory and practice - knowledge). At the end of the
course the student should have a strong
enough understanding of the different methods discussed to be able to
interpret and critically evaluate empirical accounting studies and to be
able to use these methods to conduct an empirical
accounting study him/herself (Academic and research skills).

After following this course, you:

- will have a better understanding of the main research methods
used in empirical accounting research, and their strengths and
- will be better able to interpret and critically evaluate
empirical accounting research;
- will be better able to conduct empirical accounting
research yourself.

Course Content

Empirical research in accounting relates to financial accounting,
management accounting and auditing. In accounting research, a wide
variety of empirical research methods are used. This variety stems from
the diversity of theories used, topics and questions studied and the
research methods researchers have at hand. Some general patterns can be
observed, though. For instance, while financial accounting research
often builds on publicly available data archives, management accounting
research often builds on company-specific data. This difference partly
stems from the difference in questions these domains of accounting are
interested in, but also from the availability of data. The course starts
with an overview of the types of questions studied in empirical research
in financial accounting, management accounting, and auditing, and the
types of methods and data used for analysis. After this overview the
remainder of the course is structured following the research methods
most frequently employed in accounting research. Each method will be
studied in depth in relation to the type of question it is suitable for.
In this analysis, the focus will lie on both the use of the method and
the (accounting) domain it is being used in. Some of these methods are
also widely used for more practical applications. Overall, the course
aims to prepare students for writing their Master thesis, as well as for
other Master courses that build strongly on empirical accounting papers.

Teaching Methods

Lectures on Friday. Students can opt for a regular ‘6 hours of classes
a week’ option or a condensed ‘4 hours of classes a week’ option.

Method of Assessment

Written exam (60% of the final grade).
Team assignment (40% of the final grade).

Entry Requirements

The course assumes basic background knowledge of business research
methods and statistics. Knowledge of research methods equivalent to
Introduction to Accounting Research is required.


To be announced.

Additional Information

In enrolling for the course, please take care to select your preferred
option (i.e., for the regular ‘6 hours of classes a week’ option or the
condensed ‘4 hours of classes a week’ option). The ‘4 hours of classes a
week’ option is intended mainly for the minority of students who can do
a fast track, and for students who almost passed last year, and feel
they just need a refresher rather than doing the course all over again.

General Information

Course Code E_PTACC_ERA
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. M. Schoute
Examiner dr. M. Schoute
Teaching Staff dr. M. Schoute

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: