Chair of Financial Reporting –

Striving to increase financial literacy

About us

The Chair of Financial Reporting is committed to WHU’s mission statement, that is, "Excellence in Management Education" in teaching, research, and corporate connections. 

  • We are committed to helping students increase their financial literacy to manage decisions involving financial statements more effectively.
  • In research, we are committed to generating impactful contributions to the finance and accounting literature. 
  • Finally, our commitment to excellence regarding corporate connections means that we actively seek cooperations in teaching and research benefiting both the business world as well as the academic environment at WHU.

Get to know our faculty –
Expert faculty with a modern approach

Professor Dr. Maximilian Müller


+49 (0)261 6509 730
send email
Learn more

Malte Heilig, MSc.

Research and Teaching Assistant

+49 (0)261 6509 732
send email
Learn more


Contributing to cutting edge research –
Take a look at some of our publications.

How information and taxes affect markets is actively debated in both academia and practice. We strive to make an important contribution to those discussions through our research.

While consumers nominally pay the consumption tax, theoretical and empirical evidence is mixed on whether corporations partly shoulder this burden, thereby, affecting corporate investment. Using a quasi-natural experiment, we show that consumption taxes decrease investment. Firms facing more elastic demand decrease investment more strongly because they bear more of the consumption tax. We corroborate the validity of our findings using 86 consumption tax changes in a cross-country panel. We document two mechanisms underlying the investment response: reduced firms’ profitability and lower aggregate consumption. Importantly, the magnitude of the investment response to consumption taxes is similar to that of corporate taxes.

We examine the effects of financial reporting regulation on firms’ banking. Exploiting discontinuous public disclosure and auditing requirements assigned to otherwise similar small and medium-sized private firms, we document that financial reporting regulation reduces firms’ reliance on concentrated and local bank relationships and increases banks’ reliance on firms’ financial reporting, consistent with a shift in firms’ banking from relationship toward transactional approaches. Our evidence suggests that financial reporting regulation substitutes for banks’ information production role by burdening firms with the disclosure and auditing of their financial statements, consistent with institutional complementarities between reporting and banking systems.

Received October 21, 2016; editorial decision September 15, 2017 by Editor Philip Strahan. Authors have furnished an Internet Appendix, which is available on the Oxford University PressWeb site next to the link to the final published paper online.

We are grateful to Edward L. Maydew (editor), two anonymous reviewers, Anna Alexander, Yakov Amihud, Kathleen Andries, Phil Berger, Kay Blaufus, Matthias Breuer, Martin Glaum, Michelle Hanlon, Jeff Hoopes, Wojciech Kopczuk, Dominika Langenmayr, Christian Leuz, Michael Overesch, Daniel Saavedra (discussant), Richard Sansing, Harm Schütt, Joel Slemrod, Kjetil Telle, Eric Zwick, and seminar and conference participants at WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Management, the 19th UNC Tax Symposium, the 2016 Accounting Section Meeting of the Verein für Socialpolitik, the 2016 39th EAA Annual Meeting, the 2016 32nd EAA Doctoral Colloquium, and the 2015 2nd IIPF Doctoral School on Tax Systems for helpful comments and suggestions. We appreciate the help from local experts from Ernst & Young and KPMG in obtaining information on institutional tax details.

Supplemental material can be accessed by clicking the link in Appendix B.

Editor's note: Accepted by Edward L. Maydew, under the Senior Editorship of Mark L. DeFond.


Tax regimes treat losses and profits asymmetrically when profits are immediately taxed, but losses are not immediately refunded. We find that treating losses less asymmetrically by granting refunds less restrictively increases loss firms' investment: A third of the refund is invested and the rest is held as cash or returned to shareholders. However, the investment response is driven primarily by firms prone to engage in risky overinvestment. Consistent with the risk of misallocation, we find a delayed exit of low-productivity loss firms receiving less restrictive refunds, indicating potential distortion of the competitive selection of firms. This distortion also negatively affects aggregate output and productivity. Our results suggest that stimulating loss firms' investment with refunds unconditional on their future prospects comes at the risk of misallocation.

JEL Classifications: G31; H21; H25.

We thank the following for helpful comments and discussion: Charles M. C. Lee (associate editor), two anonymous reviewers, Mei Cheng, Dan Collins, Dan Dhaliwal, Beatriz García Osma (discussant), Igor Goncharov, Ted Goodman, Stefan Hahn, Leslie Hodder (discussant), Philip Joos, Wayne Landsman, Laurence van Lent, Paul Michas, Monica Neamtiu, DJ Nanda, Antonio Parbonetti (discussant), Caspar David Peter, Peter Pope, Daniel Reimsbach (discussant), Anup Srivastava (discussant), Jayanthi Sunder, Ramgopal Venkataraman (discussant), Skrålan Vergauwe, Peter Wysocki, Minna Yu (discussant), and participants at the 2012 AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the 2013 AAA FARS Midyear Meeting in San Diego, the 2012 and 2013 AAA IAS Midyear Meetings in Phoenix and Savannah, respectively, the 2013 AS-VHB/IAAER Conference in Frankfurt, the 2012 EAA Annual Congress in Ljubljana, the 2014 EAA Annual Congress in Tallinn, and workshop participants at ESSEC Business School (Paris), EIASM Workshop on Accounting and Economics in Segovia, Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin, Gießen University, INTACCT workshop in Varna, Lancaster University, IX Workshop on Empirical Research in Financial Accounting in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, LMU–Munich School of Management, The University of Arizona, University of Graz, University of Miami, University of Padova, and University of Zürich. We also thank Katharina Hombach, Christian Stier, Andreas Veller, and Amelie Ye for excellent research assistance. Maximilian A. Müller gratefully acknowledges the financial contribution of the European Commission RTN INTACCT (Contract MRTN-CT-2006-035850).

Editor's note: Accepted by Charles M. C. Lee.


This paper examines pricing differences across recognized and disclosed fair values. We build on prior literature by examining two theoretical causes of such differences: lower reliability of the disclosed information, and/or investors' higher related information processing costs. We examine European real estate firms reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which require that fair values for investment properties, our sample firms' key operating asset, either be recognized on the balance sheet or disclosed in the footnotes. Consistent with prior research, we predict and find a lower association between equity prices and disclosed relative to recognized investment property fair values, reflecting a discount applied to disclosed fair values. We then predict and find that this discount is mitigated by lower information processing costs (proxied via high analyst following), and some support that it is also mitigated by higher reliability (proxied via use of external appraisals). These latter results are documented using subsample analyses to test one attribute (either information processing costs or reliability) while holding the other constant. Overall, these findings are consistent with fair value reliability and information processing costs providing complementary explanations for observed pricing discounts assessed on disclosed accounting amounts.

Data Availability: Data are available from public sources identified in the manuscript.