CFRA - Center for Financial Reporting and Auditing

CFRA - Center for Financial Reporting and Auditing

Given the increasing global flow of capital and regulatory pressure at national and international levels, research into the role of accounting and auditing related to the functioning of the capital markets is more important than ever.

The Center for Financial Reporting and Auditing (CFRA) has been founded to foster high-quality research and to bridge the gap between research and practice in the areas of financial reporting and auditing. Allianz, Daimler, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, Linde, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens, and Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank support the CFRA.

CFRA provides a platform to strengthen the dialogue between academics and practitioners and to make highly complex research more accessible. It focuses on questions of standard setting and regulation in financial reporting as well as auditing. It also supports broader research on the role of various forms of disclosures in capital markets. It delivers independent expertise and insights supported by academic evidence. Research coming out of the center will be disseminated through publications, seminars, and other forms of conferences on issues of interest to financial statement preparers, auditors, and standard setters. CFRA is internationally oriented to examine the increasingly global regulation in accounting and auditing.


  • Bridge the gap between technical specialists and policymakers
  • Provide substantive and neutral, empirical expertise and insights supported by academic evidence
  • Contribute meaningfully to regulatory and political debate


  • Practical relevance
  • Academic credibility
  • International reach

Professor Per Olsson is the CFRA academic director. Before joining ESMT in August 2015, he was a tenured associate professor of accounting at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, which he joined in 2001. He had previously been an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the role of accounting information and disclosures in investment decisions. His research has been published in top academic journals such as The Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting and Economics, and the Journal of Accounting Research, among others. He is a member of the editorial boards of several journals including The Accounting Review, the Review of Accounting Studies, the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, and the European Accounting Review.

Managing director of the center is Michael Gewehr, German public accountant and formerly partner at KPMG. Members of the Academic Advisory Council, whose role it is to advise and oversee the center’s academic activities, are leading researchers in the field and include Stanley Baiman (University of Pennsylvania), Tim Baldenius (New York University), Joachim Gassen (Humboldt University), Annette Köhler (University of Duisburg-Essen), Laurence van Lent (Tilburg University), and Katherine Schipper (Duke University).

The financial crisis and its aftermath have triggered greater regulatory and political pressure on financial reporting and auditing. There have been calls worldwide to harmonize accounting standards to improve the transparency and comparability of financial reports and achieve a single set of high quality, global standards. At the same time, there continue to be serious doubts about the efficiency and effectiveness of current regulatory initiatives as well as their implications for listed companies and their auditors.

Banking and Finance

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