About

The TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency is a trans-regional Collaborative Research Center funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG). Our team of more than 100 dedicated researchers examines how accounting and taxation affect firm and regulatory transparency and how regulation and transparency impact our economy and society. We intend to help develop effective regulation for firm transparency and a transparent tax system. Naturally, we also ensure transparency of our own research.

Who?

More than 100 researchers are involved in the TRR 266. Researchers from the main TRR 266 locations University of Paderborn (Coordinating University), Humboldt University Berlin and University of Mannheim, are joined by researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, University of Cologne and Leibniz University Hannover.

Why?

Calls for increased transparency are pervasive, particularly after the recent series of financial crises, prominent accounting fraud scandals and public outrage about excessive shifting of taxable profits by global corporations. These calls for more transparency continue to exist despite concerted regulatory actions with the aim of increasing firm transparency that have substantially tightened reporting requirements for companies and introduced a whole portfolio of anti-avoidance measures. Consequently, both the amount of available information as well as the regulatory burden of firms have increased substantially world-wide. Complexity has increased and creates opportunities for regulatory arbitrage. However, whether this increased level of information has generated more transparency and its expected positive societal outcomes is unclear.

The historical role of accounting is to aggregate firm-level information into quantitative data. These data are communicated to insiders and outsiders of the firm, who use it to levy taxes and to support investment as well as other economic decisions. The digital revolution has drastically changed the information environment: Information has become ubiquitous, is being generated by diverse senders and distributed via a variety of channels to heterogeneous receivers who process and analyze the data and base various decisions on it. It is unclear how the traditional methods of accounting that focus on numbers, facts, and verified judgments can continue to create transparency in this transformed landscape.

 

How?

We collect field data to analyze the perception, processing and handling of accounting information. We study how regulations, behavior, and preferences of economic agents shape accounting information and its effects on the transparency of firms. One focus lies on the transparency of the accounting and business taxation system. Furthermore, we assess the consequences of transparency for firms, their stakeholders and the general public. The insights from these activities will allow a well-founded assessment of regulatory reforms in the area of business taxation and financial reporting. To this end, the TRR 266 contributes to evidence-based policy making and to establishing a transparent tax system.

Our Goals

Determinants of Transparency

Understand how transparency is established by regulation and information exchange

Effects of Transparency

Understand how transparency affects society

Tools

Develop tools to assess the transparency of firms

Our Executive Board

Caren Sureth-Sloane
Paderborn University
Spokesperson A05 B01 B08 C03 Z caren.sureth@upb.de Visit website

Joachim Gassen
Humboldt University of Berlin
Deputy Spokesperson B02 B04 C02 gassen@wiwi.hu-berlin.de Visit website

Dirk Simons
University of Mannheim
Local Spokesperson Mannheim A06 B06 C01 simons@bwl.uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Nina Schwaiger
LMU Munich
Local Spokesperson Munich B03 nina.schwaiger@lmu.de

Henning Giese
Paderborn University
Postdoc A05 henning.giese@upb.de

Participating institutions

Paderborn University

Paderborn University (Coordinating University) is a high-performance and internationally oriented university with approximately 20,000 students. Within interdisciplinary teams, we design forward-looking research, innovative teaching and the active transfer of knowledge into society. As an important research and cooperation partner, the university also shapes regional development strategies. We offer our more than 2,300 employees in research, teaching, technology and administration a lively, family-friendly, equal opportunity environment, a lean management structure and diverse opportunities.

Michael Ebert
Paderborn University
Principal Investigator A06 michael.ebert@upb.de Visit website

Urska Kosi
Paderborn University
Principal Investigator B02 B09 B05 urska.kosi@upb.de

Jens Müller
Paderborn University
Principal Investigator B04 B07 jens.mueller@upb.de Visit website

Sönke Sievers
Paderborn University
Principal Investigator B05 C03 soenke.sievers@upb.de Visit website

Caren Sureth-Sloane
Paderborn University
Spokesperson A05 B01 B08 C03 Z caren.sureth@upb.de Visit website

Humboldt University of Berlin

As one of eleven German universities, the Humboldt-Universität was chosen “University of Excellence” in June 2012. It was successful in all three funding lines in the third round of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments and awarded for its future concept “Educating Enquiring Minds: Individuality – Openness – Guidance”. In an international comparison, Humboldt- Universität ranks among the top ten of German universities. Scientists here research socially relevant topics and challenges of the future and communicate these with the public. Humboldt-Universität invests all its energy in being a place of excellent research and teaching. It’s aim is to promote young talents and to positively influence society and economy outside the university framework.

Ulf Brüggemann
Humboldt University of Berlin
Principal Investigator A01 u.bruggemann@hu-berlin.de Visit website

Joachim Gassen
Humboldt University of Berlin
Deputy Spokesperson B02 B04 C02 gassen@wiwi.hu-berlin.de Visit website

Ralf Maiterth
Humboldt University of Berlin
Principal Investigator B08 ralf.maiterth@wiwi.hu-berlin.de Visit website

Anja Schöttner
Humboldt University of Berlin
Principal Investigator A02 anja.schoettner@hu-berlin.de Visit website

University of Mannheim

For generations, the University of Mannheim has been preparing students to take on leadership roles in business, academia, and society. One of the university’s strengths in this task is its profile, which is characterized by the economic and social sciences. It is in these fields that the University of Mannheim has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top 20 European research institutions.

Jannis Bischof
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A09 C01 A11 jbischof@uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Holger Daske
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A08 daske@bwl.uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Philipp Dörrenberg
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A11 C01 doerrenberg@uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Sebastian Kronenberger
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator B06 kronenberger@uni-mannheim.de

Stefan Reichelstein,
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A04 reichelstein@uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Davud Rostam-Afschar
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator C01 rostam-afschar@uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Dirk Simons
University of Mannheim
Local Spokesperson Mannheim A06 B06 C01 simons@bwl.uni-mannheim.de Visit website

Felix Vetter
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A10 A09 vetter@uni-mannheim.de

Johannes Voget
University of Mannheim
Principal Investigator A05 B07 C01 A11 voget@uni-mannheim.de Visit website

LMU Munich

The University in the heart of Munich. LMU is recognized as one of Europe's premier academic and research institutions. Since our founding in 1472, LMU has attracted inspired scholars and talented students from all over the world, keeping the University at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change our complex world.

Christian Hofmann
LMU Munich
Principal Investigator B03 ch.hofmann@lmu.de Visit website

Deborah Schanz
LMU Munich
Principal Investigator A05 C03 schanz@lmu.de Visit website

Thorsten Sellhorn
LMU Munich
Principal Investigator B04 sellhorn@lmu.de Visit website

Nina Schwaiger
LMU Munich
Local Spokesperson Munich B03 nina.schwaiger@lmu.de

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is an AACSB and EQUIS accredited, research-led business school that devises educational programs covering every aspect of finance, business and management. These include Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses, a doctoral program, executive education programs, certification programs, open seminars and training courses for students in full-time employment, and tailored seminars and workshops for corporate clients. In terms of research, Frankfurt School faculty members are exploring cutting-edge issues in business, management, banking and finance. In developing and emerging nations around the world, Frankfurt School experts are managing advisory and training projects that focus on financial issues, especially microfinance and funding for renewable energy.

Laurence van Lent
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
Principal Investigator B10 l.vanlent@fs.de Visit website

Goethe University Frankfurt

Goethe University was founded in 1914 as a unique “citizens’ university,” financed by wealthy citizens in Frankfurt, Germany. Named in 1932 after one of the city’s most famous natives, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, today the university has over 48,000 students. Goethe University is the third largest university in Germany. In the 2018 Shanghai academic ranking of world universities, it ranks among the top 100-150, and among the top 5-7 within Germany.

Sara Bormann
Goethe University Frankfurt
Principal Investigator A07 bormann@wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de Visit website

Anna Rohlfing-Bastian
Goethe University Frankfurt
Principal Investigator A04 A02 Rohlfing-Bastian@econ.uni-frankfurt.de Visit website

Katharina Hombach
Goethe University Frankfurt
Principal Investigator A07 hombach@wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de Visit website

University of Cologne

The University of Cologne is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe. It enjoys an excellent international reputation due to its outstanding academic achievements and the high quality and diversity of its teaching. The mission of the UoC is to create, preserve and impart knowledge, to offer its students and early-career academics a high-level academic education that qualifies them for professions both within and outside of academia, to promote cutting-edge research and to drive innovation, never losing sight of the ever-changing needs and challenges of today’s society.

Maximilian Müller
University of Cologne
Principal Investigator A07 maximilian.mueller@wiso.uni-koeln.de Visit website

Leibniz University Hannover

The spirit of Leibniz – as one of the nine leading universities of technology in Germany, Leibniz University Hannover is aware of its responsibility in seeking sustainable, peaceful and responsible solutions to the key issues of tomorrow. Our expertise for this stems from our broad spectrum of subjects, ranging from engineering and natural sciences to architecture and environmental planning, from law and economics to social sciences and humanities. On 1 January 2024, sponsorship of the university was transferred to a foundation under public law (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover Public Law Foundation).

Kay Blaufus
Leibniz University Hannover
Principal Investigator B01 blaufus@steuern.uni-hannover.de Visit website

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Cologne and Leibniz University Hannover who share the same research agenda.