Benedikt Downar holds the EY Endowed Chair of Financial Governance

Prof. Dr Benedikt Downar holds the newly established Endowed Chair of Financial Governance, funded by the EY Foundation, at the Faculty of Business and Economics of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen as of 1 April 2023.

Against the background of global problems such as climate change, this new professorship focuses its research and teaching on current developments in the field of sustainability reporting as well as the interplay between sustainability information, accounting, auditing and corporate governance. Through research in this area, the main aim is to contribute to evidence-based regulation.

The professorship expands the focus area of governance and compliance in research and the focus area of finance, accounting and taxation in teaching.

Gruppenbild von fünf Männern und einer Frau in einem Sitzungssaal (Ernennung Prof. Downar) 800px

Appointment as Professor (standing f.l.t.r.): Prof. Dr. Matthias Schumann, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics; Dr. Christian Janze, Assurance Markets Leader Germany and Office Managing Partner Hannover, EY Germany; Prof. Dr. Anke Holler, Vice-President for Professorial Appointments and Equal Opportunities of the University of Göttingen; Dr. Henrik Ahlers, Chairman of the Management Board and Country Managing Partner, EY Germany
(seated f.l.t.r.) Prof. Dr. Benedikt Downar and Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan, President of the University of Göttingen (Photo: Christoph Mischke, Göttingen)

The research work of Professor Downar focuses on the empirical analysis of the economic and ecological implications of mandatory sustainability reporting as well as issues at the interface with accounting, auditing and digitalization.

In his research, he was able to show, among other things, that mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions creates incentives for companies to significantly reduce their emissions. Moreover, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved at relatively low cost.

Currently, he is working on international regulations in the field of sustainability reporting, voluntary reporting on and implementation of corporate action packages to achieve climate neutrality, the importance of sustainability information for stakeholders such as customers and employees, and auditing of sustainability information.

His work has been published in top-tier international journals such as Review of Accounting Studies, Contemporary Accounting Research, Accounting, Organizations and Society und European Accounting Review, among others. In addition, he regularly contributes to the transfer of knowledge from research to practice with publications in leading journals such as "Der Betrieb", "Die Wirtschaftsprüfung", and "Zeitschrift für internationale und kapitalmarktorientierte Rechnungslegung".

His research has also been honored with the Best Paper Award of the European Auditing Research Network (EARNet). He is also a peer reviewer for numerous international journals and academic conferences.

In the summer semester of 2023, students can write bachelor's and master's theses with Prof. Downar. In addition, the following courses are offered:

  • B.WIWI-BWL.0102: Seminar Praxis der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung*
  • M.WIWI-BWL.0163: Methoden der empirischen Rechnungslegungs- und Kapitalmarktforschung *
  • M.WIWI-BWL.0164: Seminar Internationale Financial Governance*

*Limited capacity, registration required.

For interested students (Bachelor and Master) there will be an information session on the new professorship (incl. course presentation and dates) on Tuesday, 11 April 2023 from 14:00 (Oec. 0.167). Registration for the courses will be possible via online form after the information event, attendance at the event is not required.

The courses are expected to start at the end of April.

Please visit also the website of the Chair.

Personal details
In the winter semester 2022/2023, Benedikt Downar already substituted the Chair of Accounting and Auditing at the Faculty of Business and Economics. Before joining the Faculty, he was a private lecturer in financial accounting at the Technical University of Munich. He received his habilitation there in 2021 with work on empirical accounting and auditing research. He studied and completed his doctorate at the Ruhr University in Bochum. In the past, he held lectureships at the TU Dortmund and the University of Bayreuth on topics in empirical accounting research.