Topics for Master Thesis
Master thesis topics at the Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law.
The Faculty at the department can supervise in many interesting topics for a masterstudent; including Big Data and data analytics-use for businesses, ethical/corruption-issues, sustainable business models and more standard topics related to accounting, profitability analysis, valuation. Please contact to first supervisor listed under topic of interest.
Sustainable Business models
A sustainable future relies on more sustainable business. This implies a transition to business models with lower social and environmental footprints and higher resource efficiency, which can be achieved through novel ways of designing, producing, distributing and marketing products and services. The concrete managerial challenge is to improve corporate sustainability performance by embracing more sustainable business practices, while at the same time remaining competitive in the marketplace by making those offerings attractive to customers. In short, it is a challenge of aligning sustainability and profitability. Are businesses able to do this? How? Can sustainable businesses actually be more profitable or is it mostly just an extra cost?
Big Data and Data analytics are transforming completely the way audit firms perform audits. We closely monitor what is going on, what the auditors do differently and how it effect decision-making. We have unique access to the large audit firms in Norway, and work with some of the leading researchers in the world on the topics.
‘Modern Valuation’ and ‘Is Financial Reporting relevant; accounting and accounting analysis’
Valuation combines many disciplines like accountinganalysis, finance theory and strategy. How may we use modern tools (Crystal Ball, Value@Risk, ‘R’ etc.) combined with Big Data and statistical methods to refine the valuation?
IFRS accounting and financial statement are made for better decision making for the users; the investors and the creditors. But do new accounting standards improve the decisions (higher value relevance etc.)? Are firms still manipulating the accounts? Do investors fully use or understand all the information in the annual financial statements? Are we using the best accounting ratios for understanding the health of the firms?
Ethics and corruption
Why are some firms more ethical then others? How are different corruption rules in different countries affecting the firms; are the ‘bad’ firms punished and the ‘good’ firms rewarded- ..or is it vice versa? How are ‘good’ firms able to operate in corrupt countries? Is it profitable to ethical or non-corrupt?
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CAPITAL MARKETS
Innovation in information technologies and the rising of social media have changed the way of communications of financial information. Information is made available more timely and also becomes more easily accessible through various channels, which changes how capital market participants assimilate and respond to information. For example, retail investors around the world can even coordinate actions in capital markets nowadays, like in a recent event of trading shares of the company GameStop against the Wall Street traders. Innovative information technologies also enable regulators to review and inspect companies’ financial reports more efficiently and effectively, resulting in accounting frauds and financial misstatements more likely to be detected. Therefore, how the change in technology affects all players in capital markets, including retail/institutional investors, regulators, and companies, is a research topic that is worth examining.
- Tzu-Ting Chiu
- Songyi Han
SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM AND CORPORATE BEHAVIORS
Shareholder activism plays a pivotal role in the functioning of capital markets. Active investors shape corporate governance by exercising voting rights and buying or selling shares, which in turn may influence corporate behaviors. For example, some large investment funds disclose their voting intentions and guidelines publicly, aiming to change corporate behaviors. Do active investors serve an effective governance mechanism? What are the impacts that active investors have on corporate behaviors?
AUDITING AND BANK ACCOUNTING
Banks operate in a highly regulated environment. Under banking regulations, banks have to prepare a second set of financial reports for the regulatory authorities. These reports are often based on the financial statements, which creates special reporting incentives for banks. These incentives, in turn, also affect the audit. How does the interplay of auditors and regulators affect the audit quality? What factors can explain banks’ decision to retain or dismiss the current auditor? In case of a dismissal, what factors can explain the choice of the new auditor?
Apply for a scholarship
You can apply for a scholarship when writing your master thesis. Discuss topics with your supervisor first, then send a short description of the project and a grade transcript to Department Head Finn Kinserdal.