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INSEAD Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

PhD Accounting and Control

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

60000 EUR
60000 EUR

Application fee

International 50 EUR
National 50 EUR
Accounting and Control
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)105
TOEFL-PBT (min)620
GRE (avg)325
GMAT (avg)702

World B-School Ranking

About this course

INSEAD Accounting and Control faculty conduct scholarly research on a number of topics including: financial reporting; valuation; and management accounting, as well as various sub-topics within these categories. Our research is published in the leading academic journals, and our publications contributed to INSEAD being ranked as the number six school in the world by the Financial Times in terms of research output in 2016 (INSEAD was ranked as the number one overall MBA programme by the FT in 2016).

Colleagues from around the world present in our regularly scheduled workshops throughout the year. In addition, we hold the annual INSEAD Accounting Symposium (IAS) where invited faculty join us at either the Fontainebleau or Singapore campus for a two day programme of research presentations and fine dining.

Our faculty teach courses in financial and management accounting in the core curricula of MBA and EMBA programmes. We also teach electives in financial statement analysis; strategic cost management; and earnings quality analysis. We cover financial accounting and financial statement analysis in our Master in Finance programme. In addition, our faculty teach in INSEAD executive programmes, both on-campus and in virtual on-line offerings.

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Eligibility Criteria

Selection Criteria

  • Proven academic record - irrespective of subject background.
  • Creativity and Independent thought - necessary to become a great researcher.
  • Motivation, Determination and Drive - to follow through with goals.
  • Ability to work in English - as English is the sole medium of instruction at INSEAD

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Course Modules

Accounting research seeks to identify and understand the market and institutional forces that affect the production and use of information by organizations.  Research topics typically fall into one of two categories: (1) financial accounting and (2) managerial accounting.

Financial accounting research primarily focuses on information that is used to facilitate transactions carried out between organizations.  For example, how does information released by a firm’s managers affect economic decisions made by shareholders, creditors, information intermediaries such as analysts and auditors, competing firms, regulators, etc.?  Conversely, how do the anticipated responses of the aforementioned users affect the amount and type of information ultimately released by the firm’s managers?  Moreover, how do all of these decisions interact with manager- and firm-level characteristics as well as institutional phenomena such as the degree of capital market development, the legal regime and its enforcement, the political and regulatory environment, etc.?

Managerial accounting research primarily focuses on the production and use of  information within an organization.  Topics include accounting system design, the planning and budgeting process, performance measurement and evaluation, incentives and compensation, and the role of internal control and risk management.  Considerable attention is given to how these phenomena interact with manager- and firm-level attributes such as individual’s behavioural biases, conflicting objectives, the organization’s hierarchical structure and governance structure, etc.

In light of the above, the Accounting and Control PhD specialization at INSEAD is similar to a PhD in applied economics of information and contracts.  Programme participants will receive comprehensive training in economics and behavioral science so that they have the fundamental tools needed to conduct rigorous research.  In addition to receiving classroom instruction, participants will work with faculty members who do cutting-edge research in a wide variety of areas.

The expertise and research interests of our faculty include:

  • Economics of Information and Contracts;
  • Economic Consequences of Regulatory Changes;
  • Economic Causes and Consequences of Firms' Accounting and Disclosure Choices;
  • Value Relevance of Accounting Information;
  • Role of Accounting and Non-accounting Data in the Fundamental Analysis Process;
  • Capital Markets; Equity Valuation; Equity Analysts; Market Anomalies;
  • Behavioural Accounting;
  • Corporate Governance; Executive Compensation; Employee Stock Options;
  • Management Accounting; Budgeting and Forecasting; Value Based Management;
  • Risk Management; Derivatives Financial Instruments; Hedge Funds;
  • Corporate Financial Reporting; Financial Literacy; Earnings Management.

The goal of the PhD specialization in Accounting and Control is to produce highly-trained individuals who will conduct first-class research at top-tiered business schools.  Ideal candidates have strong academic backgrounds in economics, mathematics, statistics, or related fields.  Prior work experience in accounting, consulting, banking, or related areas is helpful but not required.  Although a good understanding of accounting rules is expected by the end of the programme, prior exposure is not required for a successful application.

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How to Apply

Supporting Documents

All supporting documents should be in electronic format and uploaded through our online application platform. Only selected candidates for admission will be asked to provide original copies to the PhD Office to secure their admission in the programme. Thus, no originals or hard copies of transcripts should be sent to the PhD Office prior to admission to the programme.

1. Photograph (passport sized) in JPEG or GIF format, uploaded to your profile.
2. Application fee (non-refundable) of 50 €, which is paid online by credit card. Your application will not be considered until the correct fee is received. 
3. Electronic copy of CV/Resume
4. Electronic copy of Official Transcripts of Grades and Diploma / Degree Certificates with certified translation in English, where applicable
5. Electronic copy of official GMAT or GRE score report
6. Electronic copy of original TOEFL score report. (Note: We do not accept IELTS score in lieu of the TOEFL; if any of your degree's medium of instruction is in English, the TOEFL requirement is automatically waived. Your transcripts from this degree will suffice as proof of waiver)
7. Supplementary information survey form that is accomplished and submitted online (part of your online application form, found under the Supporting Documents section).

Recommendation Letters

A maximum 3 Letters of Recommendation are required coming from faculty, scholars or individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s academic ability and potential for research and teaching. When requesting recommendations, candidates are asked to use the appropriate online forms. Only 3 electronic recommendation letters are required to complete the application.

On the section of Letters of Recommendation, applicants are requested to enter the details of referees, including the 'official' email address (official email addresses do not include gmail, yahoo, or hotmail email clients). Once done, applicants need to click on the link 'Send an email to your recommenders now'.

Important: Refrain from clicking more than once the 'Send an email to your recommenders now' link, to avoid unnecessary email requests sent to your referees.

Applying Online

All applications to INSEAD are fully electronic and must be submitted online. To successfully access the application, you must download or upgrade your browsers to the following minimum requirements: Internet Explorer 9 and above, Firefox 8 and above, Chrome 10, Safari 5 and above, and Opera 10 and above.

A complete application includes the following: duly accomplished online application form, e-copies (e.g. PDFs) of supporting documents and application fee of 50€. Incomplete applications (missing documents or pages of documents, information or payment) will not be considered by the PhD Admissions Committee.

The application form is comprised of:

1. Your Profile: personal information, test results, academic background, professional background, proficieny in the English language and other languages, international exposure and activities and interests.
2. Statement of Purpose or letter of motivation (1500 essay), stating current goals, career plans, reasons for being interested in the PhD Programme. In as much depth as possible, discuss study plans and intended area of specialisation. 
3. Statement of Integrity (by agreeing to the terms and conditions when submitting the application form)

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