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Virtual Summer School Enabled Professional and Intercultural Exchange Between Germany and Tunisia

Researchers from the Faculty of Economics at Chemnitz University of Technology and the FSEG at the University of Sfax in Tunisia approached cultural differences in tax morale and the tendency to shift profits - the focus was also on intercultural exchange

In a joint virtual summer school, young scientists from Chemnitz University of Technology and the University of Sfax researched cultural influences on business practices and questions of accounting and tax planning. The event had to be converted to a virtual format due to pandemic-related quarantine regulations recently enacted in Tunisia. The resulting gap in the exchange with local companies was filled by lectures on the cultural particularities of Germans, the promotion of start-ups, and the importance of internal accounting and controlling in a transdisciplinary research context.

The lectures were given by Prof. Dr. Uwe Götze, Vice President for Transfer and Academic Qualification and Professorship of Management Accounting and Control at Chemnitz University of Technology, Joseph Stephens from the SAXEED start-up network and Sophie Humpisch from the Career Service at Chemnitz University of Technology. Despite the absence of informal communication, which is so important for getting to know each other, the participants were able to work out some essential similarities and differences. They exist in all areas relevant for balance sheet policy and tax planning measures: In accounting and tax planning as well as the influence of regulatory mechanisms such as regulations on corporate governance, supervisory boards, auditing and tax auditing, in tax morale and the importance of voluntary reporting on corporate social responsibility.

By means of a role-play for the valuation of a provision for a renaturation obligation in mining and open-cast mining, the findings were experienced by participants in different roles. These included roles such as the risk-averse manager, the risk-averse shareholder and many more. In spite of the limitations caused by corona, initial findings were collected which will be further developed in additional events.

The Summer School was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office (AA).

SAXEED is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), the Free State of Saxony and the participating universities.

(Author: Professorship of Business Taxation and Auditing)

Matthias Fejes
21.09.2020

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