Skip to main content

Daniel A. Bens

Professor of Accounting and Control


Daniel Bens is a Professor of Accounting and Control at INSEAD, which he joined in August 2012. He has served as Area Chair for the department since 2015. He was a member of the University of Arizona faculty from 2005 to 2012, serving as Associate Dean of MBA programs for the last three years. Daniel was on faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 1999 to 2005.

Daniel Bens is directing the Financial Analysis for Non-Financial Managers and the Business Strategy and Financial Performance programmes.

Daniel received his PhD in Accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, his MBA in Finance from Indiana University, and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Penn State University. He was a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Pennsylvania, working for Price Waterhouse and then Westinghouse prior to attending graduate school.

His research focuses on the determinants and effects of discretionary disclosure in financial reports. That is, why do some firms just disclose the minimum of information as required by securities laws while others voluntarily exceed that benchmark considerably? Further, are there tangible financial effects from these decisions? He also examines real economic effects that firms may experience when they make seemingly cosmetic accounting choices. For example, he has studied how firms alter their share repurchase strategies to improve earnings per share (EPS) performance, while at the same time cutting long-term investments to finance the strategy.

Daniel has taught in full-time and Executive MBA programmes, as well as non-degree executive education. He received the INSEAD Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in MBA Teaching in 2013-2015 and has been twice nominated by INSEAD MBA students as Best Core Course Professor. His research has been cited or he has been quoted in Fortune, Business Week, and various US newspapers via the Associated Press and Reuters news services. His research has appeared in the leading academic journals including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Journal of Accounting Research.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys traveling with his wife and two young children.

Latest posts

Sort by

Economics & Finance

Do Corporate Insiders Behave When the SEC’s Not Watching?

D. Bens, G. Ee

The 2018–2019 US federal government shutdown provided important insights into insider trading in the absence of the watchdog.

Economics & Finance

Soft Stick Regulation Improves Disclosure

Open communication between regulator and company improves disclosure practices and reduces investor uncertainty.