The Limperg Institute was founded in 1978 as an inter-university institute in Accountancy by the following six partners:
- University of Amsterdam
- VU-University of Amsterdam
- Erasmus University Rotterdam
- Tilburg University
- Nyenrode Business University
- The Dutch association of Auditors (NBA, former NIvRA)
The Limperg Institute is named after professor Théodore Limperg Jr. (1879-1961), a former professor at the Univesity of Amsterdam, who has played an important role in business economics and auditing theory, as well as in the development of auditing practice in The Netherlands.
In the period 1978-2001, the Limperg Institute was a separate academic institution. Its academic staff contributed actively to research in Auditing and Accounting Information Systems. In this period, LI has contributed significantly to research in accounting and auditing by writing research articles in mainly Dutch scientific journals and by publishing a large number of mostly professional monographs. The most widely known series is perhaps the series of eight textbooks on auditing (Leerboek Accountantscontrole) about audit theory and audit practice. These books have been widely used as teaching material in almost all postgraduate auditing programs in the Netherlands. Many academics and professionals contributed to this work under the supervision of an editorial team. The first editorial team was chaired by Prof.dr. A.B. Frielink RA and Prof. H.J. de Heer RA. They were succeeded by Prof.drs. J.C.E. van Kollenburg RA and J.F. van Dijk RA.
In the year 2001 the Limperg Institute radically changed its strategy. It appeared that auditing research was increasingly being conducted by universities, which made it no longer necessary for LI to continue as an independent research center. As a result, the Limperg Institute ended as an independent research center and transferred its academic staff to university departments. The Limperg Institute continued as an independent institution within the VU University and changed its strategy from conducting research to offering a PhD program in Accounting and Auditing Research that is open to all PhD students of Dutch and foreign academic institutions. The main responsibiliy of LI is to define, develop and organize high-quality courses for academic researchers wishing to become profiecient at independent academic research in the fields of accounting and auditing. Senior academic staff of all Dutch universities and international top academics particiate in the LI PhD program, while almost all PhD students in Accounting and Auditing have followed this program, or at least parts of it.
Next to offering a PhD program, the Limperg Institute also has a second main task, which is to support a productive interaction and collaboration between scientists and practitioners. The idea behind this task is that a good connection between practice and theory will lead to academic research being more relevant to practice, and will also stimulate practitioners to take advantage of new scientific insights. LI aims at fulfilling this task by organizing workshops, seminars and symposia and to function as an intermediary between practice and the academia. A notorious example of a LI-platform on which academics and practitioners meet on a regular basis is the workgroup Statistical Auditing (for more information please consult the corresponding page on this website).
In 2021 the Groningen University and the University of Maastricht joined the Limperg Institute as new members based on their longstanding and important contributions to the LI PhD program.