Over the last two decades, executive compensation research has focused primarily on equity-based pay and incentives emanating from executives’ firm-specific equity portfolios, while generally ignoring cash-based bonus plans as a second order effect. Exploiting access to new data sources, there has been a revival of interest by accounting researchers in more deeply understanding the value adding roles played by bonus plans. Earlier research viewed accounting measures in bonus plans through the lens of effort incentives-risk premium trade-offs derived from classical principal-agent theory. In contrast, the recent literature emphasizes the idea that cash-based bonus plans play an important communication role in which a board’s performance measure choices reveal to outsiders the firm’s commitment to specific strategic objectives and facilitate the coordination of behavior across executives inside the firm. Public observability of bonus plans then provides a basis for investors and competitors to assess a firm’s strategic direction, and for investors to hold managers accountable for strategy execution. Building on my discussion of Bloomfield, Gipper, Kepler and Tsui (2021) in the 2020 Journal of Accounting and Economics Conference, my objective in this paper is to synthesize and critique key results from this recent literature and offer ideas for future research.
Since 2001, the number of financial statement line items forecasted by analysts and managers that I/B/E/S and FactSet capture in their data feeds has soared. Using this new data, we find that 13 item surprises—11 income statement and 2 cash flow statement analyst and management guidance surprises—reliably explain firms’ signed earnings announcement returns.
We examine the period over which banking authorities discussed, adopted, and implemented Basel III to understand whether, when, and how firms respond to proposed regulation. We find evidence to suggest that the affected banks not only lobbied rule makers against it, but these banks also made strategic financial reporting changes and altered their business models prior to rule makers finalizing the regulation.
We have little knowledge about the prevalence of irreproducibility in the accounting literature. To narrow this gap, we conducted a survey among the participants of the 2019 JAR Conference on their perceptions of the frequency, causes, and consequences of irreproducible research published in accounting journals.
We directly test the reliability and relevance of investee fair values reported by listed private equity funds (LPEs). In our setting, disaggregated fair value measurements are observable for funds’ investees; and investee accounting fundamentals are also publicly disclosed. We find that LPE fair value measurements reflect equity book value and net income in a manner consistent with stock market pricing of listed companies.
We examine how firms’ accounting quality affects their reaction to monetary policy. The balance sheet channel of monetary policy predicts that the quality of firms’ accounting reports plays a role in transmitting monetary policy by affecting information asymmetries between firms and capital providers.
This study finds that greater asymmetric timeliness of earnings in reflecting good and bad news is associated with slower resolution of investor disagreement and uncertainty at earnings announcements. These findings indicate that a potential cost of asymmetric timeliness is added complexity from requiring investors to disaggregate earnings into good and bad news components to assess the implications of the earnings announcement for their investment decisions.
We investigate the extent to which loan officers generate individual effects on the design and performance of syndicated loan deals. We construct a novel database containing the identities of 6,821 loan officers involved in structuring syndicated loan deals. This data allow us to exploit movement of loan officers across banks to disentangle loan officer effects from bank fixed effects and estimate loan officers’ influence on both lending terms and loan performance. We find that loan officers have a significant influence on loan terms and loan performance that is incremental to bank and borrower characteristics.
We utilize the time period over which banking authorities discussed, adopted, and implemented Basel III to examine the financial reporting and operational decisions firms use to respond to proposed regulation. Our primary finding is that the banks affected by this proposal made strategic financial reporting changes and altered their business models prior to the regulation being enacted.
This paper provides evidence on the determinants and economic outcomes of updates of accounting systems (AS) over a 24-year time-span in a large sample of U.S. hospitals.
A detailed treatment of aggregation and capital heterogeneity substantially improves the performance of the investment CAPM. Firm-level predicted returns are constructed from firm-level accounting variables and aggregated to the portfolio level to match with portfolio-level stock returns. Working capital forms a separate productive input besides physical capital. The model fits well the value, momentum, investment, and profitability premiums simultaneously and partially explains positive stock-fundamental return correlations, the procyclical and short-term dynamics of the momentum and profitability premiums, as well as the countercyclical and long-term dynamics of the value and investment premiums. However, the model falls short in explaining momentum crashes.
This monograph provides a structured overview of costing system research that can explain the variation in the characteristics and properties of costing systems found in practice based on firms’ source(s) of their demand for cost information. Costing systems are not developed in a vacuum but are designed to fulfill a purpose. In order to have a meaningful decision on the various demands for cost information, I start in Part 1 by exploring the different techniques firms can use to supply cost information to its managers and employees.