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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2013

Li Sun and Fuad Rakhman

The purpose of this paper is to explore the association between a chief finance officer's (CFO's) financial expertise and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the association between a chief finance officer's (CFO's) financial expertise and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's sample consists of firms from the 2005 S&P 500 Index. Data on CSR come from Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini (KLD), Inc. Data on CFO financial expertise were had collected. Consistent with prior research, experience (tenure), education (masters of business administration degree), and professional experience (certified public accountant designation) are used to measure the CFO's financial expertise.

Findings

Using a sample of S&P 500 firms from 2005, it is found that CFO experience (measured by tenure) is positively related to CSR at a significant level. In addition, the results indicate that CSR activities are not related to the CFO's education (measured as a Master's of Business Administration degree) or accounting expertise (measured as certified public accountant designation). The findings suggest that CFOs with more experience engage in more CSR activities than CFOs with less experience.

Originality/value

This study is valuable for several reasons: First, the study contributes to both the CSR literature and the CFO financial expertise literature by delivering new evidence on the link between CFO financial expertise and corporate social responsibility. Second, the study provides useful information to boards of directors, corporations and investors on certain CFO characteristics associated with effective CSR. Third, the study provides empirical evidence to support the suggested shift in the CFO's role from accountant to co‐driver of a firm's long‐term strategy.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 55 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Li Sun, Grace Johnson and Fuad Rahman

– The purpose of this study is to examine the association between the financial expertise of the chief financial officer (CFO) and concerns about corporate governance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the association between the financial expertise of the chief financial officer (CFO) and concerns about corporate governance.

Design/methodology/approach

Consistent with prior research, the authors used four variables, including certified public accountant (CPA) certification, Master of Business Administration degree, age of CFO and length of CFO tenure, to measure CFO’s financial expertise. The authors hypothesize a negative association between CFO expertise and concerns about corporate governance.

Findings

Regression analysis revealed that the CPA certification is negatively associated with governance concerns at a significant level. The results suggest that stakeholders show less concerns about a company’s corporate governance mechanism when the CFO has a CPA certification. In particular, the results support the recommendation by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that a CFO of a public firm should have a CPA certification.

Originality/value

The study is important in the following ways. First, the study delivers new evidence on the link between CFO financial expertise and corporate governance. This contributes to the CFO financial expertise literature and the corporate governance literature. Second, according to Standard and Poor’s, equity index investing has grown more popular over the past 30 years. The study delivers useful information to index investors who invest in S & P SmallCap 600 Index. Third, regulators have put a large amount of resources to discover ways to strengthen firms’ corporate governance. Thus, the results should be of interest to policy makers who design and implement guidelines on corporate governance mechanisms.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 57 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Yang Xu and Lijuan Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to examine chief financial officer (CFO) qualification improvement associated with restatements and restatement characteristics (restatement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine chief financial officer (CFO) qualification improvement associated with restatements and restatement characteristics (restatement materiality). The study is motivated by recent high-profile financial scandals and increasing instances of restatements which focus public attention on the role of CFOs in maintaining the integrity and quality of corporate financial reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs data composed of 80 restating firms matched with 80 non-restating firms with hand-collected CFO turnover information in the periods of 2003-2010. The research questions are tested in the logistic regression models.

Findings

The results provide some support that restating firms are more likely to hire new CFOs with greater accounting knowledge and overall CFO qualification (both accounting knowledge and CFO work experience) than non-restating firms. Furthermore, the authors also find that the number of restating years has a positive effect on CFO qualification improvement.

Research limitations/implications

Although the authors fail to find strong evidence for the hypotheses (perhaps due to the small sample size) the authors provide the first evidence on the relation between CFO qualification improvement and restatement. Further research can examine the relation in the pre-SOX period, and investigate whether any of the firms experiencing CFO turnover have experienced any financial statement restatements in subsequent years.

Originality/value

The results extend the understanding of companies’ strategies for regaining reporting credibility in the wake of restatements. Restatements of erroneous accounting numbers (primarily earnings) have led to significant losses for investors, contributed to a series of corporate governance reforms and legislative changes including SOX 2002, and prompted efforts to identify the remedies restating firms take to improve reporting quality and restore credibility.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Junli Yu, Shelagh M.R. Campbell, Jing Li and Zhou Zhang

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), despite being a critical organization member responsible for ensuring quality of financial reporting, audit and compliance, is…

Abstract

Purpose

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), despite being a critical organization member responsible for ensuring quality of financial reporting, audit and compliance, is under-researched. Grouped as a member of top management teams (TMS) in studies, factors influencing decision making in this group rely on static measures of characteristics without regard for dynamic and longitudinal influences of career trajectories and industry occupational group memberships. The relationship between the high-tech industry as a site of notable reported internal control (IC) weakness and influences on CFOs requires closer examination. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws together the upper echelons theory and occupational communities (OCs) to explore the impact of shared values and behavioral norms from different sources on executive decision making. Internal and external sources of OC are proposed and their influence on activities with respect to corporate IC is tested. The sample of 1,573 firm/year observations includes high-tech firms listed on major US exchanges was developed using data from five distinct databases. Executives’ biographic information was manually collected.

Findings

Results indicate that senior financial executives belong not only to their firm and its culture but also to OCs that extend beyond the firm. Membership in professional credential granting occupational groups has less impact on effective IC than experience in the high-tech industry. In combination, multiple OCs show evidence of compound and counteracting effects on IC. The OC that arises in the high-tech industry makes a measurable positive difference in the quality of IC in sample firms, in contrast with the OC among credentialed accounting and financial professionals.

Research limitations/implications

This quantitative study of OC reveals the differential impact of different sources of OC and contributes to the literature on TMS a new framework for examining decision making. OC is typically studied through qualitative methods and, thus, potential exists to further explore the specific nature and dynamics of the OCs identified in this study.

Practical implications

The study highlights the role of broad affiliations and networks among senior financial executives which may have bearing on their ability to effectively manage IC. The role of these networks may also partially explain instances of CFO failure and thus dismissal. Knowledge of the role of OC may help boards of directors in the selection and promotion of senior financial officers of the firm.

Originality/value

The paper offers a different perspective on professional accounting expertise in one specific industry where incidence of IC weakness is high relative to other industries. Study results expand recent research on TMS to include sociological impacts of cohort groups. Despite generally weaker IC in the high-tech sector, this study demonstrates the value of exploring group membership within the industry as an important predictor of behavior. The result is a new perspective to CFO decision making which illustrates the relevance of OCs among upper echelons. The implications of findings for CFO recruitment and promotion are borne out in recent instances of senior financial executive failure in the sector.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Jun Guo, Sungsoo Kim, Yang Yu and Jung Yeun (June) Kim

The study aims to understand the role of accountant in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to understand the role of accountant in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors examine whether and how chief financial officer (CFO) accounting expertise and previous work experience influence voluntary CSR disclosure, using textual analysis and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. The authors find that firms' CFOs with accounting expertise disclose more CSR issues in their 10-K reports. Overall, this study provides evidence of the impact of CFOs' professional and personal attributes on voluntary CSR disclosure in corporate annual reports. This study has important implications to investors and policy makers in the context of CSR disclosure regulations in annual reports.

Findings

Overall, this study provides evidence of the impact of CFOs' professional and personal attributes on voluntary CSR disclosure in corporate annual reports. This study has important implications to practitioners and policy makers in the context of CSR disclosure regulations in annual reports.

Research limitations/implications

There is an inherent limitation of textual analysis as the tool tries to read key words from the text.

Practical implications

This finding is useful for policy maker and investors as CSR is known to have impact on the share price.

Originality/value

This paper is the first attempt to find out accountants' role in CSR activities, which has not been examined in the prior literature.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2021

Radwan Alkebsee, Adeeb A. Alhebry and Gaoliang Tian

Scholars have investigated the association between executives' incentives and earnings management. Most of the extant literature focuses on equity executives' incentives…

Abstract

Purpose

Scholars have investigated the association between executives' incentives and earnings management. Most of the extant literature focuses on equity executives' incentives, while most of the earnings management literature focuses on accrual earnings management (AEM), not real earnings management (REM). This paper investigates the association between chief executive officers’ (CEOs) and chief financial officer (CFOs) cash compensation and REM and explores who has more influence on REM, the CEO or the CFO.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the data of all listed companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges for the period from 2009 to 2017 and ordinary least squares regression as a baseline model and the Chow test to capture whether the CEO's or the CFO's cash compensation has more influence on REM. To address potential endogeneity issues, the authors use a firm-fixed effect technique and two-stage least squares regression.

Findings

The authors find that CEOs' and CFOs' cash compensation is significantly associated with REM, suggesting that paying non-equity compensation to the CEO and CFO is negatively associated with REM. The authors also find that the CFO's cash compensation has a more significant influence on REM than the CEO's cash compensation, suggesting that the CFO's accounting and financial knowledge strengthens his or her power on the quality of financial reporting.

Practical implications

The study contributes to the literature of agency and contract theories by using cash-based compensation to provide strong evidence that CEO's and CFO's compensation is associated with REM. It also contributes to the earnings management literature by examining the effect of CEOs' and CFOs' cash compensation on earnings management using proxies for REM-related activities. The study also contributes to the institutional theory by providing empirical evidence on the governance role of executives' cash compensation in deterring REM. Finally, it is the first to examine the relationship between CEO's and CFO's cash compensation and REM, and the first to explore who is more influential regarding REM in emerging markets, the CEO or the CFO.

Originality/value

As a response to the call for investigations of the role of non-equity-based compensation in earnings management and the call to consider non-developed institutional contexts in governance research, this study extends prior studies by providing novel evidence on the relationship between CEOs' and CFOs' non-equity compensation and REM in China's emerging market. The study documents that the CFO has a greater influence on REM than the CEO does.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Md Mamunur Rashid

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of the presence of professional accountants in the top management team (TMT) on financial reporting quality (FRQ) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of the presence of professional accountants in the top management team (TMT) on financial reporting quality (FRQ) in public limited companies using the context of Bangladesh, which is an emerging economy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a modified version of Beest et al.’s (2009) FRQ index to measure the quality of information published in 351 annual reports of listed companies in Bangladesh. It also uses a qualitative characteristics approach to measure the quality of financial reporting, as defined by the International Financial Reporting Standards framework 2018, as opposed to an accrual or value relevance approach that solely depends on the information disclosed in the financial statements.

Findings

This study finds that the presence of professional accountants in the TMT is positively and significantly associated with FRQ. The findings also show that the sample companies disclosed better quality information in the enhancing qualitative characteristics category, as compared to the fundamental qualitative characteristics category.

Originality/value

This study uses the context of Bangladesh to explore a new type of relationship between the presence of professional accountants in the TMT and FRQ.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Rehana Naheed, Aws AlHares, Yasir Shahab and Rukhsana Naheed

This study aims to investigate the impact of the board’s financial expertise (BFE) on corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in China.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of the board’s financial expertise (BFE) on corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of Chinese listed firms from 2009-2016 (making 3272 firm-year observations), this study uses the generalized method of moments (GMM) and panel data estimation techniques.

Findings

Using the resource dependence theory, the findings of this study are twofold. First, the is positively associated with the disclosure level of CSR. Second, this positive impact is more pronounced in firms with female CEO and state ownership. The findings are robust to the potential issues of endogeneity and sensitivity analyses.

Practical implications

Practically, the findings hold value for the senior management of Chinese firms to ensure the presence of financial experts in boards to yield both financial and non-financial outcomes.

Social implications

This study points out how financial experts on boards influence the societal outcomes via disclosure of CSR. Financial experts encourage participation in social and sustainable practices which creates a positive image of the firm not only in the eyes of society but also for investors.

Originality/value

This study is unique and contributes to the extant literature by examining the impact of a new attribute, i.e. the BFE on the level of CSR disclosure in China.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 May 2013

Chris Gale

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 55 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2019

Patrick Velte

This paper aims to analyze whether chief executive officer (CEO) incentives and characteristics (e.g. CEO power, CEO tenure) are linked with corporate social…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze whether chief executive officer (CEO) incentives and characteristics (e.g. CEO power, CEO tenure) are linked with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and vice versa.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on upper echelons theory, the author conducts a structured literature review and evaluates 84 empirical-quantitative studies on CEO and CSR variables.

Findings

While the majority of the included studies analyzed the CEO-CSR link, there are indicators for a bidirectional relationship. Moreover, prior research has focused on CEO incentives, especially compensation contracts, and on the US capital market. A major research gap relates to CEO characteristics, e.g. CEO values, education and experience.

Research limitations/implications

Heterogeneous CEO and CSR variables and endogeneity concerns lower the validity of recent studies. Future research is encouraged to implement dynamic regression models, increase CSR and CEO proxies and focus on international samples with country-specific effects.

Practical implications

As CEO activities can have a major impact on CSR activities, the author recommends firms to search for opportunities to make their CSR strategy more comprehensive by their stakeholder communication, thus providing deeper insights into their CSR performance in line with stakeholders’ interests.

Originality/value

The paper is the first literature review on the interaction between CEO and CSR so far. The author explains the main CEO and CSR variables that have been included in research, stresses the limitations of the studies and gives useful recommendations for future research, practice and regulators.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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