Are CFOs Effective Operators? An Empirical Analysis of CFO / COO Duality

Steve Buchheit, Austin Lansing Reitenga, George W. Ruch, Daniel A. Street
  • Journal of Management Accounting Research, June 2018, American Accounting Association
  • DOI: 10.2308/jmar-52168

What is it about?

We examine the operational and reporting performance of CFOs who simultaneously hold the role of CFO and Chief Operations Officer (COO); henceforth, "CFO/COO duality". Consistent with anecdotal evidence that CFO responsibilities are expanding into operations, CFO/COO duality occurs with increasing frequency during our sample period (2000 through 2016). We find no evidence that combining the CFO and COO positions adversely affects operations. Regarding financial reporting quality, we find that accruals are relatively more predictive of future cash flows (compared to a matched sample of non-duality firms). Collectively, our results suggest that unifying control of operations and reporting can be an effective corporate reconfiguration.

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The following have contributed to this page: Austin Reitenga