Christopher D. Ittner

Christopher D. Ittner
  • EY Professor of Accounting
  • Chairperson, Accounting Department

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    1326 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365

Research Interests: cost accounting, intangible assets, performance measurement

Links: CV

Overview

Professor Ittner’s research focuses on the design, implementation, and performance consequences of performance measurement, cost management, and enterprise risk management systems. His articles have been published in the Harvard Business Review and leading academic accounting, marketing, and operations management journals. He is an editor of The Accounting Review, and has served as senior editor at Production and Operations Management and associate editor for Accounting, Organizations and Society, Management Science, and several other academic journals. His work on the association between customer satisfaction measures and financial performance received the American Accounting Association’s Notable Contribution to Management Accounting Literature Award.

Professor Ittner teaches the undergraduate management accounting core course, an MBA cost management elective, and executive education sessions on cost accounting and marketing metrics. In addition, he runs management accounting doctoral courses for students from throughout the United States and Europe. He is the recipient of several MBA teaching awards.

Professor Ittner received his BS from California State University, Long Beach, his MBA from UCLA, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard University.

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Research

  • Christopher D. Ittner and Jeremy Michels (2017), Risk-Based Forecasting and Planning and Management Earnings Forecasts, Review of Accounting Studies, 11 (3), pp. 1005-1047.

    Abstract: This study examines the association between a firm’s internal information environment and the accuracy of its externally-disclosed management earnings forecasts. Internally, firms use forecasts to plan for uncertain futures. The risk management literature argues that integrating risk-related information into forecasts and plans can improve a firm’s ability to forecast future financial outcomes. We investigate whether this internal information manifests itself in the accuracy of external earnings guidance. Using detailed survey data and publicly-disclosed management earnings forecasts from a sample of publicly-traded U.S. companies, we find that more sophisticated risk-based forecasting and planning processes are associated with smaller earnings forecast errors and narrower forecast widths. These associations hold across a variety of different planning horizons (ranging from annual budgeting to long-term strategic planning), providing empirical support for the theoretical link between internal information quality and the quality of external disclosures.

  • Christopher Armstrong, Christopher D. Ittner, David F. Larcker (Working), The Determinants and Ratings Implications of Performance Appraisal Plan Characteristics.

  • Christopher D. Ittner and Thomas Keusch (Working), The Influence of Board of Directors’ Risk Oversight on Risk Management Maturity and Firm Risk-Taking.

  • H. Chang, J. Chen, R. Duh, Christopher D. Ittner (Under Revision), “Is Sunlight the Best Disinfectant? Evidence From Differential Auditor Fee Disclosure Requirements.

  • Francesca Franco, Christopher D. Ittner, Oktay Urcan (2016), Determinants and Trading Performance of Equity Deferrals by Corporate Outside Directors, Management Science, Forthcoming.

    Abstract: This study investigates the determinants and trading performance of outside directors’ equity deferrals, which represent the choice to convert part or all of their annual cash compensation into deferred company stock. Using a large sample of S&P 1500 firms that allowed directors to defer their cash fees into equity between 1999 and 2009, we find significant associations between equity deferral choices and specific features of the director compensation plans, proxies for directors’ outside wealth diversification, and future firm stock market performance. Trading performance analyses indicate that outside directors earn substantial abnormal returns from their deferrals, with a significant proportion of the deferral transactions occurring during blackout periods. These results are consistent with companies structuring director equity deferral plans to circumvent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5’s trading restrictions.

  • Christopher D. Ittner and D. Oyon (Under Revision), CFO Risk Ownership and the Influence of the Finance Function on Enterprise Risk Management.

  • Joseph Gerakos, Christopher D. Ittner, Frank Moers (Under Revision), Compensation Objectives and Business Unit Pay Strategy.

  • Christopher Armstrong, Yuen Kit Chau, Christopher D. Ittner, Liang (Jason) Xiao (Working), Internal Versus External Earning per Share Goals and CEO Incentives.

  • Christopher D. Ittner (Work In Progress), Bringing Big(ger) Data to Managerial Accounting Research.

  • Carlo Gallimberti and Christopher D. Ittner (Work In Progress), Management Sales Forecasts and Capital Expenditure Decisions.

Teaching

Past Courses

  • ACCT102 - STRATEGIC COST ANALYSIS

    The first part of the course presents alternative methods of preparing managerial accounting information, and the remainder of the course examines how these methods are used by companies. Managerial accounting is a company's internal language, and is used for decision-making, production management, product design and pricing and for motivating and evaluating employees. Unless you understand managerial accounting, you cannot have a thorough understanding of a company's internal operations. What you learn in this course will help you understand the operations of your future employer (and enable you to be more successful at your job), and help you understand other companies you encounter in your role as competitor, consultant, or investor.

  • ACCT706 - COST MANAGEMENT

    This course covers managerial accounting and cost management practices that can be strategically applied across the various functions of a business organization to improve organizational performance. The course emphasizes the methods available to measure and evaluate costs for decision-making and performance evaluation purposes. It reviews a number of cost management issues relating to the design and implementation of strategic, marketing, value analysis, and other management models in modern firms; and identifies major contemporary issues in managerial accounting and financial decision- making. A variety of case studies in different industries and decision contexts are used to examine the application of these concepts.

  • ACCT921 - EMPIRICAL RES IN ACCT I

    This is an empirical literature survey course covering topics that include corporate disclosure, cost of capital, incentives, compensation, governance, financial intermediation, financial reporting, tax, agency theory, cost accounting, capital structure, international financial reporting, analysts, and market efficiency.

  • ACCT922 - EMPIRICAL RES IN ACCT II

    This is an empirical literature survey course covering topics that include corporate disclosure, cost of capital, incentives, compensation, governance, financial intermediation, financial reporting, tax, agency theory, cost accounting, capital structure, international financial reporting, analysts, and market efficiency.

Awards and Honors

  • Plenary Speaker, Global Management Accounting Research Symposium, Copenhagen, 2015
  • Emmanuel Saxe Lecture in Accounting, Baruch College, 2014
  • MBA Core Teaching Excellence Award, 2012
  • Keynote Speaker, Performance Management Conference, University of Economics, Prague, 2012
  • Keynote Speaker, Performance Scorecard Conference, Temple University, 2012
  • Innovation Award, Business Insurance magazine (for joint work with AON on the development and validation of the Risk Maturity Index), 2012
  • Australian Business Award for Innovation (for joint work with AON on the development and validation of the Risk Maturity Index), 2012
  • MBA Core Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
  • Keynote Speaker, Dutch Controllers’ Institute Annual Conference, 2010
  • Keynote Speaker, European Institute of Avanced Studies in Management, Manufacturing Accounting Research Conference, 2010
  • MBA Core Teaching Excellence Award, 2009
  • Distinguished Visiting Faculty, American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium, 2009
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Distinguished Speaker, Michigan State University, 2008
  • Keynote Speaker, Information for Better Markets Conference, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, London, 2007
  • Goes above and beyond the call of duty Teaching Award, 2006
  • Plenary Speaker, Management Accounting Research Conference, American Accounting Association, 2005
  • Tough, but we’ll thank this professor in five years Teaching Award, 2004
  • Keynote Speaker, European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Management Accounting Research Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 2004
  • Keynote Speaker, Performance Management Association Conference, Scotland, 2004
  • Keynote Speaker, Advances in Management Accounting Conference, 2003
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 2001
  • Notable Contribution to Management Accounting Literature, American Accounting Association (Management Accounting Section), 2001
  • Resident Faculty, American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium, 2001
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 2000
  • Roedgers Distinguished Lecture in Accounting, University of Illinois, 2000
  • Faculty Speaker, AAA Management Accounting Section Doctoral Consortium, 2000
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 1999
  • Distinguished Visiting Faculty, American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium, 1999
  • Faculty Speaker, AAA Management Accounting Section Doctoral Consortium, 1999
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 1998
  • Keynote International Speaker, Sixth Biennial Management Accounting Research Conference, Australia, 1998
  • Faculty Speaker, PAC-10 Doctoral Consortium, 1998
  • Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Curriculum Teaching Award, 1996
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 1996
  • Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Curriculum Teaching Award, 1995
  • MBA Core Cluster Teaching Award, 1995
  • Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Curriculum Teaching Award, 1992

In the News

  • Prof. of Accounting Christopher Ittner is noted for his research on why companies with better risk management may get a financial boost., Risk & Insurance - 12/17/2013

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

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In the News

The CFO Imperative: Managing Risks Arising from Technology

As companies increasingly use technology in all parts of their business, managing technological risks becomes a critical part of enterprise risk management.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2016/09/19
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Awards and Honors

Plenary Speaker, Global Management Accounting Research Symposium, Copenhagen 2015
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