Research Interests: cost accounting, intangible assets, performance measurement
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.
Carolyn Deller, Christopher D. Ittner, Hami Amiraslani, Thomas Keusch (Working), Board Risk Oversight and Environmental and Social Responsibility.
Abstract: Risk oversight has emerged as an important responsibility of corporate boards. At the same time, firms are increasingly recognizing the risks that social and environmental issues pose to investors and stakeholders. In this study, we examine the relation between board risk oversight and firms’ environmental and social (E&S) ratings. Using proprietary data on the board risk oversight practices of firms from 29 countries, we show that firms with more robust risk oversight have higher E&S ratings, are more likely to integrate E&S issues into their strategies and executive compensation contracts, and ultimately experience better E&S outcomes.
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. 10.1007/s11142-017-9396-0
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 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 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 (Work In Progress), Bringing Big(ger) Data to Managerial Accounting Research.
Strategic Cost Analysis is the process of analyzing and managing costs in orderto improve the strategic position of the business. This goal can be accomplished by having a thorough understanding of which activities and costs support an organization's strategic position and which activities and costs either weaken it or have no impact. Subsequent cost management efforts can then focus on reducing or limiting expenditures on activities that add little or no strategic value, while increasing expenditures on activities that support the strategic position of the organization. Performance can then be evaluated to ensure that the chosen actions are taken, and that these actions are yielding improved strategic performance. Throughout the course, a strategic cost analysis and management framework will be applied across functions and organizations to highlight the cost analysis and performance evaluation methods available to forecast financial performance and improve strategic position.
Intensive reading and study with some research under the direction of a faculty member. Approval from one of the departmental advisers must be obtained before registration. Also a 3.4 average in major related subjects required.
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.
This is Part I of a theoretical and empirical literature survey course coveringtopics 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.
A student contemplating an independent study project must first find a faculty member who agrees to supervise and approve the student's written proposal as an independent study (MKTG 899). If a student wishes the proposed work to be used to meet the ASP requirement, he/she should then submit the approved proposal to the MBA adviser who will determine if it is an appropriate substitute. Such substitutions will only be approved prior to the beginning of the semester.
Digitally powered operating models are critical to recovering from the pandemic and thriving, according to a Deloitte study done in collaboration with Wharton’s Christopher Ittner.Knowledge @ Wharton - 9/4/2020
Wharton’s new MBA curriculum launched this August after a lot of logistical legwork in its implementation.Wharton Magazine - 10/23/2012