Biased Expectations: Can Accounting Tools Lead to, Rather than Prevent, Executive Mistakes?

Accounting techniques like budgeting, sales projections and financial reporting are supposed to help prevent business failures by giving managers realistic plans to guide their actions and feedback on their progress. At least that’s the theory. But when Gavin Cassar, a Wharton accounting professor, tested this idea, he found something troubling: Some accounting tools not only fail to help businesspeople, but may actually lead them astray. … [ Read more ]