Aneel examines the accounting measurement and financial disclosures for new-economy firms and incorporates his wide-ranging industry experience into his research and teaching. Aneel’s work, featured in esteemed publications such as Management Science, Harvard Business Review, and California Management Review, reflects his commitment to both scholarly and real-world contributions.
I started my research career as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). These certifications equipped me with an in-depth understanding of how accounting information is produced and disseminated in the capital market. I also fairly understand how that information is utilized by stakeholders to make investment and financing decisions. This multi-stakeholder view allows me to conduct my research holistically.
Before enrolling in the PhD program, I completed my MBA at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. This training provided me with a broader understanding of the management discipline, both in theory and practice. I believe that this understanding is crucial in developing a research agenda that is grounded in management practice.
I have worked in the fields of auditing, financial consulting, Initial Public Offering (IPO) readiness, and management reporting for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and Saudi Aramco. With PwC, I performed statutory audits and financial reviews for public companies in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Working in Saudi Aramco, I got an opportunity to look at the accounting and reporting process from the other side of the table. I performed financial analysis, reviewed financial models, and participated in the development of corporate operating plans. I was also a part of the team responsible for preparing the company for its IPO. The IPO was successful, and the company became the most valuable company globally shortly after that. This diverse exposure helped me learn how theoretical knowledge is applied in practice by individuals and institutions. I now better appreciate the challenges that multiple stakeholders face in producing, disseminating, and using financial information, as well as the trade-offs involved in striking the right balance between diverse reporting objectives. For example, reliability versus relevance, informativeness versus proprietary cost of disclosure, and timeliness versus accuracy.
Before enrolling in the PhD program, I worked in two business schools where I taught accounting and finance at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over five years. I also developed and delivered accounting and finance executive courses for managers. Engaging with students and participants from such diverse backgrounds further developed my understanding of the practical challenges that managers face around the process of financial reporting, disclosure, and analysis.
In this article, we examine three categories of investments — capital expenditures, economic competencies, and talent — midsize companies made before, during, and after the 2007–2009 recession. We show that companies that increased investments during the recession showed improvement in return on equity, sales growth, and market values in the recovery phase following the recession. This presents opportunities to attract new talent, deploy new technologies, and lock in long-term financing, among others.