We spoke with Don Pagach, Professor of Accounting and Director of Research for Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University; Adjunct Professor at Duke University. 

Both North Carolina State University and Duke University are clients of Calcbench. Lucky us!

Tell us about your work as director of research for the Enterprise Risk Management initiative. 

The Enterprise Risk Management Initiative provides thought leadership around risk practices and their integration with strategy and corporate governance. As part of my research, I go into Business Risk Factors and look at Item 1A [of the 10-K]. For me, it’s interesting to see how the first business risk has changed over time. It’s also interesting to see how companies display information. Take Disney, for example. A little over a year ago, before the pandemic, Disney was focused on general economic conditions. Now, the first risk listed focuses on COVID. I like to see how companies display business risk information, what information is boilerplate, and what information is new. 

Another area I like to explore is how boards oversee risk. I spend a lot of time in proxy statements, looking at how companies handle risk. What I find easy with Calcbench is that I can get all the information on one screen. I can see the board oversight language and get insight into who’s responsible, and how risks are reported to the board. 

How do you use Calcbench for teaching? 

I teach both basic and more advanced accounting courses. In my Financial Statement Analysis course, we look at data to see how consistently companies report over time. I use Calcbench in the classroom to share timely and relevant examples, and to show all the financials in one place. What I like is that Calcbench shows what a company actually reports, not what is fed through a template. 

Students in the Financial Statement Analysis course use Calcbench for their final project,  to analyze financial statements of a company of their choice. With Calcbench, students are able to look at a company’s historical data. They are also able to compare performance to a set of competitors. If there are no direct competitors, students can create their own competitor set. 

In my Financial Accounting course, we go deeper into the footnotes to look at information such as non-controlling interest. The drill-down into financial statements is a nice feature. Students can go into the notes directly as opposed to scrolling through a 10-K document. 

How can we further help academics? 

The webinars and video tutorials are useful. There’s a lot of info in there. I would like to see more videos on how to use the various data sets.


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