Assoc. Prof. Panos N. Patatoukas has received the prestigious 2017 Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award for his research on the implications of major customer relationships for supplier firm performance and valuation.
The annual accounting award from the American Accounting Association, sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), was given for his paper, Customer-Base Concentration: Implications for Firm Performance and Capital Markets. He will be honored August 8 at the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, CA.
For his research, Patatoukas compiled a large sample of business-to-business links along the supply chain.
His paper challenged the conventional view that customer-base concentration—or doing business with only few major customers—impedes supplier-firm performance. The widely-held belief was that major customers pressure their dependent suppliers to provide concessions such as lowering prices, extending trade credit, and carrying extra inventory.
But Patatoukas discovered that while suppliers with a few big customers do report lower gross margins, that negative effect is offset by lower selling expenses and higher inventory turnover rates. He concluded that these operating efficiencies offset weaknesses in dealing with major customers—and found a net positive impact on the supplier’s performance and valuation especially as the major customer relationships mature.
Paper inspires follow-up studies
The paper, which was judged for “originality, breadth of potential interest, soundness of methodology, and potential impact on accounting education,” inspired a series of follow-up studies. It also grabbed interest among academics across disciplines.
“It’s extremely fulfilling to be recognized for creating a new line of interdisciplinary capital markets research that combines elements from accounting, finance, and operations management,” said Patatoukas, who joined the Haas Accounting Group in 2010 after graduating from Yale University. “This research has implications for academics and practitioners alike.”
His previous awards for both research and teaching include the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award (in 2012, 2015, and 2017), the highest teaching award bestowed upon instructors by Berkeley MBA students; the Schwabacher Award, the highest honor for distinction in research and teaching bestowed upon Haas tenure-track professors; and the Hellman Fellows Award, given by the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor for excellence in research.
Patatoukas was also named a top business school professor under the age of 40 by both Poets & Quants and Fortune Magazine.
Prior to arriving at Haas, Patatoukas earned a PhD in accounting and finance from Yale University, plus two master’s degrees in management from Yale, a master’s in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, and a BA in accounting and finance from Athens University of Economics and Business, where he graduated as valedictorian.
Patatoukas’ areas of research include corporate valuation, financial statement analysis for measuring and forecasting economic activity at the firm level and at the aggregate macroeconomic level, and supply chain management.