Faculty Directory

Robert A. Howell

David T. McLaughlin D'54, T'55 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business Administration



DegreeDBA, Harvard University, 1966; MBA, University of Pennsylvania, 1962; BSEE, Bucknell University, 1960

AREAS OF EXPERTISEFinancial and managerial accounting, financial statement analysis, management control systems, strategic financial management, corporate strategy

Current Research Topics

  • Financial statements that drive value creation
  • Strategic finance
  • The changing role of the CFO and the finance organization
  • Corporate governance

Selected Publications

  • "Becoming a Strategic CFO," Financial Executive, April 2012
  • "80 Years and Counting: The Changing Role of Financial Management," Financial Executive, May 2011
  • "The CFO: From Controller to Global Strategic Partner," Financial Executive, April 2006
  • With W. Sinnett, "Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Implementation: Practices of Leading Companies," FERF, May 2005
  • With P. Argenti and K. Beck, "The Strategic Communication Imperative," MIT Sloan Management Review, 46(3), Spring 2005
  • "Turn Your Budgeting Process Upside Down," Harvard Business Review, July–August 2004
  • "How Accounting Executives Looked the Wrong Way," Financial Times, August 13, 2002
  • "Tying Free Cash Flows to Market Valuations," Financial Executive, May/June 2002
  • "Fixing Financial Reporting: Financial Statement Overhaul," Financial Executive, March/April 2002
  • "Management Accounting (and Other) Lessons from the Japanese," Management Accounting, December 1992


  • Thunderbird Outstanding Teaching Award, 1997, 1996
  • NYU Executive MBA Outstanding Teaching Award, 1999, 1995, 1994
  • NYU Excellence in Teaching Award, 1989
  • Certificate in Management Accounting #19, 1973
  • John P. Stevens Award, Harvard University, 1964
  • RCA David Sarnoff Fellowship Award, 1964, 1963

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Tuck School of Business, 2000–present
  • Professor of Strategy, Finance, and Accounting, IMD International, 1999–2000
  • Clinical Professor of Management Accounting, Thunderbird, Garvin School of International Management, 1995–98
  • Clinical Professor of Management and Accounting, New York University, 1977– 95
  • Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School, 1967–72

Nonacademic positions

  • Senior Partner, The Howell Group LLC, 1976–present
  • Senior Vice President, Finance, and Treasurer, Schick, Inc., 1975–76
  • Director, Premix, Inc., 1974–92
  • Vice President, Finance, Treasurer, and Director, General Housewares Corporation, 1973–75

Board memberships

  • Director, Spectra Group, Ltd., 2004–present
  • Director, Center for Corporate Excellence, 2005–07
  • Trustee, Western Maryland College, 1989–98 

Editorial positions

  • Editorial Board, Financial Executive Magazine

Research & Teaching Summary

Robert Howell is a leading authority on corporate governance and financial measurement, analysis, reporting, and control practices. His activities span fundamental research in his field, fast conversion to education, and assisting leading edge organizations affect change. Professor Howell teaches the electives Managerial Accounting, Financial Report and Statement Analysis, and Financial Statement Interpretation and Analysis.

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