Outsourcing Accounting Information Systems: Evidence from Closed-end Mutual Fund Families
Outsourcing; Accounting information systems; Closed-end funds; Good-faith valuations; Fund administrator
International Journal of Accounting Information Systems
This study examines the factors associated with the decision of closed-end funds to outsource their accounting information systems. Using data from 2010 and 2011, we find that the outsourcing decision is made by groups of funds with common service providers (called “fund families”), rather than by individual funds. Our results indicate that fund families containing a larger number of funds and older fund families are less likely to outsource their accounting functions. These types of fund families may have greater internal economies of scale, diminishing the potential cost savings from outsourcing. We also find that fund families with more good-faith-valued assets are less likely to outsource accounting information systems than those with more market-valued assets. Valuing these good-faith-valued assets is both an important investment-management process and a key accounting task, reducing the need to outsource accounting to focus managers on their core competency. This study is of potential importance to investors and regulators in evaluating closed-end funds' decisions on outsourcing accounting functions.