This paper investigates whether top executives have significant individual-specific effects on accruals that cannot be explained by firm characteristics. Exploiting individual executive and firm data from a period of 37 years, we find that individual executives play a significant role in determining firms’ accruals. We examine whether executives’ effects on accruals are related to their personal styles on firm policies, investment, financing and operating decisions. Our results show that individual executives’ effects on accruals are more correlated with their operating decisions than investment and financing decisions. We next investigate whether managers themselves also have a personal style for directly affecting accruals. We compare effects exerted by CEOs to CFOs. We find CEOs are more likely to affect accruals through firm policy decisions and CFOs are more likely to affect accruals through accounting decisions. CFOs tend to report more ‘solid’ earnings than CEOs, i.e., CFOs are more likely to push accruals to zero.