I investigate corporate accountability (“CSR”) reporting behaviors and I document the different roles that this reporting system may play across organizations. Specifically, I demonstrate that the effect on CSR performance of a firm’s issuance of a CSR report is a function of the type of investments the firm is willing to take and the joint use of complementary governance systems. Using a panel linear regression analysis with a fixed-effect estimator to control for omitted variable concerns, I find that CSR reporting is associated with the occurrence of future positive events. By contrast, the issuance of a CSR report does not seem to affect a reduction of future concerns. This result is consistent with the documented tendency of certain firms to use CSR reports as ‘greenwashing’ systems. Additionally, I show that a firm’s cumulated experience in CSR reporting enhances the occurrence of even more future environmental and social strengths. Finally, I document that a firm’s tendency to ‘greenwash’ is reduced when senior executives’ compensation contracts tied to CSR targets are implemented, supporting the argument of CSR reporting working as an effective monitoring system. Collectively, the findings help understand firms’ reporting behaviors in the field of CSR.