Financial reporting is a vital part of effectively managing, organising, and comprehending your company's finances. While this notion may appear complex and overwhelming at first, Upbooks is here to help you make sense of it. We also work with your existing accounting software to make financial reporting a smooth component of your daily operations.
The conventional procedures used to present stakeholders with a thorough understanding of a company's finances are referred to as financial reporting. We will discuss financial reporting from the ground up in this article, including its definition, the financial data it typically contains, the advantages, and the significance of a standard financial reporting system.
What is the definition of financial reporting?
Financial reporting is a standard accounting approach that involves using financial statements to display a company's financial information and performance over time, often on an annual or quarterly basis. A financial report essentially shows how much money you have, where it comes from (income), and where it needs to go (expenses). Financial reporting allows business management to make choices based on the facts of the company's financial situation. Investors and banks will also want financial reports from your firm in order to assess whether or not to invest or give a loan.
There are four different types of financial statements.
Before diving into the most common forms of financial statements, it's vital to understand what a financial statement is and how it fits into a financial report's overall structure.
A financial statement is a written document that outlines a company's financial information and operations. The government, accounting companies, or independent accountants audit these statements for accuracy.
The four key types of financial statements include within a financial report are income statements, balance sheets, a statement of retained earnings, and cash flow statements. Understand more about the importance of each statement and the benefits they provide to financial statement users below.
1. Income Statement
The profit and loss statement, often known as an income statement, outlines a company's sales, costs, and earnings. The income statement simply displays how much money a firm made or lost over a period of time, and it is used to calculate its net income, or "bottom line."
2. Balance Sheet
A balance sheet depicts a company's assets, liabilities, and stockholders' equity at a particular moment in time.
3. Retained Earnings Statement
The changes in equity of a firm are shown in a statement of retained earnings over a typical accounting period.
4. Cash Flow Statement
A cash flow statement (CFS) illustrates how much money is flowing in and going out of a firm. The CFS provides stakeholders with an understanding of how a company runs and manages cash to pay down debt, support current costs, and make future investments.
5. Financial Documents
Simply said, any financial communication, document, or information made public by a corporation can be included in its financial report.
The following are examples of financial reports:
- Statements of financial position and accompanying footnotes
- Any financial data shown on a company's website
- Records pertaining to common stock and other securities
- Stockholders get quarterly and yearly reports.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies receive financial reports.
- Quarterly earnings reports are covered in press releases.
- Regulations and Requirements for Financial Reporting
Financial reports for private and public companies in the United States must adhere to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), while most international companies report using the Internal Reporting Financial Standards (IRFS). While both accounting frameworks provide similar rules and principles, the two financial reporting systems differ slightly.
Although the IFRS is still under development, the general belief is that it will allow international corporations to generate financial reports that are concise, clear, and easy to read. Financial reports must be substantially more detailed and adhere to a particular set of regulations and principles under US GAAP.
There are various initiatives ongoing to either combine or decrease the differences between the two frameworks. Despite these differences, both systems provide a standard framework for producing accurate and uniform financial reporting across the board.