Financial reporting refers to the process of providing financial information about a company to its stakeholders, including shareholders, investors, lenders, and regulatory agencies. The primary purpose of financial reporting is to provide a transparent and accurate picture of the company’s financial performance and position, which can help stakeholders make informed decisions.
There are several key components of financial reporting, including the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and statement of changes in equity. The balance sheet provides a snapshot of the company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time, and is used to determine the company’s net worth. The income statement, also known as the profit and loss statement, shows the company’s revenues and expenses over a specific period of time, and is used to determine the company’s net income or loss. The cash flow statement shows the company’s inflow and outflow of cash over a specific period of time, and is used to determine the company’s liquidity. The statement of changes in equity shows the changes in the company’s equity over a specific period of time, and is used to determine the company’s retained earnings.
In addition to these key financial statements, companies also typically provide additional disclosures and notes to their financial statements. These disclosures and notes provide additional information about the company’s operations, financial performance, and financial position, and can include information about the company’s accounting policies, significant transactions, contingencies, and other matters.
Financial reporting is also subject to various laws and regulations, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in many countries, and the Companies Act in the United Kingdom. These laws and regulations provide guidelines for how financial statements should be prepared and presented, and help to ensure that the financial information provided is accurate, transparent, and comparable across different companies.
One of the most important aspect of financial reporting is the independent audit, which is a review of a company’s financial statements by an independent auditor. The auditor’s role is to express an opinion on whether the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework, and to provide a report on.