What is an annual financial statement?
Let’s face it: financial statements may not be the most exciting thing in the world, especially to entrepreneurs who are deep in the trenches building a business from the ground up. But they are undeniably important. These statements provide a snapshot of a company’s financial health and performance, allowing stakeholders to make informed decisions about investments, budgeting, and more. Without them, we’d be flying blind when it comes to understanding the financial landscape of our organizations. So, while putting together those financial statements might not be on anyone’s favorite list, let’s give them the credit they deserve for keeping our businesses on track and dive into to learn more.
Why a financial statement is important
Annual financial statements provide an overview of your company’s financial position, including its revenues, expenses, profits, and losses and include information about assets, liabilities, and equity, as well as cash flows and other financial metrics.
Companies are required by law to prepare annual financial statements and submit them to regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. These statements must comply with accounting and disclosure standards and provide an accurate and complete picture of the company’s financial position. The annual financial statement may include management’s analysis of the company’s financial performance and discussion of future plans. Financial statements are therefore one of the tools that you can effectively use to plan, structure operations, invest funds and ultimately, grow your business. Additionally, if you, as a business owner, are looking for funding, it is key for investors to access this important financial information to see the potential in your company by examining the figures set out in the AFS.
Investors are also more likely to invest in a company that is compliant with statutory requirements and has sound financial reporting. This is one of the most important reasons to ensure that your company has AFS that are drafted timeously and accurately.
What reports should be included in an annual financial statement?
An annual financial statement typically includes several key reports that provide a comprehensive overview of a company’s financial performance over the course of a year. These may include:
- Balance sheet: This report provides a snapshot of the company’s financial position at a specific point in time, including its assets, liabilities, and equity.
- Income statement: This report summarizes the company’s revenues, expenses, and net income over the course of the year.
- Cash flow statement: This report shows the inflows and outflows of cash for the year, including operating, investing, and financing activities.
- Statement of changes in equity: This report shows how the company’s equity has changed over the course of the year, including any stock issuances or repurchases, dividend payments, and changes in retained earnings.
- Notes to the financial statements: This section provides additional information and context for the financial statements, including accounting policies, significant transactions, and other relevant information.
- Management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A): This section provides management’s analysis and commentary on the company’s financial performance, including discussion of significant trends, risks, and opportunities.
- Auditor’s report: This report provides an opinion on the accuracy and completeness of the financial statements, based on an audit conducted by an independent auditor.
The specific reports included in an annual financial statement may vary depending on the company and the regulatory requirements in its jurisdiction. Together, these reports offer valuable insights into the financial position of your company and form the building blocks of management decision-making.
Your internal finance team works hard to get each and every transaction of the whole year summarized to a trial balance level. Compiling annual financial statements to global financial reporting standards is however a fairly specialist task. Get this off your senior finance team’s desk, with expert drafting and consolidation expertise, allowing you to nail your audit requirements. We love helping groups compile sets of financials at full IFRS or IFRS for SMEs level that will pass the standards of any top 10 audit firm, and set you up for a stress-free audit. Further support on adjustments, audit queries, and finalization of financial statements enable your team to stay focused on the current financial year’s mission, without being tied down by the previous one’s reporting requirements.
If it’s time to compile your annual financial statements and you feel unsure of your legal audit requirements, you will benefit from the services of our expert accounting team. If you need to know more about how we can help, contact us for a consultation or take a look at our available packages on our website.