What are the required financial statements?

The required financial statements for U.S. business corporations are:

  1. Statement of income. This financial statement is also known as the statement of operations, statement of earnings, or income statement. It reports the corporation's revenues, expenses, gains and losses (except for items stipulated as other comprehensive income) for a period of time such as a year, quarter, 13 months, etc.
  2. Statement of comprehensive income. This financial statement begins with the bottom line of the income statement and then lists the items considered to be other comprehensive income. Some of these items involve currency translation, hedging, and pensions.
  3. Balance sheet. This statement of financial position reports a corporation's assets, liabilities and stockholders' equity as of the final instant of the date shown in its heading (December 31, January 31, June 30, etc.)
  4. Statement of cash flows. This statement reports the major causes for the change in cash and cash equivalents during the accounting period. The cash flows are presented as operating, investing, or financing activities.
  5. Statement of stockholders' equity. This financial statement is often presented as the statement of shareholders' equity, statement of equity, statement of changes in stockholders' equity, etc. It reports all of the changes in stockholders' equity which occurred during the accounting period.

The five annual financial statements must be accompanied with notes to the financial statements. These notes are needed in order to disclose additional information about items that are reported or are not reported in the financial statements.

You can see examples of the required financial statements (and the required notes) for a publicly traded U.S. corporation by searching the Internet for the corporation's name plus the words investor relations. Select Annual Reports (or select SEC filings and annual reports or 10-K).

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