Annual report

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An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company's activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance. They may be considered as grey literature. Most jurisdictions require companies to prepare and disclose annual reports, and many require the annual report to be filed at the company's registry. Companies listed on a stock exchange are also required to report at more frequent intervals (depending upon the rules of the stock exchange involved).

Contents

Contents

Typical annual reports will include: [1]

Other information deemed relevant to stakeholders may be included, such as a report on operations for manufacturing firms or corporate social responsibility reports for companies with environmentally or socially sensitive operations. In the case of larger companies, it is usually a sleek, colorful, high-gloss publication. Research has found that annual reports that convey optimistic tone are associated with lower audit fees, suggesting that annual report tone reflects factors that auditors consider in assessing audit risk. [2]

The details provided in the report are of use to investors to understand the company's financial position and future direction. The financial statements are usually compiled in compliance with IFRS and/or the domestic GAAP, as well as domestic legislation (e.g. the SOX in the U.S.).

In the United States, a more-detailed version of the report, called a Form 10-K, is submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. [3] A publicly held company may also issue a much more limited version of an annual report, which is known as a "wrap report." A wrap report is a Form 10-K with an annual report cover wrapped around it. [4]

Directors' Role

Statement of Directors' responsibilities for the shareholders' financial statements

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable Law of the Republic of Ireland, including the accounting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board and published by The Institute of Chartered Accountants. Irish company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial period which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the profit or loss of the company for that period.

In preparing these financial statements, the Directors are required to:

The directors confirm that they have complied with the above requirements in preparing the financial statements. The directors are responsible for keeping proper books of account that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and to enable them to ensure that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting standards generally accepted in Ireland and with Irish statute comprising the Companies Acts 1963 to 2009...

History

In 1903, US Steel published an annual report whose financial accuracy was certified by Price, Waterhouse & Co in what is known as the earliest modern corporate annual report. [5]

'Alternative' annual reports

Certain groups such as The True Cost Of Chevron Network have released 'alternative' annual reports as a way to highlight ongoing environmental destruction and/or human rights abuses committed by a particular company. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sarbanes–Oxley Act United States law covering finance and accountability

The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the "Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act" and "Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency Act" and more commonly called Sarbanes–Oxley or SOX, is a United States federal law that set new or expanded requirements for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms. A number of provisions of the Act also apply to privately held companies, such as the willful destruction of evidence to impede a federal investigation.

Financial statement formal record of the financial activities and position of a business, person, or other entity

Financial statements are formal records of the financial activities and position of a business, person, or other entity.

Audit Systematic and independent examination of books, accounts, documents and vouchers of an organization

An audit is an "independent examination of financial information of any entity, whether profit oriented or not, irrespective of its size or legal form when such an examination is conducted with a view to express an opinion thereon" It also attempts to ensure that the books of accounts are properly maintained by the concern as required by law. Auditing has become such a ubiquitous phenomenon in the corporate and the public sector that academics have started identifying an "Audit Society". Auditors perceive and recognize the propositions before them for examination, obtain evidence, evaluate the same and formulate an opinion on the basis of their judgement which is communicated through their auditing report.

Financial audit Type of audit conducted to ensure "financial statements" are in accordance with specified criteria.

A financial audit is conducted to provide an opinion whether "financial statements" are stated in accordance with specified criteria. Normally, the criteria are international accounting standards, although auditors may conduct audits of financial statements prepared using the cash basis or some other basis of accounting appropriate for the organisation. In providing an opinion whether financial statements are fairly stated in accordance with accounting standards, the auditor gathers evidence to determine whether the statements contain material errors or other misstatements.

An audit committee is a committee of an organisation's board of directors which is responsible for oversight of the financial reporting process, selection of the independent auditor, and receipt of audit results both internal and external.

A Form 10-K is an annual report required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that gives a comprehensive summary of a company's financial performance. Although similarly named, the annual report on Form 10-K is distinct from the often glossy "annual report to shareholders," which a company must send to its shareholders when it holds an annual meeting to elect directors. The 10-K includes information such as company history, organizational structure, executive compensation, equity, subsidiaries, and audited financial statements, among other information.

Auditors report

The auditor's report is a formal opinion, or disclaimer thereof, issued by either an internal auditor or an independent external auditor as a result of an internal or external audit, as an assurance service in order for the user to make decisions based on the results of the audit.

External auditor

An external auditor performs an audit, in accordance with specific laws or rules, of the financial statements of a company, government entity, other legal entity, or organization, and is independent of the entity being audited. Users of these entities' financial information, such as investors, government agencies, and the general public, rely on the external auditor to present an unbiased and independent audit report.

A going concern is a business that is assumed will meet its financial obligations when they fall due. It functions without the threat of liquidation for the foreseeable future, which is usually regarded as at least the next 12 months or the specified accounting period. The presumption of going concern for the business implies the basic declaration of intention to keep operating its activities at least for the next year, which is a basic assumption for preparing financial statements that comprehend the conceptual framework of the IFRS. Hence, a declaration of going concern means that the business has neither the intention nor the need to liquidate or to materially curtail the scale of its operations.

Financial Reporting Council regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulator in the UK and Ireland, responsible for regulating auditors, accountants and actuaries, and setting the UK's Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. The FRC seeks to promote transparency and integrity in business by aiming its work at investors and others who rely on company reports, audits and high-quality risk management.

Internal audit an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value to and improve an organizations operations

Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value to and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. Internal auditing achieves this by providing insight and recommendations based on analyses and assessments of data and business processes. With commitment to integrity and accountability, internal auditing provides value to governing bodies and senior management as an objective source of independent advice. Professionals called internal auditors are employed by organizations to perform the internal auditing activity.

Materiality is a concept or convention within auditing and accounting relating to the importance/significance of an amount, transaction, or discrepancy. The objective of an audit of financial statements is to enable the auditor to express an opinion whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in conformity with an identified financial reporting framework such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) is a professional accountancy body in Pakistan. As of December 2018, it has 9989 members working in and outside Pakistan. The institute was established on July 1, 1961 to regulate the profession of accountancy in Pakistan. It is a statutory autonomous body established under the Chartered Accountants Ordinance 1961. With the significant growth in the profession, the CA Ordinance and Bye-Laws were revised in 1983.

Internal control, as defined by accounting and auditing, is a process for assuring of an organization's objectives in operational effectiveness and efficiency, reliable financial reporting, and compliance with laws, regulations and policies. A broad concept, internal control involves everything that controls risks to an organization.

Entity-level controls the second level of internal controls helping to ensure that management directives pertaining to the entire entity are carried out

Entity-level controls are internal controls that help to ensure that management directives pertaining to the entire entity are carried out. They are the second level of a top-down approach to understanding the risks of an organization. Generally, entity refers to the entire company.

The chief audit executive (CAE), director of audit, director of internal audit, auditor general, or controller general is a high-level independent corporate executive with overall responsibility for internal audit.

A directors' report is a document produced by the board of directors under the requirements of UK company law, which details the state of the company and its compliance with a set of financial, accounting and corporate social responsibility standards.

Regulation S-X is a prescribed regulation in the United States of America that lays out the specific form and content of financial reports, specifically the financial statements of public companies. It is cited as 17 C.F.R. Part 210; the name of the part is "Form and Content of and Requirements for Financial Statements, Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, Investment Company Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975".

The Model Audit Rule 205, Model Audit Rule, or MAR 205 are the commonly applied terms for the Annual Financial Reporting Model Regulation. Model Audit Rule is a financial reporting regulation applicable to insurance companies, and borrows significantly from the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. The Model Audit Rule is co-developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) and National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) and issued by NAIC with revisions in 2006 and has taken effect in 2010.

Risk-based auditing type of auditing which focuses upon the analysis and management of risks with the greatest potential impact

Risk-based auditing is a style of auditing which focuses upon the analysis and management of risk.

References

  1. Annual Report and Accounts - Contents http://tutor2u.net/business/accounts/annual-report-and-accounts-contents.htm
  2. Bicudo de Castro, Vincent; Gul, Ferdinand A.; Muttakin, Mohammad Badrul; Mihret, Dessalegn Getie (2019). "Optimistic tone and audit fees: Some Australian evidence". International Journal of Auditing. 23 (2): 352–364. doi:10.1111/ijau.12165. ISSN   1090-6738.
  3. Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms by John Downes and Jordon Elliot Goodman Barron 1995 ISBN   0-8120-9035-7 page 23
  4. "Wrap Report Definition". AccountingTools. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
  5. Wessel D. (2002). When Standards Are Unacceptable Wall Street Journal
  6. The True Cost Of Chevron, An Alternative Annual Report, May 2011 http://truecostofchevron.com/2011-alternative-annual-report.pdf Retrieved 19 July 2017