Financial statements are a set of reports that provide information about a company’s financial performance, position, and cash flows. These statements are prepared using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and are typically required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for public companies. Financial statements are an important source of information for investors, creditors, and other stakeholders, as they provide insight into a company’s financial health and its ability to generate profits and cash flows.
There are four main types of financial statements:
- Balance sheet: A balance sheet is a snapshot of a company’s financial position at a specific point in time. It lists a company’s assets (what it owns), liabilities (what it owes), and equity (the difference between assets and liabilities). The balance sheet is used to assess a company’s financial stability and its ability to meet its short-term and long-term obligations.
- Income statement: An income statement, also known as a profit and loss statement, shows a company’s revenues and expenses over a specific period of time (such as a month, quarter, or year). It is used to determine a company’s profitability and to assess its financial performance.
- Statement of cash flows: A statement of cash flows shows the sources and uses of a company’s cash during a specific period of time. It is used to reconcile changes in the company’s cash and cash equivalents and to assess its ability to generate cash.
- Statement of shareholders’ equity: A statement of shareholders’ equity shows changes in a company’s equity over a specific period of time. It is used to provide information about the company’s ownership structure and to track changes in the value of shareholders’ investments.
Financial statements are an important tool for investors and analysts to assess a company’s financial performance and to make informed decisions about investing in or lending to the company. They are also important for company management, as they provide information about the company’s financial position and performance that can be used to make strategic decisions and to identify areas for improvement.