What Financial Statements Must Companies File?

According to Financial Statement Analysis: A Global Perspective, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) states that the three principal objectives of securities regulation are:

  • Protecting investors.
  • Ensuring that markets are fair, efficient, and transparent (information is publicly available).
  • Reducing systematic risk.

Specific requirements are left to accounting standard-setting organizations and local regulators. International Accounting Standards (IAS) and U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) set similar guidelines, as outlined in the following table:


Although local securities regulators specify the filings securities-issuing companies in their jurisdiction must complete, international accounting standards and securities regulations are converging. Therefore, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules provide a useful benchmark. The primary financial statement filings are:

  • Form 10K. Most reporting companies file this form annually with the SEC. It provides audited financial statements and a comprehensive overview of the registrant’s business. It must be filed within 90 days of the company’s fiscal year-end.
  • Annual Report to Shareholders. In addition to filing a 10K with the SEC, companies issue an annual report to shareholders. This state-of-the-company report, including an opening letter from the Chief Executive Officer, in addition to the material found in the 10K.
  • Proxy Solicitation Materials (Proxy Statement). State laws govern shareholder voting rights. When matters arise requiring a shareholder vote, a proxy statement must be furnished containing the information necessary to place an informed vote.
  • Form 10-Q. The 10-Q is a quarterly report. It includes unaudited financial statements and provides a continuing view of the company’s financial position during the year. The 10-Q must be filed for each of the year’s first three fiscal quarters and is due within 45 days of the quarter-end.
  • Form 8-K. This “current report,” is filed whenever a previously unreported material event or important corporate change affecting security holders occurs.

For more information, see all articles on: Financial Statement Analysis, Investing in Stocks, Securities Regulation

See also:
  • Common Size Analysis
  • Postretirement Obligations
  • Accrued Expenses
  • Common Size Balance Sheets
  • General Requirements for Financial Statements
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    One Response to “What Financial Statements Must Companies File?”

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      [...] with adequate technical accounting expertise to ensure the preparation of interim and annual financial statements in accordance with GAAP,” according to the company’s former auditors. So I’ll [...]

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