An annual report is a formal financial statement that a company publishes at the end of their fiscal year, and is most often shared with shareholders, investors, creditors, and regulatory agencies. However, some companies share their annual reports with the public, as well. The annual report provides clear information on the company’s financial operations, including whether or not the company made money in the past year, and where the majority of the business’s expenses come from. Companies with listings on stock exchanges often have to write more frequent financial reports, called quarterly reports.
About Annual Reports
Most places in the US require businesses to write and publish annual reports for transparency with the government, investors, and the general public. The details provided in such reports show how well the company is performing, whether or not it is succeeding in its financial mission, and what direction the company may go in the future. There are often compliance rules that dictate how annual reports should be written and filed, so check local, state, and federal laws before writing your first annual report.
Elements of an Annual Report
An annual report is designed to communicate very specific information to specific parties, so it is important to remember all of the elements in an annual report and fill them out with the necessary detail.
- Description or Corporate Information: the general description talks about the company and the specific industry focus it has, which is part of the company’s mission statement.
- Income statements: audited statements that cover cash flow in and out of the company, which will at the least include an income statement and balance sheet.
- Analysis from Management: analysis from various departments discussing the financial trends of the company over the past year or more, which might include financial forecasting on the part of management teams.
- Company business: description of the type of business the company engaged in over the past year.
- Letter of CPA Opinion: a Certified Public Accountant independently writes this letter discussing the company’s financial outlook.
- Stock price history: if the company is involved in the stock market, listing the stock price fluctuations are an important part of showing the company’s financial history and stability, especially to shareholders.
- Subsidiaries, brands, addresses: contact information for any branches of the company, such as franchises, brick and mortar or online locations, or subsidiaries.
- List of directors and officers: information regarding the board of directors for the company, most notably prominent officers such as the executive director, treasurer, and secretary.
Why Should I Use an Annual Report Template?
If you have just started your business and you have shareholders, investors, or other people who need financial information at the end of your company’s fiscal year, an annual report template can save you lots of time and confusion. Templates allow you to keep track of all the necessary information in the report, while presenting the document in the most professional manner possible. Additionally, if your company is growing and changing, and needs a new type of annual report template, these free, downloadable templates can help you. Try our free annual report templates and get started on presenting your business professionally and easily!