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Principles of Management - Prof. Richards: Annual Reports

Parts of the Annual Report


Major corporations use these attractive, annual, public relations documents to communicate directly with their shareholders.

Reports offer insight on their mission, lines of business, products, growth, productivity, stability, performance, strengths, corporate structure, management, IP and relationships with other businesses. 

Part 1 - Describes the business:

  • Overview of the company and its business model
  • All the properties it owns
  • Any legal proceedings
  • Matters that will require shareholder approval

Part 2  - Discloses the numbers and what’s behind them:

  • Management’s Discussion and Analysis
  • Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk
  • Financial statements and supplementary data
  • Changes in and disagreements on accounting and financial disclosure

Part 3 -  Gives information on the people running the business:

  • Directors and Officers 
  • Executive compensation 
  • Security ownership of certain beneficial owners and management
  • Certain relationships and related transactions Principal accounting fees and services

Part 4 - Includes the exhibits and financial schedules

Where to Find Annual Reports

  • Company Website ‚Äč - Many companies have their own websites. Such companies may have an “About Us” or “Company Information” or “For Investors” section on their website. These sections may contain links to PDF or HTML copies of the annual reports.
  • SEC Website  - The SEC Filings & Forms (EDGAR) website is a great place to look for company filings. Reports are accessible electronically from 1993 to the present.

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