The financial statements most frequently provided are the balance sheet, the income statement, the statement of cash flows, and the statement of owners’ or stockholders’ equity. Note disclosures are an integral part of each financial statement. Financial reporting includes the president’s letter or supplementary schedules in the corporate annual report, prospectuses, reports filed with government agencies, news releases, management’s forecasts, and social or environmental impact statements.
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Some financial information is better provided or can be provided only by means of financial reporting other than formal financial statements. Companies may need to provide such information because of authoritative pronouncement, a regulatory rule, or custom. Or they may supply it because management wishes to disclose it voluntarily.