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Annual corporate reports provide a window into a company?s strategy for future growth; however, many financial managers as well as the investing public focus exclusively on corporate earnings and fail to understand all the factors that comprise the earnings computation. Understanding Corporate Annual Reports explains the regulatory environment surrounding annual reports, providing a detailed review of how to read reports correctly. Using Home Depot?s annual report as the primary example, Brian Stanko and Thomas Zeller?s easy-to-use guide examines a variety of types of financial reports, addressing both SEC and FASB regulations. Understanding Corporate Annual Reports allows readers to appreciate the complete implications of a corporate annual report.
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The corporate annual report provides the key to understanding how a company’s performance has improved or declined, how its strategic initiatives match its financial condition, and whether or not it has the resources to move forward and be successful. Yet many students, investors, and even professional analysts lack the necessary tools to decipher corporate reports and accurately interpret a company’s fiscal outlook. Understanding Corporate Annual Reports teaches report readers how to make sense of the fine print, empowering investors and those who advise them to make informed and effective investment decisions.
Authors Brian Stanko and Thomas Zeller discuss not only what appears in a typical corporate annual report but also explain its significance, analyze its substance in the context of the company’s strategic initiatives, and then consider how this company is performing relative to its competition. They approach the subject from both a user’s and preparer’s perspective. Readers will gain a strategic framework for first understanding how the annual report serves as a tool for analyzing past performance and second, for critically examining the connection between corporate strategy and financial resources.
The book begins by explaining the importance of corporate annual reports and dissecting the crisis of confidence in corporate reporting that has recently emerged. The authors then introduce the annual report structure and discuss the significance of each component. Chapters 3 to 5 discuss the balance sheet, statement of earnings, and statement of cash flows, while chapter 6 is devoted to the statement of change in stockholders’ equity and notes accompanying the financial statements. The remaining two chapters are devoted to financial statement analysis and emerging issues in financial reporting. Other topics covered include:
The authors take The Home Depot’s annual report as an instructive case study, providing readers with a detailed look at their methods of analysis in action. Understanding Corporate Annual Reports provides managers and investors the tools they need to effectively gauge corporate performance.From the Back Cover:
Praise for Understanding Corporate Annual Reports
"As an employee benefits consultant, I find an increasing need to examine and understand the financials of my clients and prospects as well as the insurance companies that we represent. I found this book valuable in understanding how to look into the annual statements to find the information I need, and how to be aware of the numerous financial warning signs. The material is well presented and easy to reference."
–– Michael Raef, Senior Consultant
Marsh USA, Inc.
"I found the format and delivery very clean and straightforward. This is a wonderful blend of factual information interwoven with savory, practical commentary. This book should be sold with post-it notes, highlighters, and a red pen because any reader/user will want to go back often to utilize the content. It may be more appropriate to refer to this publication as a map or a tool because it guides the user to completion of a task that is usually more like a journey or a project."
–– Mark R. Boland, CPCU, Aon Risk Services
Green Bay, WI
"Understanding Corporate Annual Reports: A User’s Guide is a very valuable tool in helping to read between the lines and build a better understanding of all the details contained in an annual report. It is written using layman’s terms and anecdotal evidence that make it easy for the average investor to follow. This book will certainly help me become a more knowledgeable and informed investor in the future."
–– Tom Gailey, Personal Investor
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