What is Financial Reporting?

Financial reporting is the financial results of an organization that are released to the public. This reporting is a key function of the controller, who may be assisted by the investor relations officer if an organization is publicly held.


Financial reporting typically encompasses the following:

  • Financial statements, which include the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows
  • Accompanying footnote disclosures, which include more detail on certain topics, as prescribed by the relevant accounting framework
  • Any financial information that the company chooses to post about itself on its website
  • Annual reports issued to shareholders, which may be issued on a more frequent basis
  • Any prospectus issued to potential investors concerning the issuance of securities by the organization


If a business is publicly held, financial reporting also includes the following (in addition to the preceding items):

  • The quarterly Form 10-Q and annual Form 10-K, which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • The annual report issued to shareholders, which could be a stripped-down version that is called a wrap report
  • Press releases containing financial information about the company
  • Earnings calls, during which management discusses the company’s financial results and other matters