Write a 260- to 350-word individual response to the following:
Once each year, a corporation communicates to its stockholders and other interested parties by issuing a complete set of audited financial statements. The annual report, as this communication is called, summarizes the financial results of the company’s operations for the year and its plans for the future. Many annual reports are attractive, multicolored, glossy public relations pieces, containing pictures of corporate officers and directors as well as photos and descriptions of new products and new buildings. Yet the basic function of every annual report is to report financial information, almost all of which is a product of the corporation’s accounting system.
The content and organization of corporate annual reports have become fairly standardized. Excluding the public relations part of the report (pictures, products, etc.), the following are the traditional financial portions of the annual report:
The official SEC filing of the annual report is called a Form 10‐K, which often omits the public relations pieces found in most standard annual reports. On the following pages, we present Apple Inc.‘s financial statements taken from the company’s 2014 Form 10‐K. To access Apple’s Form 10‐K, including notes to the financial statements, follow these steps:
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