Explain how the financial statements, auditor’s opinion, and footnotes are similar and how they are different.

Just like a yearly physical examination can provide clues to your physical health, an annual report provides clues to the overall financial health of an organization in a given time period. Just as some health conditions are not immediately detected by a physical examination or may appear shortly after a yearly exam, the same can be said for challenges an organization may be facing financially.

For example, an aggressive competitor may be currently taking sales away from an organization’s stable customer base, yet this competitor may not have existed at the conclusion of the fiscal year that the annual report information represents. Nonetheless, it is important to be able to analyze the information that you do have, while considering new information that might change the current financial health of an organization.

For this Assignment, your Instructor has given you links to two annual reports. Examine the Table of Contents or Index in each annual report and it will help you locate the items listed below. The auditor’s opinion usually is found right after the financial statements, but it might be located before them. The footnotes to the financial statements are located immediately following the financial statements.

Then, compare the two annual reports in terms of:

  • The four basic financial statements
  • The auditor’s opinion
  • The footnotes to the financial statements
  • The manager’s discussion and analysis
  • The annual report as a whole

The Assignment:

  • Identify the companies whose annual reports you are comparing and include the links in your paper.
  • Compare and contrast the information contained in the annual reports you were assigned.
  • Explain how the information contained in the annual reports relate to the image you have of the organization as a whole.
  • Explain how the financial statements, auditor’s opinion, and footnotes are similar and how they are different in effectively conveying the position of the organization.
  • Provide 2–3 clear and in-depth examples to justify your perspective, drawing upon information from the reports you reviewed.
  • Be sure to use citations and related reference materials as appropriate.

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