Types of Financial Statements

There are 3 basic types of financial statements. We are categorizing another 2 important parts of an annual report as financial statements. Let’s begin our discussion with a small definition of what financial statements are?

What are Financial Statements?

Financial statements are a mirror that shows a true and fair view of the financial performance of the last financial year and overall financial position at the end of the financial year. These are prepared by all those organizations who have financial transactions whether they are for-profit or not for profit organizations. The forms could be different. Financial statements are a crucial part of any annual report of a company.

Financial Statement Analysis

A lot of analysis takes place after these statements and reports are published. The main users of these financial statements are shareholders, debenture holders, bankers, and financial intermediaries, financial analysts, and all other stakeholders of the business.

Types of Financial Statement

There are broadly three types of financial statements viz.

  1. Balance Sheet
  2. Income Statement
  3. Cash Flow Statement

Part of the world considers the statement of stockholders equity as another financial statement. In the true sense, explanatory notes in the annual reports should also be called financial statements. These footnotes or explanatory notes to financial statements speak about inventory method contingent liabilities and explanation to all the important line items of quantitative financial statements. Let’s try to understand each type of financial statement in little depth.

Statements Definition Important Terms
Balance Sheet It is a tabular sheet of balances of assets, liabilities, and equity. Current Assets
Non-Current Assets,
Property, Plant, and Equipment,
Long-term Liabilities,
Common Stock,
Preferred Stock and
Retained Earnings etc.
Income Statement It is a statement of calculation of the income of a particular period showing Net Sales and all types of expenses. Sales,
Operating Cost,
Depreciation and Amortization,
Interest Cost,
Preferred Dividends and
Net Income.
Statement of Cash Flows  A cash flow statement is simply a statement of cash generation and its use categorized under different activities. Operating Activities,
Investing Activities, and
Financing Activities.
Statement of Shareholder’s Equity It is a statement showing the capital investment by stockholders and the retained earnings of the company. Common Stock,
Retained Earnings
Footnotes to Financial Statements All other information in the annual report other than quantitative statements like above are footnotes. Inventory valuation  method
Contingent liability,
Disclosures, etc

Balance Sheet

As the term balance sheet suggests, it is a tabular sheet of balances of assets, liabilities, and equity. Assets are normally classified as current assets and property plant and equipment.  Liabilities are generally further classified into current and long-term liabilities. Equities are common stock, preferred stock and retained earnings all shown separately. There is a great significance of each and every line item on a balance sheet.

As we just noted that the balance sheet is nothing but a set of balances.  Balances can change every day.  Therefore, a balance sheet is presented at the end of a particular date. The date for presenting a balance sheet for the annual report is the last date of the financial year.  In the US it is 31st December every year.

Companies show balances of last year as well as the balances of last to last year for the sake of visible comparison.  For example, if the balance of equity at the end of 2018 is 1,000 million and 900 million at the end of 2017, the change in the balance of equity by 100 million is clearly visible. The analysts will understand and interpret this change through their skill of financial analysis.

Income Statement

Unlike balance sheet income statements are presented for a period and not as on a date.  Here also, as the income statement suggests, it is a statement which shows the calculation of the income of a particular period. The main components of an income statement are net sales, operating cost, depreciation and amortization, interest cost, taxes, preferred dividends, and net income.  All the components deducted from net sales to arrive at net income.  After deduction of every type of cost, you arrive at a different interpretation of income which is expressed as below:

  • Earnings before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA)
  • Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT)
  • Net Income before Preferred Dividends
  • Net Income (NI)

Types of Financial Statements

Statement of Cash flows

All the while we have heard the importance of net cash flows in the calculation of the fundamental or intrinsic value of businesses. Cash generation, therefore, has got more value than income reported in the financial statements. It is simply because the real source of value creation is cash and not Income reported on the income statement.

A cash flow statement is simply a statement of cash generation and its use by different activities categorized under three different broad activities i.e.

  1. Operating Activities,
  2. Investing Activities, and
  3. Financing Activities.

There are many factors that make net income totally different from cash balance and they are

  • Noncash adjustment to net income
  • Changes in working capital
  • Investment
  • Capital Inflow and Outflow
  • Dividend Payment

Statement of Stockholders Equity

It is a statement showing the capital investment by stockholders and the retained earnings of the company. Like the balance sheet, statement of stockholders equity is also a statement presented as on a particular date. This date is commonly 31st December in the US. The two main parts of this statement common stock and retained earnings and the total of both make it to total equity.

Footnotes to Financial Statements

You may consider footnotes as one of the types of financial statements or additional information to supplement financial statements. It will be misleading for investors if they do not understand the financial statements in their true sense. Footnotes help in clarifying how financial statements are prepared. They provide information about inventory valuation method, contingent liability etc. They also provide with the disclosures with respect to compliance with Standardized Accounting Principles. In the US, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is followed and IFRS is the International Standard for Reporting.

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Sanjay Borad

Sanjay Bulaki Borad

Sanjay Borad is the founder & CEO of eFinanceManagement. He is passionate about keeping and making things simple and easy. Running this blog since 2009 and trying to explain "Financial Management Concepts in Layman's Terms".

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5 thoughts on “Types of Financial Statements”

  1. Excellent presentations; easy to understand by any level of readers. Congratulations for carrying this wonderful work.


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