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1 3: Users of Accounting Information Business LibreTexts

The annual report contains the independent auditor’s opinion as to the fairness of the financial statements, as well as information about the company’s activities, products, and plans. Government agencies, including regulatory bodies and taxing authorities, also use financial statements to monitor the financial conditions of the companies they have jurisdiction over. For example, the government may require companies in certain industries to meet mandatory capital injections as measured against total risky business investments a company may undertake. In this case, financial statements are very useful in revealing such capital-to-assets risk ratios based on information from the asset and equity sections of the balance sheet. For tax purposes, companies should report accurately in their income statement about tax-deductible expenses and any losses they can use against future earnings to receive tax write-offs from taxing authority. Make certain that the information that investors, suppliers, and government agencies look for in your company’s financial statements is available, correct, and appropriate for their consumption.

Three primary users of accounting information were previously identified, Internal users, External users, and Government/ IRS. Each group uses accounting information differently, and requires the information to be presented differently. Entities competing against a business will attempt to gain access to its financial statements, in order to evaluate its financial condition.

It is broken into three parts to include a company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity. The balance sheet must balance assets and liabilities to equal shareholder equity. This figure is considered a company’s book value and serves as an important performance metric that increases or decreases with the financial activities of a company. Financial statement analysis is the process of analyzing a company’s financial statements for decision-making purposes. External stakeholders use it to understand the overall health of an organization and to evaluate financial performance and business value. Potential investors are interested in the past performance of a business and its potential for future earnings.

Companies and analysts also use free cash flow statements and other valuation statements to analyze the value of a company. Free cash flow statements arrive at a net present value by discounting the free cash flow that a company is estimated to generate over time. Private companies may keep a valuation statement as they progress toward potentially going public. An https://kelleysbookkeeping.com/ investor is interested in knowing about the financial position of the business. However, management mostly uses the monthly management accounts as their main sources to make decision in the company. This is due to monthly management accounts provide them more detail information such as the detail report of the company’s profitability, liquidity and efficiency.

  • A union needs the financial statements in order to evaluate the ability of a business to pay compensation and benefits to the union members that it represents.
  • Accounting information also helps creditors to make decisions about whether to offer loans to a business in the future.
  • Profit margin helps to show where company costs are low or high at different points of the operations.
  • Figure 1.3 offers an overview of some of the differences between financial and managerial accounting.
  • In huge organizations, however, management is usually made up of hired professionals who are entrusted with the responsibility of operating the business or a part of the business.

Likewise, investors have no idea how well a company is performing since they don’t know the inner workings of the operations. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

Users of financial statements

Another reason the government wants to know about how the company is doing is related to the tax that the company needs to pay. The tax payable by the company itself is based on the company’s income statement which tax authorities usually use as the basis of their assessment. Anyone outside the company who do not participate in the day-to-day operations of the business and makes use of the company’s financial information is considered an external user. They are interested in financial information about the company for educational, scholarly, and other non-commercial purposes. External users are entities or individuals who do not participate in running or managing the business but are interested in the financial information of the company. Suppliers will require financial statements in order to decide whether it is safe to extend credit to a company.

Each group uses accounting information differently and requires the information to be presented differently. Before extending credit, trade creditors review the ability of a business to pay. Creditors are particularly interested https://quick-bookkeeping.net/ in a company’s liquidity (i.e., ability to pay short term obligations). Information gathered may also be used in determining the extent of credit to be allowed, credit period, and other credit policies to be applied.

Ask Any Financial Question

Figure 1.3 offers an overview of some of the differences between financial and managerial accounting. Accountants often use computerized accounting systems to record and summarize the financial reports, which offer many benefits. The primary benefit of a computerized accounting system is the efficiency by which transactions can be recorded and summarized, and financial reports prepared. In addition, computerized accounting systems store data, which allows organizations to easily extract historical financial information.

Internal vs External Financial Reporting

They are the people who provide loans to the company; hence they want to know if the company can to pay back the loan so they can get their money back. They also want to know if they should provide more loans to the company or not based on the company’s position and performance. Lenders and creditors will require the information as part of their decisions about whether to extend credit to the business, and in what amounts. They will continue to have an interest in the information over time, in order to decide whether their loaned funds are at risk. If so, these analysts need the firm’s financial information as part of their examination of whether the organization would be a good investment for their clients. The government jurisdictions in which a company does business may request the information in order to determine whether the firm paid the required amount of taxes.

Cash Flow Statement

Lenders often asses the stability of the business as well as cash flows and profitability. They are particularly interested in the ability of a business to pay borrowings and the corresponding interests when they become due. Measuring financial performance in monetary terms allows managers to compare the organization’s performance to previous periods, to expectations, and to other organizations or industry standards.

Like lenders, trade creditors or suppliers are interested in the company’s ability to pay obligations when they become due. They are nonetheless especially interested in the company’s liquidity – its ability to pay short-term obligations. Lenders want to know if a business can pay for outstanding loans, and whether they https://business-accounting.net/ have sufficient collateral to support the loans. Based on their review of a borrower’s financial statements, they may call a loan or be willing to extend additional funds. Vendors are the suppliers who supply something like raw material or other goods to the company that the company needs in their day to day operations.

For example, when deciding whether to loan money to an organization, a bank may require a certain number of years of financial statements and other financial information from the organization. The bank will assess the historical performance in order to make an informed decision about the organization’s ability to repay the loan and interest (the cost of borrowing money). Similarly, a potential investor may look at a business’s past financial performance in order to assess whether or not to invest money in the company. In this scenario, the investor wants to know if the organization will provide a sufficient and consistent return on the investment. In these scenarios, the financial information provides value to the process of allocating scarce resources (money).


Companies use their financial statements to inform their stakeholders, including investors, suppliers, and government agencies about their businesses’ financial positions and profits or losses. Accountants and bookkeepers are in charge of compiling financial statements and maintaining accounting records in the books. You may better serve your company by keeping common external users of financial statements in mind as you record business transactions and report on financial results. Different external users may find different types of information in financial statements more useful than others. Publicly traded companies are required by the SEC to issue financial statements every quarter along with a set of other documents included management analysis and discussion as well as important notes. These reports must also be audited by a certified public accounting firm to provide investors and creditors with assurance that the financial statements are understandable and an accurate representation of the company.

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