Manufacturing Corporate Identities: An Analysis of Financial Statement Footnote Disclosures

William Smith, Mark Hillon

Abstract


Financial reporting of organizational performance is facilitated primarily through financial statements and the related supplemental disclosures found in the annual report or Form 10-K. Standardized financial statements, such as the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows, are mostly uniform in format and thus provide for inter-firm comparisons of various financial metrics. This “boilerplate” format provides for simple “net income” or “current assets” comparisons between firms given the uniformity of the content contained within each financial statement; however, there are supplemental disclosures contained within these reports that should provide additional information to illuminate and thereby enhance the financial statement content. 


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