Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Are published annual reports of public companies still necessary in the digital age?

The practice of providing investors of public companies with audited annual financial statements has been around since the 19th century. The reason for the mandatory annual report was that there were no other means of obtaining financial information from companies at that time. This tradition has remained unchanged even in this modern era despite the advances in information technology and the growth in the secondary sources of information from analysts and brokers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the needs of users of financial information in the modern age and argue for a change in the mandatory annual reporting process.