Typical Table of Contents of a Typical Annual Report

Annual Reports for public companies have some components that must be included for full disclosure. There are also components that companies that may choose to include. Our first job will be to develop a table of contents for your annual report. There is no fixed format or structure for annual reports. However, we’ve outlined the major parts of a typical annual report below.

A Long Term Historical Review

The Mission Statement
The Corporate Message
The History of Company or Organization
An Overview of the Products and Services with an Emphasis on New Offerings
A Letter to Stockholders
Management’s Report
Financial Summary of the Last 5 to 10 Years

Discussion of the Performance of the Company During the Previous Year

Significant Events
Significant Industry Trends and Their Implications for the Company
New Products and Services
New Patents
Research Undertaken or Completed
Discussion of Stock Performance

A Look at the Next Few Years

Plans for the Coming Year
Plans for the Three Years After the Coming Year
New Initiatives and Directions
New Products / Services

Financial Statements

Income Statement
Balance Sheet
Cash Flow Statement
Auditor’s Report
Graphs and Charts

The Table of Contents of Your Annual Report

Most companies have published their annual reports for many years. If the structure and content of those reports have been satisfactory for the stakeholders, then there is no need to change. If not, there should be no hesitation in making a radical departure from the status quo.

Changes to the table of contents and the writing style can be exciting refreshing. Photographs, images, and charts are powerful ways of grabbing the attention of readers; they drive the key points home. Companies should not hesitate to experiment with new styles for their annual reports in order to reflect the true nature of their cultures, values, and goals.