The users of private company financial statements are looking for accuracy, comparability and more information, according to a report released by the Financial Executives Research Foundation.

The first in the group's private company research series, the report, "What Do Users of Private Company Financial Statements Want?," summarizes interviews with preparers of financial statements as well as commercial and investment bankers.

"Most financial executives would agree that serving the needs of the users of financial statements is one of the primary objectives of financial reporting," said Colleen Cunningham, president and chief executive of the foundation and its parent group, Financial Executives International, in a statement. "With this report we aimed to identify the specific needs of those users of private company financial statements."

Among some of the insights further developed in the report:

  • Bankers want annual audited GAAP financial statements for accuracy and comparability, as well as quarterly financial statements.
  • Investment Bankers want supplemental information beyond GAAP, such as a history of capital expenditures and believe a fair value appraisal should be required if a company is not liquid.
  • Investors are more interested in operating data than financial data and consider trend lines and year-over-year comparisons to be important.
  • As far as internal controls were concerned, the only users that requested compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley are investment bankers, in anticipation of a sale of a company, or an initial public offering.

The report is free to members, or can be purchased online at www.fei.org/rfbookstore.

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