What it is:
The objective of the 10-K and other SEC-required forms is to provide shareholders and prospective shareholders with accurate, relevant, and timely information about the financial and operating performance of the company.
How it works (Example):
The 10-K is just one of many forms a company that is publicly traded in the U.S. must file with the SEC. The main components include:
- Management's discussion and analysis of the company financial statements
- Auditor's report
- Three years of audited financial statements
- Notes to the financial statements
SEC regulations S-X and S-K (as well as the instructions to the 10-K form itself) dictate the specific elements, presentation, and disclosure requirements of the 10-K. Historically, companies had 90 days from the end of their fiscal years to file a 10-K. However in 2002, the SEC created new deadlines that range from 40 to 90 days depending on company size. In general, public companies with less than $10 million in assets do not have to file 10-Ks or other required forms.