An Annual report is a comprehensive report on a company's activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are required by publicly traded companies, but some small businesses with multiple owners provide their shareholders with a form of annual reports.
The information annual reports contain must be accurate, but they are not the legal document that serves as the official report of the annual performance of a publicly traded company. In the United States, publicly-traded companies must submit a more-detailed version of the report, called a Form 10-K, to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance.
 Typical contents of an annual report
The following types of content can typically be found in an annual report of a large, publicly traded, company. They can be adapted for smaller, privately held companies who wish to prepare an annual report for shareholders or employees.
 General information
- Chairman's report
- CEO's report
- Auditor's report on corporate governance
- Mission statement
- Corporate governance statement of compliance
- Statement of directors' responsibilities
- Review of year's activities, initiative, challenges and successes
 Financial statements
- Auditor's report on the financial statements
- Balance sheet
- Statement of retained earnings
- Income statement
- Cash flow statement
- Notes to the financial statements
- Accounting policies
Other information deemed relevant to stakeholders may be included, such as a report on operations for manufacturing firms or corporate social responsibility reports for companies with environmentally- or socially-sensitive operations.