Pick a publicly traded company and find the most current annual report.

  • How easy or hard was it to find?
  • What are the main components of the annual report and/or form 10-K?
  • Where are the audited financial statements? Were they easy to locate?

Find the balance sheet:

  • What items on the asset section of the balance sheet seem most relevant to the company? (For instance, inventory is far more relevant to Home Depot than it is to McDonalds or Facebook.)
  • Why do you think those items are relevant?
  • What additional information do you find in the footnotes?
  • What information is not disclosed that you might want to know?

What kinds of things is the company invested in? Are the statements consolidated? Is there goodwill recorded? What other intangible assets and investments do you find? Which of these seem relevant to the business operations? (For instance, Facebook has billions of dollars invested in marketable securities, but it’s business is social media.)

What other items do you find on the balance sheet that pique your curiosity? What items do you find that you can relate back to this course—what are the things you understand now that you have studied that you might not have understood before?

What things are still strange to you, and how will you go about educating yourself about them? If you looked something up, what was your source, and was it credible?

What questions come up as you scan the report you have chosen?