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ACCT 601: Financial Accounting: SEC Filings & Investment Reports

This is an accounting guide for conducting company research along with financial data, analysis and current news stories (Financial Accounting, graduate accounting course.) Course guide for ACCT 601.

  SEC Filings

SECPublicly-traded companies must file financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the body that oversees all U.S. stock exchanges. The most useful is the 10-K, an official audited document that includes similar information from a prospectus or annual report, but provides additional updated financial information on corporate activities. Filings can be found at the SEC's Edgar Database.

Other commonly-sought filings include:

  • 10-Q: quarterly report
  • Proxy statements, including the DEF14-A
  • 8-K current event informational filings

These filings collectively are the source material for available financial statements and other factual data in our various subscription databases and many other free web company information sources.

What's EDGAR?

EDGAR is the Securities & Exchange Commission's (SEC) public website for finding and retrieving required periodic company information filings.

Conference Call Transcripts

Conference calls are substantive conversations between company's upper management and investment banking analysts covering topics including:

  • Earnings announcements
  • Significant events (e.g. auditor changes, restatement of financials, change in management)
  • Changes in strategic or operational direction. 

These are recorded and transcribed, and made available from various sources, including company web sites. Companies don't always keep a backfile of these on their websites, so Factiva can be a good alternative. 

Resources for Investment Analyst Reports

In addition to checking the company's website, here are other sources to check for analysis of a company's operational and financial prospects.