Who Are the Internal & External Users of a Company’s Financial Statements?

In the presence of globalization, financial statements have become the standard measurement in judging a company’s performance. This article will assess the importance of financial statements to external users in addition to a qualitative factor. The scope of this article is limited to the importance of three financial statements that is profit and loss statement, statement of financial position, and statement of cash flow to potential shareholders (investors) and creditors. First, this article will explain an overview and usefulness of financial statements.

  • The cash flow statement helps suppliers understand how a company is managing its cash.
  • Figure 1.3 offers an overview of some of the differences between financial and managerial accounting.
  • They must rely on various accounting information in the organization’s financial statements to receive fair credit for their improved performance.
  • The balance sheet provides suppliers with a snapshot of a company’s financial position.

Before someone decides to invest any amount of capital into a company, they have an obligation to review all financial documents produced by the company and see if their investment is secure. Internal departments and employees consist of everyone who works in the company. Though they may not see the financials for themselves all of the time, they have a stake in the company’s success. As such, it’s important to them that those who need to make decisions get that information on time.

A union needs the financial statements in order to evaluate the ability of a business to pay compensation and benefits to the union members that it represents. Suppliers will require financial statements in order to decide whether it is safe to extend credit to a company. There are many users of the financial statements produced by an organization. The following list identifies the more common users and the reasons why they need this information. In short, there are many possible users of financial statements, all having different reasons for wanting access to this information. Governing bodies of the state, especially the tax authorities, are interested in an entity’s financial information for taxation and regulatory purposes.

Regulatory agencies

Different individuals or organizations provide these loans in exchange for interest. Stockholders are those who have some interest in the success of the company. Investors and creditors are a good example, but even the local community could represent stakeholders, all of whom are internal users. An example would be a large factory providing jobs to thousands within a local community, and if it were to fail, it would have a significant impact on the population.

An entity loaning money to an organization will require financial statements in order to estimate the ability of the borrower to pay back all loaned funds and related interest charges. Investors will likely require financial statements to be provided, since they are the owners of the business and want to understand the performance of their investment. They are after the ability of the company to pay salaries and provide employee benefits.

Free Financial Statements Cheat Sheet

Therefore, the function of internal auditors is to ensure that all financial statements are presented correctly and remain compliant. Accountants provide information that helps government departments conduct their watchdog functions over business subject to the units. For example, it is the responsibility of the income tax department to monitor and audit tax compliance. Accountants provide relevant financial information to help the department carry out its work efficiently and effectively.

Difference Between Internal And External Users Of Accounting Information

Financial accounting is one of the broad categories in the study of accounting. These financial statements ensure the information is consistent from period to period and generally comparable between organizations. The conventions also ensure that the information provided is both reliable and relevant to the user. Financial reports prepared for internal use are different from the financial reports that are available to the public. Generally, internal financial reports tend to be more detailed in order to provide management with enough information to help in the decision-making process.

Rating Agencies

In general, the state would like to know how much the taxpayer makes to determine the tax due thereon. The managers, whether owners or hired, regularly face economic decisions – How much supplies will we purchase? All those, and many other questions and business decisions, require analysis of accounting information. Vendors are the suppliers who supply something like raw material or other goods to the company that the company needs in their day to day operations. Lenders want to know if a business can pay for outstanding loans, and whether they have sufficient collateral to support the loans. Based on their review of a borrower’s financial statements, they may call a loan or be willing to extend additional funds.

External users, on the other hand, are not involved in the operations of the company but hold some financial interest. The external users may be classified further into users with direct financial interest – owners, investors, creditors; and users with indirect financial interest – government, employees, customers and the others. In this article, we will learn in-depth about the top internal and external users of financial statements and much more. Everyone within this group works directly within the company and has a stake in its success. This group includes all directors, such as the CEO, COO, and VPs, who must make important decisions concerning the company’s finances.

A positive cash flow from operations is a good sign that the company can meet its ongoing operational expenses, including payments to suppliers. The cash flow statement is of particular interest to lenders and creditors. It shows whether a company generates enough cash from its operations to meet its current liabilities. A positive operating cash flow indicates good liquidity, which is an encouraging sign for lenders and creditors. Secondly, the balance sheet can offer insights into a company’s financial stability. A company with a healthy balance of assets and liabilities is likely to be more resilient in the face of economic downturns.


The information will help the management to distinguish between the credit customers who are paying credit on time and the credit customers who have delayed or defaulted on credit payments. When the financial reports show a decline in a specific department’s productivity despite receiving increased funding, the management may use the internal report to reorganize the department. Also, management can use the employee reports to encourage whistleblowing activities, where employees report activities that violate company policies. A government in whose jurisdiction a company is located will request financial statements in order to determine whether the business paid the appropriate amount of taxes. Like lenders, trade creditors or suppliers are interested in the company’s ability to pay obligations when they become due.

Ask a question about your financial situation providing as much detail as possible. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others. Accountants provide relevant accounting information to the public, which enables them to identify financial irregularities and therefore prevent and detect corruption. For example, if any party (e.g., a wholesaler) believes that a product may be unavailable in the future, they will shift their choice to another product.

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