Accounting Principles and Practices
45-1 Interim financial information is essential to provide investors and others with timely information as to the progress of the entity. The usefulness of such information rests on the relationship that it has to the annual results of operations. Accordingly, each interim period should be viewed primarily as an integral part of an annual period.
Disclosure of Summarized Interim Financial Data by Publicly Traded Companies
50-1 Many publicly traded companies report summarized financial information at periodic interim dates in considerably less detail than that provided in annual financial statements. While this information provides more timely information than would result if complete financial statements were issued at the end of each interim period, the timeliness of presentation may be partially offset by a reduction in detail in the information provided. As a result, certain guides as to minimum disclosure are desirable. (It should be recognized that the minimum disclosures of summarized interim financial data required of publicly traded companies do not constitute a fair presentation of financial position and results of operations in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles [GAAP].) If publicly traded companies report summarized financial information at interim dates (including reports on fourth quarters), the following data should be reported, as a minimum: . . .
g. Changes in accounting principles or changes in accounting estimates (see paragraphs 270-10-45-12 through 45-16)
h. Significant changes in financial position (see paragraph 270-10-50-4) . . . .
50-2 If interim financial data and disclosures are not separately reported for the fourth quarter, users of the interim financial information often make inferences about that quarter by subtracting data based on the third quarter interim report from the annual results. In the absence of a separate fourth quarter report or disclosure of the results (as outlined in the preceding paragraph) for that quarter in the annual report, disposals of components of an entity and unusual or infrequently occurring items recognized in the fourth quarter, as well as the aggregate effect of year-end adjustments that are material to the results of that quarter (see paragraphs 270-10-05-2 and 270-10-45-10) shall be disclosed in the annual report in a note to the annual financial statements. If a publicly traded company that regularly reports interim information makes an accounting change during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year and does not report the data specified by the preceding paragraph in a separate fourth quarter report or in its annual report, the disclosures about the effect of the accounting change on interim periods that are required by paragraphs 270-10-45-12 through 45-14 or by paragraph 250-10-45-15, as appropriate, shall be made in a note to the annual financial statements for the fiscal year in which the change is made.
50-3 Disclosure of the impact of the financial results for interim periods of the matters discussed in paragraphs 270-10-45-12 through 45-16 and 270-10-50-5 through 50-6 is desirable for as many subsequent periods as necessary to keep the reader fully informed. There is a presumption that users of summarized interim financial data will have read the latest published annual report, including the financial disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and management’s commentary concerning the annual financial results, and that the summarized interim data will be viewed in that context. In this connection, management is encouraged to provide commentary relating to the effects of significant events upon the interim financial results.
50-4 Publicly traded companies are encouraged to publish balance sheet and cash flow data at interim dates since these data often assist users of the interim financial information in their understanding and interpretation of the income data reported. If condensed interim balance sheet information or cash flow data are not presented at interim reporting dates, significant changes since the last reporting period with respect to liquid assets, net working capital, long-term liabilities, or stockholders’ equity shall be disclosed.