Difference Between Annual Report and 10-K

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Annual Report and 10-K

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Both "annual report" and "10 k" are the company's yearly reports, 10 k is an extensive report cataloged by public companies. It elaborates on the features of the significance of the company's achievement every year in the context of advertising their companies to reach out to more people and grow year by year. These help in their progressions respectively on a large level.

Annual Report vs 10-k

The 10-K is commonly more detailed than the annual report, but it does not have photos and graphics. The annual report is a user-friendly publication, whereas, the 10-K is planned for investors and reviewers. The 10-K might be found on the SEC website; whereas the annual report needs to be already available on the website of the company.

Difference between Annual Report and 10-K in Tabular Form

Annual Report 10-K
The annual report is shorter than 10-K The 10-K report is shorter than the annual report
Annual reports are easy to understand 10-K reports are quite complicated to understand.
Annual reports are accessible on the company's websites merely. 10-K reports are found on the SEO website merely.

What is an Annual Report?

A corporation's annual report is considered to be an exemplified, huge booklet. It is a proficiently limited but adaptable publication, frequently approximating a printed magazine. It is planned for and circulated to shareholders but is also unrestricted and given to someone interested in the company. It works as an annual reference book for the corporation.

Annual reports generally include a letter from the chief executive officer, who is attributed as CEO of the company and chair of the board of directors, a survey of the history of the company, and short outlines of important company divisions and deputies, strategies, and various ambitions over the coming year. It is usually extravagantly demonstrated with proficiently taken photos and comprises charts, diagrams, maps, and so many other visuals. Annual reports might be regarded as grey literature.

The annual report even usually involves, usually towards the back, meaningful economic declarations, involving the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, giving a snapshot of the financial performance of the company over the previous year (usually in comparison to the past few years). Backing up these tools are notes, clarifying the accounting procedure, and the report of the auditor, a proclamation from the outside accounting corporation that examines the articles and attends to their accuracy.

Other information considered related to stakeholders might be incorporated, such as a report on policies for manufacturing corporations or corporate social duty reports for businesses with environmentally or socially delicate operations. In the prosecution of bigger companies, it is generally an elegant, colourful, high-quality publication. According to the research, annual reports that imply a positive tone are associated with downward audit expenses, suggesting that the annual report tone indicates components that auditors deem in examining audit obstacles.

Investors use the circumstances provided in the report to comprehend the financial position of the company and the path to the future. The economic declarations are generally assembled in obedience to IFRS and the familial GAAP, and domestic legislation (e.g., the SOX in the U.S.).

What is 10-k?

Public companies also need to submit a 10-K report each year. While it is officially cataloged with the SEC, it is also accessible to the public.

Usually, Form 10-K is a document compared to the annual report. As the name suggests, it is a form: The SEC has very rigorous approaches to what data must be composed and how it must be organized. This generic layout comprises no images or charts.

The 10-K comprises five various sections. The first three provide an outline of the main operations of the company, comprising its products and services, any chances the company faces, and certain financial data about the company over the last five years. The fourth has the senior administration's elaboration of its financial outcomes. The final section equips the numbers themselves, which means the company's audited economic assertions comprising the earnings statement, balance sheets, and statement of currency progressions.

Eventually, a 10-K report is an entire explanation of the company's economic workout during a provided year and an entire rundown of chances, lawfulness, drawbacks, corporate consensuses, strategies, and market execution. Also, 10-K reports give an entire calculation of the applicable industry, the marketplace as a sum, and particular business operations.

A 10-K must not be disturbed with a 10-Q, which is a quarterly filing with the SEC that details the company's financial information and performance for the last three months. The 10-Q does not comprise all the elaborated data, such as atmosphere and operations detail, that a 10-K does, and its pictures are not audited. Corporations file three 10-Qs a year; the fourth quarter is enclosed by their 10-K.

Sometimes, the 10-K is inferred as a company's "annual report" by economic pros—because it summarises the company's year.

The government expects companies to release 10-K forms so that investors can have essential knowledge about companies and they can give rise to acquainted investment conclusions. This form provides an apparent image of everything that a company does for its profit and what types of obstacles and hurdles it goes through.

Main Difference Between Annual Reports and 10- k in Points

  • The annual report is delivered to shareholders every year before the annual shareholder meeting and voting for the committee of directors, whereas, the last date for filing a 10-K is between 60 and 90 days after the end of the fiscal year of the company, relying upon the size of the company.
  • Typically, 10-Ks are established on the SEC website; whereas the annual report needs to be accessible on the website of the company, generally under the investor associations section. Where an annual report may include data of the company, financials, and a letter from the CEO, the 10-K will comprise numerous stakes and an elaborated debate of procedures.
  •  Both documents are significant when analyzing a company, although the 10-K is generally chosen by reviewers, provided its better comprehensive nature.
  • The layout and the purpose of the annual report are different from the 10-K. The annual report is more of a polished and user-friendly publication, planned for the layperson. It holds something of a public association process.
  • Indifference, 10-Ks tend to be extremely long and tougher to understand than annual reports. They are not formulated for simple construction by the normal person.
  • In the words of hard-core financials, the annual report proposes a briefer version of the 10-K report, the highlights, so to speak. That said, an investor or reviewer will nonetheless find the components of a company's finances in the annual report, encompassing the balance sheet and income statement, as well as other useful financial data.


Annual reports and 10 k, are both prominent parts of a company's growth or progress. Without these two, a company might face a huge financial loss. This article has been an elaborated discussion on the "annual report" and "10k" and a detailed description of how they differ from each other.


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"Difference Between Annual Report and 10-K." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-annual-report-and-10-k-1060>.

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