Primary statements

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Financial reporting.

In financial reporting, primary statements are the main accounting statements required to be presented.


These normally include statements of:

  • Financial position (balance sheet).
  • Comprehensive income (profit or loss).
  • Changes in equity.
  • Cash flows.


The primary statements are supported by notes providing additional and more detailed financial information.


The names of the primary financial statements are not normally mandatory, and they also differ according the accounting regime under which an entity is reporting.


Comprehensive income and profit or loss

Comprehensive income includes both:

  • Profit or loss for the period; and
  • Other comprehensive income for the period.


(The statement of profit or loss is also known as the income statement.)


Many entities report their profit or loss and other comprehensive income in two separate statements.

In these cases, there are FIVE primary financial statements:


1. Financial position/balance sheet

2. Cash flow

3. Profit or loss/income statement

4. Other comprehensive income

5. Changes in equity


See also