The elements of financial statements are the classes of items contained in the financial statements. Financial statements portray the financial effects of transactions and other events by grouping them into broad classes according to their economic characteristics. These broad classes are termed the elements of financial statements.
That information is useful for existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors of the parent in their assessment of the prospects for future net cash inflows to the parent. This is because net cash inflows to the parent include distributions to the parent from its subsidiaries, and those distributions depend on net cash inflows to the subsidiaries.
The two most common reporting entities are a single legal entity preparing unconsolidated or company accounts or a group of legal entities preparing consolidated financial statements. Consolidation can be done at different levels, the most common being at the ultimate parent legal company level (the highest legal entity that controls any number of other legal entities) or at a sub-holding level by a reporting entity obliged to consolidate all legal entities it controls at this level.
A reporting period is the span of time covered by a set of financial statements, normally a year from 1 January Year to 31 December Year. The reporting period also called accounting period can also be for a interim period either for a month or quarter. Reporting entities consistently use the same reporting periods from year to year, so that their financial statements can be compared to the ones produced for prior years.
The objective of financial statements is to provide financial information about the reporting entity's assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses that is useful to users of financial statements in assessing the prospects for future net cash inflows to the reporting entity and in assessing management's stewardship of the entity's economic resources.
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