Volume of data in financial statement

A simplistic (but surprisingly effective) measure of complexity is the volume of data in a financial statement. For instance, the 10K filings made by firms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) range in size from less than 200 pages to in

17 We just took the debt of the books to reduce the interest rate that we pay, they will claim, but we did mention it in a footnote. In response, we would argue that investors should not have to troll through footnotes to find out how the firm owes.

excess of 1000 pages. In table 16.1, we summarize the length of the filings for the 2004 financial year for ten large market capitalization firms in the United States.

Table 16.1: Complexity in Financial Statements: U.S. companies


Number of pages in last 10Q

Number of pages in last 10K

General Electric

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