FRC: how credit analysts view and use financial statements

FRC have produced a short paper that focuses on credit analysts’ requirements and what should, in their opinion, be the new information content of the financial statements.

The paper is called How credit analysts view and use the financial statements and reports on a series of interviews, highlights the issues and makes two recommendations. The appendix to the paper considers in further detail some of the main issues. The following were highlighted in the report as being on the wish list for credit analysts:

  • Increased cashflow projection information.
  • Better balance sheet information. The paper states that “the balance sheet often presents an incomplete summary of a company’s assets and liabilities.”
  • Better information on operating margins by country and product line.
  • Better presentation of cashflow and debt items. The practice of presenting netted information on cash flow and debt items was highlighted as a deficiency.

“The conclusions to this review are that the FRC should:

a. seek to influence the IASB to spend more time talking to credit analysts as a separate class of users; and

b. in developing UK financial reporting standards, the needs of debt financers rather than solely equity financers should be considered”