The Evolution of the Coca-Cola Company’s Financial Disclosures (Simplified Chinese Version)
(3 pages of text)
The Coca-Cola Company, founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886, is an iconic American company that sells its products around the world. As the business and financial reporting context has changed over the decades, the company’s financial disclosure practices have also evolved—from its first, two-page, public annual report in 1920 to present-day annual reports that extend to over 150 pages. This note introduces corporate disclosure and the expansion of such disclosures over time. To aid the discussion and contextualize the evolution of corporate disclosure, the note also presents a short history of the Coca-Cola Company and securities legislation in the United States.
The note can be used at the introductory or undergraduate level. For students familiar with accounting, the learning objective is to contextualize contemporary financial statements in their historical context. For first-time accounting students, the learning objective is to introduce key parts of the financial statements in a historically interesting way. After reading the note, students will understand the following:
- A brief history of securities legislation in the United States.
- The evolution of corporate disclosure from the 1920s to present day.
- A comparison of historical and present-day elements of an annual report.
United States, Large, 1920-2000
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