The purpose of this research case is to introduce you to the Internet home pages of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
1. Access the SEC home page on the Internet (www.sec.gov). Under “About the SEC,” choose “What We Do.” What is the mission of the SEC? Why was the SEC created? What are the two objectives of the 1933 Securities Act? The 1934 Securities Exchange Act established the SEC. What does the 1934 Act empower the SEC to require?
2. Access www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begfinstmtguide.htm. What are the four main financial statements discussed by the SEC? What does each report? What information is disclosed in the notes and management discussion and analysis (MD&A)?
3. Access the FASB home page on the Internet (www.fasb.org). Select “Facts About FASB.” Describe the mission of the FASB. What is the relation between the SEC and the FASB?
4. Obtain a copy of the annual report of ConocoPhillips for the most recent year. You can find the annual report at the company’s website (www.conocophillips.com) in the investor information section or at the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov) using EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval). The SEC requires that Form 10-K, which includes the annual report, be filed on EDGAR. Answer the following questions:
(a) Did ConocoPhillips prepare the four financial statements discussed by the SEC?
(b) In the MD&A section, how does the company describe its business environment?
(c) Find the note disclosures to the financial statements. What does the disclosure on segment information discuss?