Primary sources of information on companies include documents such as Annual Reports, SEC filings, (10-K, 10-Q, Prospectuses, Proxy Statements), News Releases, Company documents and webpage. This information may include presentations, interviews, videos and promotional materials in addition to financial statements. Note that SEC filings will only be available for public companies.
Use primary sources to understand the company perspective on its mission and business.
You can often determine the organizational structure based on your analysis of the key executives and their titles. Occasionally companies may post their organizational charts online, such as General Electric but often these can be difficult to find. It's important to insure that any image of an organizational chart be current.
Most companies will post their primary SEC filings, such as the 10-K reports, on the investor's section of the company webpage but you can also search the SEC's Edgar database directly.
Key filings include
Remember that a primary source presents information from the company perspective. It may not represent the views of other stakeholders. Here are some suggestions for locating primary sources:
Companies will often post documents and policies on their webpage. For example, companies choosing to make statements about corporate responsibiltiy or other issues will often make policy documents available. Here are some examples
Here are some examples of corporate policy statements related to the environment and sustainability. Many companies will also submit their reports to an organization called the Global Reporting Initiative.