It dates from the development of huge scale business and the advent of Joint Stock Company as a form of business that enables the public to participate in giving capital in return for 'shares' in the assets and the profits of the company. This type of business organization allows a bounded to the responsibility of their members to the nominal value of their shares. It senses that the liability of the shareholder for the financial debts of the company is restricted to the amount he had decided to pay on the shares he buys. He is in responsible to make any extra donation in the event of the company's liquidation or failure. As a manner of fact, the law governing the operations or functioning of such company in any country, for illustration: the Companies Act in India that gives a legal form to the doctrine of stewardship that requires which information be disclosed to the shareholders in the appearance of annual balance sheet and income statement.
Briefly speaking, the income statement is a statement of loss and profit made throughout the year of the report and the balance sheet shows the assets held through the firm and the monetary claims against the firm. The common unwillingness of the company directors to release more than the minimum information needed by law and through the growing public awareness that have forced the governments in different countries of the world to expand the disclosure of information and needs.
The significance attached to financial accounting statements can be traced to the requirement of the society to mobilize the savings and channel them in profitable investments.
Investors, where they are small or large, should be provided along with reliable and adequate information in order to be capable to make efficient investment decisions. It is the most important social reason of financial accounting.