- Factual– there is no opportunity for comments and personal opinions that are not verifiable. A business report relies on facts and sometimes figures which serve as a basis for conclusions and recommendations. If a business report is laden with emotions and lacks evidence, it cannot influence any meaningful decision.
- Objective– a business report must also be objective; personal biases do not come into a business report. Lack of objectivity undermines the effectiveness and integrity of the business.
- Planned– it is a deliberate process. The organization sees the need for an inquiry and commissions a body or group to conduct research. There is usually a term of reference, expected outcomes and a planned process for utilizing the recommendations of the business report. It is therefore not done haphazardly.
- Systematic– written business report follow established process or guideline. From the commissioning to the stage that a report is packaged and presented to the commissioner, there is an established process with rules and regulations. Therefore, every stage is important and can never be neglected in business report.
What is Business Report?
As we hinted earlier, business report is a statement of facts written in a systematic way about a specific business matter as an approach to standard business protocols. The aim of business report is that it helps business person and stakeholders to get a thorough knowledge of the business, problems facing the business and how to address it.
Business reports are statement of facts showcasing the complete business information. The objective of business reports is to give the information in an organized manner which helps to make major decisions and plan for the future. Business reports help businesses plan budgets and decide on promotions and advertisements based on the drafted information.
Types of Business Report
There are two major types of business reports; they includes: Formal and Informal reports. Business organizations depend on formal and informal reports for them to make decisions. It is important for a report writer to identify the type that a situation requires and follow the required steps for writing such report. Business reports are broadly classified into two: short, informal report and long, formal reports:
1. Informal Business Reports
Informal business reports are usually very short and used in communicating day-to-day information in a business organization. For example, a memo is a kind of informal business report used in communicating information to individuals within an organization. It contains only a title and a short body which is all about actions to be taken, instructions to be noted or special information that must be documented.
Another example of informal business report is a letter which is used both internally and externally to exchange information. Business organizations use informal reports more often than formal reports. Also, progress reports, periodic reports and technical reports are forms of informal reports.
A progress report is very important to managers since it helps them to monitor on-going activities on the projects of a company. It details the extent of works done, new progress and a forecast.
A periodic report is written at intervals may be daily, weekly or monthly to intimate readers on state of events and activities in an organization. Finally, a technical report is prepared to convey specialized information meant for professionals in a field.
2. Formal Business Reports
Formal business report deal with complex issues that are crucial to the missions of an organization. They are not usually written every day or every month like informal business reports. They are formal because they follow established guidelines and formats, and rely on painstaking research. These are the parts of a formal report:
- Title page
- Letter or Memo of Transmittal Table of contents
- List of illustrations Executive summary
- Glossary Appendix
- Bibliography or Reference list
Parts of Business Report
- Title Page: This section contain the topics and title of the report.
- Introduction: This section outlines what you will be going over in your report. It includes the main points, chosen report structure, and, most importantly, the objective of your report.
- Table of Contents: Depending on the length of the report, you might want to consider including a table of contents. This will make finding specific information easier for readers.
- Body: The body is where you discuss the points of your report in detail. This section is divided by headings that inform your reader what information can be found in the following paragraph/s. The structure of this section will vary depending on the type of report, information/data you are relaying to the company, and whether or not a deep analysis is necessary.
- Conclusion: In the conclusion, be sure to briefly summarize all of the main points in the order they were presented in the report.
- Recommendations: This section is where you provide your recommendations or suggestions based on the findings you noted in earlier sections. Indicate the potential benefits for the company to applying your suggestions.
- References: Be sure to cite all sources used in the report in this section.
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