Business reports are extremely important, no matter the type or size of your business. The information they provide can help you see what is working in your company and what isn’t, so that you can make adjustments and improvements.
What is a business report?
A business report is an evaluation of a particular issue or financial operations that relate to the performance of a business. Its main purpose is to communicate relevant information efficiently. It is often written in response to an executive of the company, and often takes the form of a memo with the report attached.
How to structure a business report
Every business report should have the following elements:
Title – which should contain the title of the report, the name of the author, and the date. The report should be titled according to the given task.
Contents – If the report is lengthy, it’s good practise to include a table of contents. The table of contents lists the main topics the report covers and the page on which that information may be found. If someone is looking for specific information, he can go straight to the page that contains it.
Summery – The summary could be as short as a paragraph or as long as four pages, depending on the length of the full report.While the executive summary comes first in a report, it is written after the main part of the report has been written.
Introduction – The introduction sets the stage for what is included in the report. It highlights the major topics that are covered and provides background information on why the data in the report was collected.
Procedure/method/methodology – If you are conducting original research, include a section about your methods. This may be as simple as setting out the sources you are using and why you chose them. But it could also include how you have collected and analyzed the data used to draw your conclusions.
Findings – This part of the text should include all the relevant information, opinions, judgments, ideas, and the necessary facts and statistics to support the claims. The information in this part of the report should be divided into paragraphs and other logical parts, labeled by proper headings and subheadings. Most of the time, writing a business report requires prior investigation and research, therefore the resources of all the borrowed ideas, theories and insights should be properly acknowledged and cited.
Conclusion – The conclusion explains how the data described in the body of the document may be interpreted or what conclusions may be drawn. The conclusion often suggests how to use the data to improve some aspect of the business or recommends additional research.
Recommendations, the section where the author should suggest further actions for the company or department based on the research findings.
Appendices – If you choose to keep all charts, illustrations, tables, and so forth grouped together, they can be placed in an appendix at the end of the report. Supporting material such as maps, notes, questionnaires, or summaries of data may also go here. If you have several items appended, they would be headed as Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on.