Reports are documents designed to record and convey information to the reader. They are usually part of any business or organization – from credit reports to police reports and they serve to document specific information for specific audiences, goals, or functions. So, today we will learn more about business reports.
What Are Business Reports?
Reports are often analytical or involve the rational analysis of information. Sometimes they simply “report the facts” with no analysis at all, but still need to communicate the information in a clear and concise format. However, some reports summarize past events, present current data and forecast future trends.
While a report may have conclusions, propositions, or even a call to action, the demonstration of the analysis is the primary function. For example, a sales report is not designed to make an individual sale. It is, however, supposed to report sales to date and may forecast future sales based on previous trends.
Hence, business reports refer to a type of assignment in which you analyze a situation (either a real problem or a case study) and apply business theories to produce a range of suggestions for improvement. It can also be defined as an impartial, objective, planned presentation of facts to one or more persons for a specific business purpose.
Purpose of a Business Report:
A business report has several purposes such as:
- Examine available and potential solutions to a problem, situation, or issue.
- Apply business and management theory to a practical situation.
- Demonstrate your analytical, reasoning, and evaluation skills in identifying and weighing up possible solutions and outcomes.
- Reach conclusions about a problem or issue.
- Provide recommendations for future action.
- Show concise and clear communication skills.
Classification of Reports:
- Formal reports: These are carefully structured reports that stress objectivity and organization, consisting of much detail. In addition, they are written in a style that tends to eliminate elements like personal pronouns.
- Informal reports: They are usually short messages with natural and casual use of language. For example, the internal memorandum can be described as an informal report.
- Regular and Routine Reports: These are reports that are written regularly. They include sales reports, maintenance reports, financial reports, progress reports, health and safety reports etc.
- Occasional Reports: These are reports that are produced to deal with particular incidences that may happen in a job. They include accident reports and disciplinary reports.
- Specially commissioned reports: These are reports that are written for special purposes and for a particular review. These include market research reports, personnel reports, policy reports, investigatory reports and market forecasting reports.
Business Report Structure
Business reports usually adopt the following style:
This is the first section of the report and is the easiest to write. The purpose of the introduction is to:
- State the purpose or aim of the report, which may include who has asked for it.
- Provide background details relevant to the situation, such as a brief overview of historical developments.
- Summaries the problems and recommended solutions.
- Clarify any limitations, restrictions, and assumptions made.
The discussion section is generally the only section where you are able to support your analysis and reasoning with ideas and, concepts available within the course. Moreover, it is the only place where you can actually provide evidence to back up your conclusions and recommendations. As a result, evidence must be drawn from the literature, course materials, as well as your own observations from the actual case or organization.
- Arrange each point in order of importance, rather than necessarily in the order found in your discussion.
- Match each point in sequence with the list of recommendations.
- Each point provides a summary of one of the problems outlined in detail in the report.
- Ensure each point links with the report’s objectives.
- Write each conclusion in the present tense.
- Each point needs to be specific and clear.
- Each recommendation should appear in sequence with the order of points in the list of conclusions.
- Each proposal should provide a response to each problem identified in the list of findings.
- Each proposal should be action-oriented, concise, and clear.
- Each proposal should also be realistic and feasible within the social, economic, and political climate.
What do you think about business reports? Please share your comments!