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Business report

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Significance of report writing in Business

Organizations need accurate, timely, objective and concise information to make effective decisions. One way they can obtain such information is from a business report. This document can be defined as “an organizedpresentation of information to a specific audience for the purpose of helping an organization achieve an objective” While business reports share similar characteristics, they also need to be customized for their particular purpose. An informal report may be a brief summary while longer reports follow a more complex and formal structure.

Why do we need to write a business report?
A report that details the last type could highlight a problem and suggest a solution which might involve analyzing a business’s history, operations, problems, competition and goals, followed by a number of possible solutions (including their advantages and Disadvantages). Following this investigation, a specific solution might be recommended to aid future growth.

Often recommend action to solve a specific problem
Format &Structure
Use shorter, more concise paragraphs and dot-points where applicable Abstract
Always have an abstract (or executive summary) as readers are typically ‘time poor’ and skim and scan through the text quickly Graphics
Feature graphics (such as tables and graphs) for Supporting main points Writer
Are often the results of group work.
Are addressed to a specific audience (i.e. client or manager) established by the topic Business Communication
While some smaller companies may not find themselves writing a great deal of business reports, larger companies use business reports throughout the year. A business report can be the best way a company has to communicate vital financial and background information to others. Many larger companies that write business reports throughout the year to employees and for board members hire a staff who do nothing but keep abreast of company changes and
write current business reports. Depending on the situation, failing to have a well-written business report to present when you need one can make it difficult to acquire funding, cause company turmoil or may make it difficult to achieve company goals.

Business reports are written to communicate. Sometimes they are written as a means to attract investors to your organization. Business reports are also written for employees, to keep them abreast of a company’s goals and achievements. Whichever audience the report is written for, the purpose is to communicate specific information about your business.

Problem Solving
Many business reports are written to illustrate a specific problem within the company. These types of reports present a problem along with solutions to help correct the problems. This type of report is often directed at employees. An example problem that a business report may address for employees would be a situation in which the company may be looking to downsize. This affects employees. The business report might state the standing of the business and why it may be forced to downsize. The report may also enlist the help of employees to find ways to avoid the downsize.

Financial Reporting
A business report might be written from a financial statement perspective. This type of business report will be aimed at advisers. To an extent, it can be used to inform employees about the financial standing of the company as well. A business report may be presented for this purpose at the end of each fiscal year.

Marketing Reports
A business report can be important when setting up marketing strategies. Before entering a new market or targeting consumers, a company may write a business report that an advertising agency can use to help devise a marketing strategy. There may also be a separate report written to help obtain financing for a media push. Types of Business Reports

Business reports allow you to present pertinent facts, figures and information for analysis. This allows companies to create business plans and budgets, and make marketing and advertising decisions as well as purchasing and human resources decisions. It is important to format information in a business report so it can be read quickly and easily. Informational Reports

When you need to provide information without opinion or suggestions, an informational report is typically the best format. For example, if you need information about how many employees work in each department and their job function, you would create an informational report. You might include employee names, years of service and salary, as well as an organizational chart. Another type of informational report might provide spending breakdowns by department or types of spending. Informational reports can be further broken down into time frames, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

Analytical Reports
When a company is trying to solve a problem or make a decision, an analytical report might be necessary. These reports offer both a narration of facts as well as data, explanations and conclusions. For example, a quarterly sales analysis might detail corporate initiatives, sales, expenditures and profit and loss. It could include successful endeavors as well as not-so-successful endeavors. An analytical report of this type might describe the company’s advertising and promotional activities and their results.

Research Reports
When executives make decisions about new products and services, expanding personnel or layoffs, they might use research reports. Research specialists or teams are given an issue or topic and asked to create a report that provides all details about the topic, including relevant facts and statistics. The report typically offers the conclusions of the researcher(s) as well as alternate options and their potential outcomes, all backed up by the appropriate research.

Business people are busy and well-written communications help save time. Additionally, good writing adds to the credibility of the writer and reflects positively on a company’s image.

Writing skills are particularly important to advertising copywriters. These professionals create magazine, newspaper, and Internet advertisements to convince readers to purchase a company’s products or services. For example, an advertisement’s headline must grab the consumer’s attention and get her to read the company’s offer. A company’s sales brochures and other advertising materials must also be written effectively.

Human resources managers need excellent writing skills to attract, select, and hire the right employees. It takes a considerable amount of money to place advertisements and hire employees. Job advertisements must appeal to job applicants with the right education and experience. Human resources managers with the best writing skills know how to state specific qualifications in a job advertisement.

Employees must not only know how to write effectively, they must also be discreet in their written work. For example, employees should not write emails when they are angry or upset as emails can be saved and later printed. An employee who says inappropriate things in an email can create trouble or even be fired. Jokes, profanity, and crude written communications are also prohibited in the workplace.

Good Business Writing
Writing well is important for the success of any business or organization. Business owners and their employees who can write clearly and concisely have a competitive edge over others who are still struggling to communicate. Having multiple sets of eyes on business documents can prevent poorly written material from reaching your target audience.

Writing the Business Report
Companies may have a standard format for reports, or you may have to decide the content and format yourself. Generally, the standard components of a Business Report are: Title Page
Letter of authorization:
This letter comes from the person who authorized the report and should state the purpose of the report and its significance to the company and/or recipients. Letter of transmittal:
This letter is usually in memo format and contains a list of everyone who should receive a copy of the report. This can be used as a check list for distribution. Table of contents:
For page numbers, use lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii) for the letter of authorization, letter of transmittal, and synopsis. All other sections should be numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3).

Synopsis or summary:
The synopsis provides a one-half to one page overview of the report. Identify the purpose of the report as well as the results. Be sure to include key information. Refer to the Executive Summary page for more information.

The introduction should describe the purpose of the report, the research methods, and the organization of the report. It should provide the reader with the necessary background information about why the report was written. The introduction should also generate interest in the report. Body of the report:

The body of the report should include all the relevant information you have gathered. You need to present your findings along with the supporting information and analysis. You can also use illustrations such as charts and graphs to support your results. Organize this section using headings (centered) and subheadings (left justified). Conclusions:

Briefly and clearly state your findings or conclusions. Depending on your objective, your conclusions will vary. For example, if your purpose was to evaluate the need for new quality control procedures in manufacturing, you may conclude that because of the increasing number of defective products and customer complaints, it is vitally important for the company to improve their quality control procedures. However, if your purpose was to investigate competitors’ products and services, your conclusions would briefly describe the relevant products on the market. Recommendations:

You may be asked to provide recommendations for further action in addition to your findings or conclusions. For example, you may propose changes to the quality control procedures. Be sure to justify your recommendations and provide an implementation plan.

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