4.1 Business Report – Purpose

  • Business Report writing is used for a wide variety of topics and objectives, and a report can vary greatly in length, content, and format.
  • Examples include annual reports, monthly sales reports, reports requested by management exploring a specific issue, reports requested by the government showing a company’s compliance with regulations, progress reports, and feasibility studies.

4.2 Objectives – Business report

  • Market demand assessment
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product development
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  •  Feasibility study
  • Informational reports
  • Periodic reports
  •  Situational reports

4.3 Contents of Business Report

  • Title Page
  • Letter of authorization
  • Letter of transmittal
  • Table of contents
  • Synopsis or summary
  • Introduction
  • Body of the report
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices

4.4 Planning the report

  • Scope of the report
  • Define purpose
  • Determine  the audience
  • Research
  • Draft the report carefully (Sub Themes)
  • Consider charts, graphs, or short bulleted lists
  •  Revise the draft & Report format
  • Revise for wordiness
  • Proofread carefully

4.5 Types of Business Reports

Reports on the basis of Importance or Frequency The reports are classified into two types. They are ordinary or routine reports and special reports.

1. Ordinary or Routine Report
Ordinary reports are prepared and presented before the managing director at specific intervals or to the next authorized person in the business routine. The reports shall be submitted either daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. This type of report contains mere statement of facts in detail without any opinion or recommendation of the reporter.
Examples for routine reports are Report of Directors to the Annual General Meeting, Auditor’s Report to the Annual General Meeting, Sales Report, Production Report and the like.
2. Special Report
This type of report is prepared and presented before the top management on specific request. It usually contains the opinions or recommendations of the reporter with the help of facts and arguments. Examples for special report are opening of branch, introducing a new product, Improving the quality or changing the shape or size of the product and the like.
Reports on the Basis of Legal Formalities The reports are classified into two types. They are formal report and informal report.
1. Formal Report
Formal report is prepared in a prescribed format and presented before the competent authority in an established procedure. Reports submitted by officials or committees of constituted bodies (example: Companies, Cooperative Societies, Local Bodies etc.) are usually formal report.
2. Informal Report
Informal report is prepared in a format of the convenience of the reporter and presented directly before the required person as and when demanded. An informal report is presented as in the form of letter or memorandum. Generally, it takes the form of a person to person communication.
The formal reports are classified into two types. They are statutory report and non-statutory report.
Reports on the basis of Function The reports are classified on the basis of function into two types. They are informative and interpretative.
1. Informative Report
An informative report is prepared and presented with the help of available information at the maximum with regard to an issue or situation.
2. Interpretative Report
An interpretative report is not only contains the facts, views and opinions of reporters and others but also includes the causes for an issue or an event and required remedial action with recommendations.
Reports on the basis of meetings
Whenever a meeting is organized in any business organization, a report is prepared by the secretary or any other individual about the proceedings of the meeting. Such reports are classified into two types. They are Verbation Report and Summarized Report.
1. Verbation Reports
A verbation report is a complete word by word record of all discussions made at a meeting. For example, Appointment of an Auditor. A resolution is passed in the meeting. Likewise, Directors are appointed and the remuneration and perquisites of key personnel are fixed by passing a resolution. In this case, a report is prepared by including the verbation record of the resolutions passed with the names of the proposers and seconders, manner of voting and results However, the verbation report should not be confused with the minutes of the meeting which is the official record of the proceedings and the decisions arrived at in the meeting.
2. Summarised Report
A summarized report is prepared with the help of the essential details discussed in the meeting. This type of report is prepared for sending to the press or to shareholders of the company or members of the institution.
Reports on the basis of Nature of the Subject dealt with The following reports are included in the report which are classified on the basis of the nature of the subject dealt with.
 
1. Problem Solving Report
A problem may arise in any one of the department or in the whole organization. Hence, the top management may seek a report for solving the problem. When, the reporter collects various information to find the causes for such problem. Moreover, the report is concluded with the ways of solving the problem. Such type of report is called Problem Solving Report.
2. Fact Finding Report
A machine may be breakdown in the factory premises. Sometimes, there may be a rivalry between the two group of workers. Now, the management wants to know the real reason for machine break down and group clash between the workers. In this case, the reporter analyze the incident through detailed investigation and find the truth. Finally, the reporter presents the facts in the report form before the top management.
3. Performance Report
The business organization wants to know the performance of each department periodically or performance of a branch or performance of newly appointed employee or performance of existing employees for promotion, transfer and the like. The management is not in a position to take a decision without knowing the performance. Hence, a reporter is asked to prepare the performance report for anyone of the reasons mentioned above.
4. Technical Report
There is a lot of changes made in the technology. Whenever a company is going to introduce mechanical process instead of manual process, the level of technology required assessed. Sometimes a design may be changed in the existing product, if so, latest technology should be adopted. In this case, a detailed report is essential to top management for taking a decision. Such type of report is called Technical Report.
Reports of Committees or Subcommittees
Committees or Subcommittees are formed by the top management to prepare the report on any one of the issue. The followings are included in the reports of committee or subcommittee.
  • Standing Committee Report
  • Adhoc Committee Report
  • Minority Report
  • Majority Report
1. Standing Committee Report
Standing Committees are permanent in nature and are entrusted to deal with some continuing aspects of the business organization.
For example: Finance, Performance of Employees, Performance of Departments etc. These matters are continuously watched by the standing committee and submit the report at frequent intervals.
2. Special or adhoc Committee Report
Special or adhoc Committees are appointed to deal with special investigation and are dissolved as soon as the presentation of report. Hence, the life of special committee is temporary.
For example: Fire occurrence or Accident incurred within the factory premises. The causes for fire or accident are find out by forming special committee.
3. Minority Report
Committees or subcommittees are appointed to submit the report based on the investigation of special subject. Generally, three members are selected to form a committee or subcommittee. One member being the chairman of such committee or subcommittee.
If the members have different opinion or views over the subject matter dealt with, the dissentient member may append the notes of dissent or may submit a report separately. Such report is termed as Minority Report. Even though, the dissent members must sign in the majority report with dissent note.
4. Majority Report
Generally, all the members of the committee or subcommittee including chairman have unanimous opinion among them. If so, only one report is prepared and presented before the responsible body. If not so, majority members of the committee or subcommittee have different opinion than minority members. In this case, majority members are going to submit a report before the responsible body. Such report is termed as majority report.