Business reports are like bridges spanning time and space. Organizations use them to provide a formal, verifiable link among people, places, and times. Some reports are needed for internal communication: others are vehicle for corresponding with outsiders. Some are required as a permanent record; others are needed to solve an immediate problem or to answer a passing question. Many move upward through the chain of command to help managers monitor the various units in the organization; some move downward to explain management decisions to lower level employees responsible for day-to-day operations.
The purpose of a business report is to convey essential information in an organized, useful format. And despite technological advances, the ability to accumulate data, organize facts, and compose a readable text remains a highly marketable skill.
A well prepared business report will provide COMPLETE, ACCURATE information about an aspect of a company’s operations. The subject of a report may vary from expenses to profits, production to sales, marketing trends to customer relations. The information provided by a report is often mean to influence decisions, to determine changes, improvements, or solutions to problems. Therefore, the report must also be CLEAR, CONCISE, and READABLE.
The format of a business report may vary, from a brief informal report intend for in-house use to voluminous formal report intended for a national public distribution. Some reports consists entirely of prose while others consists of statistics; and still other reports may employ a combination of prose, tables, charts and graphs.
The style of a report depends upon the audience. An informal report to be read only by close associates may be worded personally; in such a report “I” or”WE” is acceptable. A formal report, on the other hand, must be impersonal and expressed entirely in the third person.