15 Characteristics And Features of a Good Business Report

What is a business report?

A business report represents the compilation of various information regarding business interests such as present facts, statistical data, arguments, research analysis, and more such data. It is usually an unbiased, orderly, and factual report readied to back the purpose of the business. That is why every organization values the importance of a business report.

A business report is prepared after thorough scrutiny, estimation, and assessment of significant conditions and issues that concern the operating organization.

This report helps to handle several steps in running a business, such as –

  • Planning
  • Creating a mechanized workflow 
  • Reviewing process
  • Decision making 
  • In setting practical expectations

15 Characteristics of a Good Business Report That You Should Check

1) Apposite Title

A business report will be incomplete without a properly suitable title. Thus, an appropriate title has to be given based on the type of its contents. The report makers must keep in mind that the title has to be able to highlight the nature of the report. It will not only focus on the purpose of the report but also attract the officials whom the report has been prepared for.

2) Promptness 

Business reports are to be arranged and submitted within a limited time span. Therefore, to make it keep its promptness precisely, the report makers must follow the below-mentioned points not ignore the accuracy of the information – 

  • Accounting data should be arranged keeping in mind the requirements of submission of various reports.
  • Automated devices can be used for the safe-keeping of reports and to avoid clerical errors.
  • Departmentalization of accounting works should be done to avert bottle-neck reporting. 

3) Comparability 

Business reports possess some comparative data most of the time. It usually compares prospective information, which has been prepared in advance, to the actual data; or standard data is compared with the actual one. For such cases, significant variations must be highlighted accurately. 

4) Precision & Accuracy

A business report has to be precisely prepared while its accuracy remains to enact. It has to be specific. Sometimes, too much data can overwhelm the ones to whom the report is presented; a lesser amount of information makes the report seem incomplete leaving the readers wondering.

Hence, no matter if it is a short or long report, a precise synopsis must be prepared beforehand which covers all important data and conclusions. 

5) Consistency

Some statistical data remains the same for several years. And for such stances, one business report is followed and accepted as valid. Abiding the same accounting concepts for accumulating, categorizing, formulating, and presenting the data is a possibility.

Therefore, making a report and keeping consistency is a must. Besides, a utility of a business report is amplified through consistency.

6) Inclusion of Routine Details

Having routine details included in the content enhances the quality of business communication report writing. It contains various kinds of data such as the time period when the report was prepared, the period covered in the report material, the date of presentation, the units of the data mentioned accordingly, the name of the person who prepared the report as well as the person who is going to present it, and the names of the persons whom it is being submitted to.

7) Timeliness

Submitting the business report within the stipulated time keeps its accuracy and practicality enacted. A report presented late is a report going waste! For example, financial information is only valuable in a report when it is fresh and can be used for recent research. Thus, keeping up with timeliness will enhance the nature of the business report.

8) Adaptability

A business report must be prepared to highlight the business needs of the organization, so the person/persons, it is being submitted, can use the report to meet various levels of management.

In case, the officials work at different operative levels, they must be able to understand which part of the report is prepared for their use. Only then, a report will be considered advantageous. 

9) The ability to Control Situations 

There are various types of favorable and unfavorable variances in a business. An effective report includes both in a precise manner, so the favorable ones can be developed further. The unfavorable variances must be highlighted specifically so the right level of management can control and correct them. In case, any unfavorable variance is out of measure, it must be emphasized separately.

10) Channel Effective Communication 

When the management officials take action following the business report, it suggests that the report has been able to influence decisions and there is an effective communication stationed because of it.

It is of most importance that the receiving side understands the contents and information stated in the report. A good report is always able to ignite at least a discussion within management levels.

11) Frequency of Report

Some business reports are prepared on a weekly basis while some are needed monthly, in a span of a fortnight, or even daily. Reports should be built keeping in mind their nature, purpose, and how it is to be utilized by the persons it is being submitted to. In addition, a report must never reach late to its destination.

12) Data Co-ordination

While building a business report, one gathers information from various levels of management. In such cases, the coordination among various data collected from the different departments is a must-need.

If the presenter fails to relate the information, it may cause severe confusion and misunderstanding, which will end up ruining the importance of the business report.

13) Reader Oriented & Objective 

The report must be prepared to keep in mind the kind of reader it is going to be submitted to. The manner varies based on if the receivers are supervisors, managers, directors, and so forth, or general workers and shareholders.

Furthermore, the report must recommend a logical conclusion in accordance with the research analysis. It should remain unbiased and should not hold anybody’s interest.

14) Simple & Ambiguous Language

The person preparing a business report must use simple and easily understandable language while writing it. The clear and ambiguous language will keep it genuine and comprehensive.

The report should not confuse people as its purpose is to deliver awareness and goals regarding the business. The use of language should as clear as possible; on the other hand, it must not lose its purpose.

15) Media of Presentation

Several types of media can be used for presenting a business report. It can be readied in written, oral, or graphic form as the ultimate aim of a report is to make others understand its purpose.

An ideal business report often carries a successful blend of various media through which the report does not only become more catchy but gets a fine structure as well.

Essentials Elements of a Business Report

1) Title Page

The presentation of the title page of a business report represents its eminence. Hence, it is of great significance. The title page must begin with a proper label along with the name of the person who prepared the report, the name/names of the audience it is being submitted to, the date of submission, and the name of the organization. 

2) Effective Abstract 

It is of most importance that the report has a highly efficient abstract that summarizes the purpose and key points of the entire business report. The usual length of an Abstract is 200-250 words. In case, an Executive summary is added, it can be one page or shorter. Including an “abstract” is a must for both long and short reports.

3) Table of Contents

No matter how short, the table of contents should be listed on a separate page. This is basically the third page following the title and abstract page. 

4) List of Tables/Figures/Symbols/Abbreviations

In case, there are more than five tables or figures in a business report, it is safe to prepare a separate “list of tables” page following the contents page. Similarly, if there are more than five symbols or abbreviations used in the report, including a “list of symbols” or “abbreviations” page is the smartest decision. 

5) Introduction

The main body of an effective report should start with an excellent introduction that depicts the goal and scope of the entire report. Whatever background research data has been added in the report, must be mentioned here to help the audience understand them without any trouble. 

6) Body 

Each primary section of the report should begin with an apt heading. The body covers the key sections of the report be it an existing problem, a potential solution, or any subject of interest that matters to the audience. Also, including illustrations, tables, figures, symbols, research and sources makes the body of a report more proficient. 

7) Conclusion & Objectives

This is an essential element of a good report. The report must end with a well-prepared concluding page where the presenter may add his/her own arguments and ideas. 

8) Endnotes & Bibliography 

If there is no footnote in the body of the report, the page after “conclusion” must be dedicated to “endnotes,”. The “bibliography” contains sources of any info such as books, websites, interviews, research papers, and so on. 

Related Readings: Outline for Writing A Business Report

Importance of a Business Report

Preparing business reports on a regular basis helps to keep track of everything regarding the management and work in an organization. 

Let’s have a look at how significant the reports play in a business

  • A business record keeps a track of company growth, project details, and history of measures taken for the progress of the organization.
  •  A company can formulate its budget and marketing for various projects and even for the entire business based on the reports. 
  • By preparing business reports, an organization gets to craft a paper trail of its past while not having to keep track of every kind of document stored.
  •   A business report usually documents various plans, initiatives, sales, meetings, finance, and even annual budget along with research data. 
  • Even when selling or buying a business, potential partners look for business reports of the past and present to assess if the deal is worth it. 
  • Every company has to submit an annual business report to the stakeholders stating the essential stages the organization has gone through over the year. With this, businesses get to have a note of their benefits and losses.
  • The yearly business reports are mostly used not only for the company’s own benefit but also for marketing purposes. 
  • A business report is the most important document when an organization plans to increase its business as the report possesses complete data on the company’s financial history.

Related Readin: Importance of Report Writing In Business Communication

Scopes of a Business Report

  •  Business reports play a great part in framing and developing organizational strategies and workflow. 
  • An organization gets to have a clear view of available funds and carve upcoming investments through an effective report
  • A finely presented business report show development ideas and initiatives that can be taken for the business growth.
  • Employee objections and labour relations are highlighted in business reports, which cater to the establishment of a good work environment. 
  • Different levels of management officials can take the necessary steps to develop their operational procedures based on the business reports.
  • Organizations get to formulate efficient marketing strategies and future operative actions with the help of the reports. 
  • Business reports provide a base through which a company can evaluate its performance and develop its work process accordingly.
  • Business reports show clients’ opinions along with market research which helps the company to take necessary steps. It even caters to instituting operative mechanisms and coordination within the organization.

Aditya Soni

Aditya is the head of content at clearinfo and is responsible for improving the site's organic visibility. He is a certified SEO trainer and has worked with SaaS companies and startups to enhance their digital marketing presence. He is also an ahref fanboy. Click to connect with him on Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

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