Regardless of the industry or size of your enterprise, understanding and utilizing reports is non-negotiable. These documents, often brimming with valuable insights, serve as a compass, guiding companies towards their strategic goals and ensuring they remain on the path to success.
While there are several types of business reports with different formats and purposes, there are a few that stand out as particularly crucial for every organization.
In this article, we’ll be discussing eight such essential business reports. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, familiarizing yourself with these reports can be a game-changer. So, without further ado, let’s explore the list we’ve curated for you below.
1. Annual Report
The main reason why you need to do annual reports, such as the one above, is to present what your company has accomplished for the past fiscal year and outline your targets for the next year or two.
You can use the data you’ve gathered for this report to attract potential investors. Some customers like seeing numbers, too, because these indicate your company’s financial condition.
An annual report needs to include audited financial statements like the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. It should also include strategies to pay off any debt and opportunities for growth.
2. Inventory Report
This report gives you an idea of the volume of products you have on hand at a specific time. Generally, it’s not that hard to make. You can just make a simple checklist.
There are tons of tools that can help you with this. Canva is one of the best tools these days. Aside from its wide collection of high-quality images, it also comes with various templates, which you can customize and use to make your report.
If you want to take your report to the next level, you can create an inventory ranking report. It will help you understand how well some of your products sell. It will also show whether the company is getting enough money to cover the overhead cost of keeping the items.
3. Sales and Revenue Report
A sales report, often included in the income statement, shows you how much your company earned as proceeds from selling goods and/or services, while a report on your company’s revenues includes not only the sales you made but also the proceeds from other revenue streams.
This report will be needed to compute your profit margin. It will also help you gauge how effective your marketing campaigns are. If the numbers don’t look good, you’ll have the opportunity to improve these campaigns. The report also lets you know the best time to run your next marketing campaign.
4. Marketing Report
A marketing report such as the one below enables you to keep track of your expenses for your marketing campaigns and weigh them against the results you’re getting. This will allow you to calculate your return on investment and determine whether your initiatives raised revenues.
A marketing report includes data from different marketing sources. If you’re doing email marketing, you should establish how many people are actively subscribed to your content. If you have a blog or website, this report should show your SEO data and website analytics so you can understand how many people you’re reaching through your site.
It’s also a good idea to include data on your leads and customers. This will allow you to know how your marketing efforts are being converted into earnings.
5. Analytical Report
This type of report is required when company executives need to make an important decision. It typically comes with historical data, current trends, the company’s current situation, prospects, and recommendations.
6. Informational Reports
This report is objective. It simply presents facts without detailing the reasons behind them or their possible effects on the business.
This is the report you need to prepare if you need to provide information. One good example is the learning materials you give to new employees that show them the roles they need to fill and the departments they’ll be part of.
7. Progress Report
A progress report, such as the project management status report shown below, updates company executives and employees about ongoing projects.
It could be that weekly report the project manager asked you to do to determine the progress of a task. It could also be a report stating the tasks that are expected to be completed in the upcoming week.
8. Explanatory Report
This one is required when there’s a need to explain a situation or a topic so that everyone can be aware of it.
One good example is the report you need to make after completing your research. You create a report that summarizes your findings, including data on your samples, methodology, and conclusions.
Whether you own a business or are part of one, you need to be familiar with these basic business reports. It will allow you to interpret, understand, and communicate important data.