The following document outlines the requirements of a business report and provides a model for the way in which the School of Management recommends business reports be written.Â This is a framework; your tutor may advise of minor changes to the format but in the absence of such advice, write your business reports in this format.
- Who will read it
- Think carefully about at whom your report is targeted. Almost always it will be more than one person. It might be the marketing manager primarily, but also the CEO and the finance director.Â If it is a client it could also be potential investors.Â But do not forget it will also be your tutor.
- What do they need to know? Different readers want different information.Â The CEO wants an overview which he can read in a few minutes; the marketing director needs to know about the markets and what actions you propose; the finance director needs to know what it will cost and what are the returns; the operations managers might want to know what changes to the business are necessary. In real life you might need to consider producing reports for different target audiences, but within the PBS that is highly unlikely, unless you are briefed so to do.
- What is a Business Report
- Bowman & Branchow (1988, p.12) described it as: âan organised presentation of information to a specific audience for the purpose of helping an organisation achieve an objectiveâ.
- Formal business reports have:
- A standard format with separate sections
- Content that informs and enables decisions to be taken
- Headings and sub-headings that make it easy to read
- Third person pronouns and grammatically correct English
- Why write a Business Report
- Most of the business disciplines, accountancy, management, marketing, human resources, operations, will require you to write reports. Assessments in all business subjects at all levels in the PBS will sometimes call for a report to be written, either synthesising case study material or preparing a plan of action to meet specific objectives.Â In reports you might be expected to give background information (i.e. financial statements), information and interpretation (i.e. a market research report) or to synthesise that information into a set of recommended actions.
- How to write a Business Report
You must go through a number of steps:
- Identify your target reader
- Plan the scope of your report
- Organise your tasks and research into a project plan
- Evaluate and analyse your information
- Draft the main body of text
- Devise your conclusions and recommendations
- Final edit to ensure it all makes sense
- Write your executive summary
- Add the front-sheet and bind the report; then check it before submission
- Consider carefully exactly what you have been asked to do. If in doubt ask for clarification.
- Who is your reader?
Most business reports are written by âspecialistsâ and read by âgeneralistsâ usually the decision-makers in an organisation. So in preparing your report ask:
- How much background information, definitions and other information is required?
- What questions will they ask and what information do you need to answer them?
- Is the audience âinternalâ or âexternalâ or both?
- What do you need to research?
Will you need primary research, or will you be working from