Details Matter: Types of Reports for your Business
Businesses rely heavily on reports. They’re not any ordinary pieces of paper – they contain valuable information people use to understand where their business stands, and how will it perform in the future.
They hence act as a communication tool, used to convey important data from fresh interns to high-tier executives and managers. Having a sound grip on the types of reports a business requires is necessary if you want your next move to be profitable.
A Routine Report is a report prepared as per routine set beforehand, and hence has a regular time to hand in. Examples include monthly, quarterly or annual reports. Such routine reports contain facts and figures either in detail or in a summarised form, and represent the overall health of a company. Where quarterly reports revolve around progress against annual goals, positive and negative points of the previous quarter and the like, annual reports measure business performance in the entire year, making it a lot more major.
“Non-routine” is an umbrella term used to include reports that are not compulsory to submit at fixed times. In their own respect, they give clarity to different parts involved in business functions. A Survey Report is one type of Non-routine Report, whose contents are based on observations and/or questions, with responses also recorded in summarised form. A Special Report is a report made by an inquiry made either by a single person or a committee.
Informational reports are based solely on information – they are hence made with no bias, and present all the “why“s of the topic at hand. Such reports are purely objective, and present the facts as they are; they do not contain recommendations. Examples include number of employees, the departments they work in, or even the overall breakdown of expenditures. Managers, owners or analysts hence use these reports to help create a business decision for the future.
These reports also contain information just as informational reports – but they need a lot more technical prowess. A typical analytical report presents relevant data with their explanations and even decides the status quo of your business. It may also contain actions taken by a specific team, sales revenue, and the net profit or loss during a specified tenure. It hence acts as a pivotal piece when it comes to making crucial business decisions.
This is a hybrid between Informational and Analytical Reports, where elements of both are used to create a detailed, comprehensible yet complex report – based purely on research. It involves a team using details and statistics from an informational report, and then analysing the situation further using an analytical report. It thus helps paint a clear picture when companies decide to step into new territories.
This is a document that explains the procedures adopted and results obtained from a technical activity/investigation. Despite being quite science-centric, it helps put the business’s own activities logged. It is a kind of Special Report made specifically by technologists to test a new product, or run an investigation, and analyse results with executives. It may or may not include recommendations; otherwise its core nature is objective.
By the looks of it, if you don’t have your reports right, then your business might not prosper at the rates you want. A good option in an era as tech-savvy as ours would be to consider investing in a Reporting and Metrics Software. Fortunately, Oscar offers a POS software that has this feature built-in. It takes all your business data and generates categorised reports and analytics in real-time. They are all kept secure on the cloud, so that you can get access to them anywhere, anytime.
That way, you’ll know where your business once stood in the past, and where you want it to go in the future.