In business, gathering important information about a subject can be a very challenging task for many who undertake it. An even more difficult task could be the interpretation of these information bulks. So here is where business reporting comes in.
Collecting facts and interpreting data has become even more easy to do after the online or downloadable tools became available to the large public. Now, any small company can benefit from accurate reporting tools, that will ease the reporting process and even offer solution to your company’s problems.
There are different types of reports, depending on formality and function. Statutory and voluntary reports depend on formality. While informational, analytical and research reports are separated according to function.
Now let’s take each type of business reports and analyze it a bit.
- Statutory reports are the ones required by law. Depending on the county or state, such reports are filed monthly, trimestrial or annually and not filing them can bring about legal notices and fines.
- Voluntary or non-statutory reports are usually internal reports required by the management. They are not required by law, but most companies chose to keep them nonetheless. This is because they are usually relevant to the company’s well-being.
- Analytical reports are the ones containing analytical information, in a narrative form. They offer complete and detailed information on a subject to the one requesting the report. Also, this type of report allows the person making it to give detailed explanations and opinions on a subject. They are usually made by specialized workers and requested by managers.
- Informational reports are reports presenting facts or information without any explanations or opinions from the person creating them. They are usually created from a large data pool and have a day to day nature. They can be requested by specific departments of by managers. Most of the time nowadays they are automatically generated reports, following predetermined templates.
- Research reports are, as the name suggests, based on research conducted by an external or internal team. They summarize the research for people with a medium or low level of subject understanding. They are created after the research has ended and they include conclusions, suggestions and other subjective information coming from the creators of the research. Usually, such reports are requested by higher ranking managers and CEOS and they are made by the developing teams of the company.
Keeping in mind the types of reports used in business, you can decide on what to ask of your employees or maybe what to offer to you manager. It’s simply a fact – deciding what kind of information you want to convey.