In many companies, nonprofits, and associations, preparing annual and semi-annual reports is a firm commitment. Company-specific reports provide a clear picture of your company's weight and position, and relevant information for shareholders, stakeholders, the media, and the community. A report can create a deeper understanding of what you do, and why you do it. , and how successful you are in that, the reports show the depth and size of the company and are considered as a chronological record of achievements, milestones, and goals, and they also help in building the brand and are used as a tool to improve reputation.

 In this article, we will learn about what reports are, their importance, their elements, and how to prepare reports step by step:

What is the report?

What is the report?

According to the business dictionary, a report is a document that contains organized information in a narrative, graphic, or tabular form, prepared for a purpose, periodically, recurrently, regularly, or as needed. Reports may refer to specific periods, specific events or conditions, or specific topics. It may be communicated or given in the oral or written form.

Reports are an important resource, and they are the only source in the business world to obtain information about any company, whether it is past or current performance, future expectations, or detailed financial performance through financial statements and activities. Companies use it to report their achievements and promote financial and moral transparency.

The importance of reporting

The importance of reporting

Semi-annual and annual reports are of great importance to any company. At the level of company owners, they help promote the company's goals and put it back on track by knowing how things are managed, problems are solved, and errors are corrected. Reports reveal to employers whether profits are higher, lower, or bearable. Same percentage as the previous year? By disclosing sales and profits figures, as these figures are presented clearly in the financial section of the report, in addition to that, there are many benefits to writing reports, including:

  • Find out if the company is making more money than it is spending, and what does the balance sheet look like? Are the assets higher or lower than the previous year? Is the debt growing, contracting, or similar to the previous year?
  • The report provides information about the company's financial year, by including graphs or charts to make complex information easier to understand and make more understandable. Annual reports include the balance sheet, income statement, financial summary, and statement of cash flows.
  • The reports provide important financial information to investors, customers, employees, the media, and the community.
  • The reports help the owners of the company to get an idea of ​​the strategic management plan for the coming year, and how will the management work on the success of the company?
  • Annual reports keep clients informed of the company's health and help build confidence in it as a long-term supplier.
  • The information helps reveal new product plans or research and development activities and integrate the company's future products with development plans.
  • Attracting and Retaining Employees Employees want to be sure that they are working for a progressive company that can provide them with a secure future and solid job opportunities.
  • The report acts as a marketing tool when listing positive stories about the company regarding employees and clients or listing important moments in the company's history can lead to more readings of the report, which will enable you to attract the attention of new investors and clients.
  • Annual reports provide information about the company's mission and history and summarize the company's achievements in the past year, which helps build awareness of the company's brand.
  • Financial achievements are included in the report but other achievements are also included, such as gains in market share or honors bestowed upon the company or its employees.
  • The report provides other information; A quick overview of successful marketing strategies, campaigns, changing business conditions, and information about company plans, goals, and results as well as a strategy for how to outperform.
  • The annual report remains a powerful tool for revealing a company's strengths and strategies to key stakeholders, and a more attractive communication tool with investors.

Report items

Report items

To prepare reports efficiently and professionally, the most important elements that make up it should be covered, are as follows:

Title: A pivotal element in the preparation of reports. No report of any kind or size can be prepared without choosing a title that is completely appropriate to what the report contains. This element may contain the title of the report and the name of the company for which the report was prepared.

Table of Contents: This section includes the headings and subheadings of the written body text. It is considered a very important part of writing reports, as it helps readers reach the required sections of your report without making an effort.

Abstract: This element provides a summary of the entire body of the report and is also called an informational summary.

Introduction: This is the most important element of the main text, providing an overview of the topic and all the ideas and information it will contain.

The subject of the report: It discusses the main subject of the report, including information, figures and data, the most important achievements, and the company's future aspirations, along with analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting the included data.

Conclusion or Recommendation: State the findings of the report and recommend items to readers according to the overall evaluation.

Appendix: In the footer part, you can attach charts, lists, surveys, and similar materials that relate to your report and help readers understand the report comprehensively.

Contact information: The company's address, phone numbers, e-mail, website, and any other information that helps to reach the company are listed.

Some reports may contain other elements such as a profile of the company, its objectives, values, vision, the word of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, etc.

Reporting steps

Reporting steps

To prepare reports effectively, you must have an idea of ​​the information that must be included and a correct understanding of each of its elements. In these steps, you will find everything you need to know about preparing reports step by step and effectively:

determining the goal

Like any other process, reporting is based on its purpose, why is the report being written, and what role will this annual or semi-annual report play for your organization? Clarity of purpose helps keep the topic of the report specific and focused to produce a good report that is easier to attract the reader to.

Understand the target audience

A correct understanding of the audience definitely leads to a high-quality report. Is the report targeting investors, stakeholders, customers, potential customers or employees, or all of these parties, and what do they want to know through the report? Understanding the target audience's preferences helps produce a report with insights based on their choice and preferences.

report format

For a report to be an effective communication tool, it must follow a certain format or type. A decision must be made on how the report will be presented, for example, an essay. The report may be written or in the form of a presentation; It is necessary to determine what kind of report it is: formal or informal, financial, semi-annual, annual, artistic, literary, fact-finding, or problem-solving.

Gather facts and data

Adding numbers, facts, and data adds credibility to the report and strengthens the argument. Adding data or facts leads to a critical responsibility by referring to sources, interviews, or interviews of company officials.

Report structure

The report usually contains four elements; an Executive summary (to be written after the completion of the report), an introduction, the main text of the report, and a conclusion (this is a binding part that brings together all the elements of the report at the end of a methodology).

Tips for preparing a more effective report

Tips for preparing a report

  • use visual language; The visuals you include in the report say as much as the words, so your choice of illustrations, images, colors, and fonts should be an extension of your brand's visual identity.
  • The report should contain real and honest information, be readable, in simple and attractive language, carry positive language that makes it interesting, and with a smooth flow of information.
  • Adding appropriate formatting such as images, graphs, and dividing the long text into shorter ones to ease the reader's eyes, and using bulleted lists if necessary to get a better organization.
  • Scrutiny is necessary. The initial draft of the report will certainly not be perfect and will need to be reviewed and audited several times by several parties for the final report to come out.
  • Humanize the report by highlighting your brand's story instead of just collecting numbers, data, graphics, and revealing achievements.

Reporting is vital for any organization that shows its transparency, and one of the most reliable and effective ways in the business world to present information about the company to customers, investors, employees, the media, and society, through which the status of the organization can be known, and decisions can be made more wisely, and it is a well-organized process that requires a sufficient amount of Effort and audit, and a set of special skills, may be time-consuming, and often require detailed research. If you do not have the experience or enough time.