July 27, 2019      3 min read

Any successful business owner will know how important it is to get their business reports right. Business reports such as annual reports are a great way to enable business owners to communicate key information between companies and with shareholders and customers alike. But getting the report right is essential.

In this article, we explain how to improve your business reports to ensure interested parties are getting the most relevant, up-to-date and accurate information possible. We cover the six essentials to improving business reports, from ensuring the content is relevant to discussing business risks in the most relevant way.

Covers the basics

One of the most important factors contributing to a succesful business report is whether the report adequately covers the ‘essentials’. The first of these is to give investors, customers and stakeholders the information they need: current performance levels, strategic plans and the progress in implementing these. This part of the report should also explain how the businesses resources are being managed to meet the longer-term needs of the company.

It is succinct

The second essential that business reports need to cover is to ensure that the content of the report is as clear and relevant as possible. Keep the business report as succinct as possible: most annual reports, for example, are roughly 204 pages long. Ensure that quantity is not replacing quality and keep reports as to-the-point as they can be.

Has the right KPIs

The third essential is to include operational Key Perfromance Indicators (KPIs) in order to provide a long term analysis. As stated in the KPMG Survey of Business Reporting, “To support a longer-term view of performance, companies should select measures that align closely with the specific factors that drive success for their business, such as the strength of the customer base.”

Here are some important inventory management metrics

It aligns with the strategic direction

The fourth essential is to ensure your KPIs align with your strategic direction: by doing so, investors can identify the commercial success and prospects of the business.

It covers the long-term

The fifth essential is to provide a thorough analysis of the businesses strategic plan: many businesses plan to focus only on short-term strategic improvements, but should also include analysis of longer-term corporate direction.

Addresses risks

Finally, the sixth essential is to ensure that the report’s risk analysis is forward-thinking and relevant. A common mistake in business report writing is to get too bogged down in attempting to comply with regulations. A successful business report will help investors understand how the most important risks are being managed. Discussion of risk needs to address risks which are most relevant to business value, and those relating to growth strategies.

By ensuring your business reports cover these six essentials, your customers, shareholders and stakeholders alike can be assured of the businesses complete transparency and trustworthiness. Moreover, writing successful business reports will also help the company itself with inventory management processes: having a singular report which outlines the successes and failures of the previous year, as well as projecting for the future, can help inventory managers learn from past mistakes.

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