What is a report?• A logical presentation of facts and information• A report is a compilation of information that has been sought. Collected, organized and written to convey a specific message
Examples• A sales report – that would help the Sales head forecast future sales• Compliance report – A company’s progress and monitored data with respect to a regulation• Daily performance reports – Day to day progress of operations from which an operational decision can be taken
Categorization of Reports• An information report – May present a record of previous events, or current information or events, allowing readers to see progress or current topic or gain insight• A research report – Analysing information • The report writer looks at a problem to be solved, gathers and analyses data, concludes and make recommendation
Effective report writing• An effective report should be accurate and objective – Accurate: Accuracy of information and writing • Factual information • Correctness of data • Reliable sources and quote the sources • Accuracy in writing – Grammar, punctuation, spelling
Effective report writing• Objectivity – No personal feelings or prejudices • Make distinction between facts and opinions • Minimize unsupported judgements and inferences – E.g: comments made by a customers should be used as an opinion and not facts
Purpose of Business Reports• A report conveys information that helps in decision making – To have a clear understanding, a written purpose sentence is essential • The purpose sentence could be a statement or question • E.g.: Statements of Purpose: – To determine ways to increase usage of product • Questions of Purpose – Will the new design help the construction become more cost effective?
How to write a routine report• Steps to be followed in writing report: 1. Determine the scope of the report 2. Consider the audience 3. Gather information 4. Analyse the information 5. Determine the solution 6. Organize the report
1. Determine the scope of the report• Narrow scope to a report length• The scope is defined by determining factors that you’ll study – Limit the amount of information you want to gather to the most needed and most important factors• E.g. Factors to be studied to determine ways to improve employee morale might be: – Salaries – Fringe benefits – Work assignments – Work hours – Evaluation procedures
Consider your audience• Reports have a far wider distribution• Audience considerations include: – Need (from your report) – Education level – Position in the organisation – Knowledge of your topic or area – Responsibilty to act – Age – Biases – Preferences – Attitudes
Gather your information• Two types information to gather: – Secondary information • Gathered and recorded by others – Primary information • Information you gather and record• Think of where you are going to find your information
Analyse your information• Purpose of analysis is – Make sense, objectively, out the info gathered• Separate facts and figures need to be interpreted by explaining what they mean
Determine the Solution• Based on analysis, you’ll able to offer solutions• Too avoid bias and inaccuracy, report all information good or bad
Organise your report• With the topic, information and decision ready – Determine how to present your information• Before actually writing the report organise your information in an outline form – By choosing the major and supporting ideas, developing details, eliminating any unnecessary ideas gathered• The outline becomes the structure of your report
Corporate reports• Special kinds of reports bought out by public or listed companies – Shareholders, government, auditors, etc• Statutory reports – Companies Act, 1956 – SEBI • Director’s Report • Auditor’s Report • Cost Audit reports
Director’s Report (Board)• An annual report of Directors, attached to every balance sheet• Issues contain: – The state of affairs of the company – The amount, which it recommends for payment of dividends to the shareholders – Further prospects of company, changes in directors and auditors – Any other factual information which the company wishes to share with the public
Auditor’s Reports• Companies Act, 1956 – Companies must have Auditors to audit the books and examine the affairs of the company on behalf of shareholders and report to them – Attached to balance sheet
Cost Audit Report• Government has made cost audit report rules, which apply to every company with respect to the auditing of the cost accounting sytems
What is Business Proposal• A proposal is a written document that seeks to persuade the reader to accept suggested plan of action• Reasons for business proposals: – To buy a service or product from the reader – To convince the reader of the existence of a situation or to take a course of action – To convince your department of your need for a new technology – To provide you with funds (loan, grant, investment)
Types of proposal• Internal and external – according to audience• Solicited and unsolicited – according to source• In both cases, proposals are read by persons in position of authority
Internal Proposals• A proposal written to someone within your organisation (a business, government agency)• E.g.: When a manger wants to suggest a new idea about a product launch to his marketing director• You do not have to include sections like qualification, company info, etc)• No bulky information• Can be built within the memo/email or as an attachment
External proposal• Written from one separate, independent organisation or individual organisation or individual to another such entity. – E.g: An architect proposing to design a house for the land owner – An ad agency may propose to build the brand campaign for a beverage company• An external proposal is sent in the form of a letter
Solicited proposals• A solicited proposal arises out of a specific demand or when the customer asks for a proposal• A solicited proposal provides you with a description of what the customer wants – Evaluation criteria, qualifying formats• Sometimes you make a suggestion to your customer and then they ask for a proposal so that they consider your suggestion – This is also solicited
Unsolicited Proposals• A proposal initiated by yourself – It is sent without the recipients asking for it• It’s a document of your services and products
Elements of a proposal• Executive summary• Introduction• Statement of need• Project Description – Objectives – Methods – Staffing/administration/qualifications – Evaluation – Sustainability• Budget• Organisational Information• Conclusion• Appendices
Executive Summary• Here provide the reader with a snapshot of what is to follow• Include: – Problem: A brief statement of the problem or need your agency has recognised and is prepared to address (one or two paragraphs) – Solution: A short description of the project, including what will take place, how many will benefit, when, where, who will staff it (one or two paragraphs) – Funding requirements: An explanation of the amount of grant money required for the project and what your plans are for funding it in the future (one paragraph) – Organisation and its expertise: A brief statement of the name, history, purpose and activities of your agency, emphasizing its capacity to carry out this purpose (one paragraph)
Introduction• Plan the introduction to your proposal carefully. Make sure it does all of the following things: – Indicate that the document to follow is a proposal – Refer to some previous contact or source of information – One brief motivating statement – Give an overview of the contents of the proposal
Statement of Need• Discusses what has brought about the need for the proposal, what problem, what opportunity to improve things, what the basic situation is• The statement of need will enable the reader to learn more about the issues. It presents the facts and evidence that support the need for the project and establishes that your organisation understands the problems and can reasonable address them
Project description• Five subsections – Objectives: Measurable outcomes of a program, define the method – Methods: How to go about doing the proposed work – Staffing/administration/qualifications: Demonstrates knowledge, qualification, experience of the firm – Evaluation: Indicates that you take your objectives seriously and want to know how well you have achieved them – Sustainability: Evidence of fiscal sustainability
• Budget – Section detailing costs of project, whether internal or external• Organisational information – Normally should come at the end of the proposal • In 2 or less pages mention history of company, mission, organisation structure, etc.• Conclusion – The final section should bring readers back into focus to the positive aspects of the project – Feedback closure• Appendices – Ancillary, additional information like testimonial, corporate brochure, examples of previous work, etc.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.