A report that is structured in clear, simple, and easy language that can be easily understood by the target audience is considered a good business report.
Though different business organizations may have different report format or structure based on their requirement, still in general, the basic structure of a business report is as below:
- Report title or heading: This includes the basic name of the report. It may also include the reporter’s name and report presentation date. It should be written in a clear format.
- Index table: In case of lengthy reports, there should be an index table of contents. This includes different topics that are covered in the report, including the main headings and sub-headings. The page number can also be part of this.
- Executive summary: This includes the purpose or objective of a report. A good summary is the brief of the report’s background, the issues that occurred, and possible recommended solutions for that. Different assumptions and limitations are also part of this. Usually, the summary is prepared in the last but presented to senior management on a priority basis as they have a shortage of time to study the whole report.
- Introduction: This covers any background information and further developments in a more detailed way. This includes the material and further chapters of the report.
- Information collection procedure: Includes the description of information gathering methods and any limitations. The different corrective measures taken to remove these limitations can also form the part of the report.
- Findings of report: The report findings should be represented with sufficient data to explain that enough research was conducted. The recommendations of the report can be justified by including customer reports, opinions of industry experts, statistics, and observations.
- Conclusion of the report: This covers the result or outcome of the report from the findings and recommendations. It is the assessment of the current scenario as per the reporter’s observations and findings.
- References: Different resources that are used in report preparation come under a reference list. Different references like books, any online material or article are being used as information that can be utilized in the report formation.