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How To Write A Business Report In 2022 (12 Essential Tips)

Everything you need to know about drafting the perfect business report.
by Rob Gillham | Oct 29 2022

Businesses can use business reports to guide management when they need to make a decision. Data and research are used in business reports to analyze performance and make recommendations about a company’s future.

It is important for managers and executives to have formal business reports so they can make informed decisions. There are a variety of uses for these documents, depending on your needs and industry. You can develop as a professional by learning how to write a formal business report.

Business reports are always formal, objective, and thoroughly researched. There must be clarity and verifiability in every fact, regardless of whether the report examines a single situation or the overall performance of an organization.

In a business report, objectivity is essential, so avoid subjective descriptions. If sales decreased last quarter, don’t say, “Sales were terrible last quarter,” but rather let the sales data speak for itself. A business report should remain impersonal and from the company’s perspective, without using personal pronouns such as “I think we should invest more capital.”

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about how to write a business report in 2022.

Formal business reports: What are they?

A formal business report is a document that contains data, research, information, and other details necessary for decision-makers to form plans and objectives. There could be several pages of data and information in a formal business report, depending on the topic. The following are some of the most common types of formal business reports:

A report containing justifications or recommendations

This report is a good tool for presenting an idea to management. Among the sections of the body would be those on risks, costs, and benefits. For example, you might propose buying a machine for your workplace in this type of report. Creating this report will help you convince the decision-maker that the machine is worth buying.

An investigation report

A report like this can provide an overview of a specific opportunity’s potential risks. Business owners can use this report to anticipate issues involved in making investments or purchases. A formal business report could also be prepared to analyze a merger proposal.

Report on compliance

As a compliance report, this report can be used when the organization wants to show accountability. Organizations can use it to prove that they are following regulations and spending money appropriately. An accountant, for instance, could write a compliance report to show the company followed federal spending laws.

Report on feasibility

This report can be used to analyze the outcomes of a proposed idea. Potential problems, associated costs, and benefits could be discussed in the report. You can use this report to determine the profitability and feasibility of the proposal, as well as the likelihood of it exceeding the budget.

An annual report

A report like this helps an organization improve its products, services, processes, or policies. Profit and loss information or an analysis of efficiency can be included in the report. A retail store, for example, would have a monthly sales report.

How To Write A Business Report

Follow the steps below to create a perfect business report for any situation, theme, or topic. 

Edit your work

When you have finished writing your report, proofread it to make sure it is free of any grammatical or spelling errors, which will enhance its credibility. Additionally, make sure your writing is clear and concise. Keep your language simple and avoid slang. It is acceptable to use industry-specific jargon and technical terms, but avoid overusing them. You should make sure that your writing flows from one section to another, especially if there are multiple authors.

Include a bibliography and appendices

Provide a list of all the sources you used to write your report. Periodicals, online articles, and books can all be included. Sort the sources alphabetically. In addition, you can include all of the supporting material. A questionnaire, a map, a note, a summary, a chart, a table, an illustration and others may be among these documents. You should label each note, map, and other document with a letter so that you can refer to them clearly in the report.

Conclusions and recommendations should be included

The purpose of this section is to present your assessment and recommendations based on the findings. Any goals you add should be accompanied by measurable actions. It is important to explain how each goal, method, or option will impact the organization to the reader.

You should present your findings

The results of your research should be presented in this section. Ensure that you have included enough information to demonstrate thorough research by presenting your results logically and succinctly.

By using headings, subheadings, and numbered sections to organize everything, you can make the findings easier to read. If you wish to present your findings in bullet points or with the help of a table, you can do so. In addition to illustrations and graphics, you might choose to present your findings using infographics. However, these graphics must be appropriate for the report.

Describe your methodology

You need to explain to the reader how you have conducted your research, whether you used a qualitative method, a quantitative method or a combination of both. There should be a clear explanation of why you chose certain methods.

Create an introduction

In this section, you will explain why you are writing the report. In the introduction, you should explain the purpose of your report and provide background information. Summarize the main argument and include any definitions.

An abstract or summary should be included

A summary summarizes the main points of a formal business report. Readers may benefit from this section, but it is not mandatory, especially if your report is short. When requesting a business report, it is best to ask the requester what kind of report they prefer. In spite of the fact that the summary appears at the beginning of the report, it should be written last, along with the contents page, so that you can include the notes from your conclusion and recommendations.

Describe your findings and draw on your conclusions in your summary. It is also important to provide a brief overview of what the reader can expect from the report. The summary of the report must summarize the report’s major points, as your manager may only read the summary.

Outline the contents of your report

Following the title and authors should be the table of contents. It is essential to include a table of contents in a formal report that is long and complex. In spite of the fact that it appears at the beginning of the report, it should be written last when the report is completed. Section headings should be written exactly as they appear in each section of the report, along with page numbers.

Give your report a title

Depending on the brief, you may receive the title of the report or you may write it yourself. At the beginning of the report, make sure the title is clear and visible. The report should also include your name, the names of others who worked on it, and the date it was written.

See if there is an in-house format available

Your company may already have an established format for formal business reports. Ask your company handbook or the person who wants the report if there is a specific format you should follow. You can make your report look more professional by following an established format.

Before you write, make a plan

You should treat the formal business report as you would a project. Be clear about what you want to accomplish before you begin collecting research and writing sections. By doing so, you’ll be able to create a report with clarity and simplicity.


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