Steps in Writing Business Report

Business report in an essential medium of communicating factual information within and outside the organization. In writing a good report, the writer has to follow some sequential steps. The steps are as follows:

Determination of purpose: The first step in writing a report is to determine the purpose for which the report is being written. Every report deals with specific problem. Therefore, the writer should exactly know the nature of report problem. This step includes the answers of what, why, and when to write to write the report.Steps in Writing Business Report

Developing a working plan: After defining the problem and determining the purpose clearly, a working plan should be developed. The working plan is used as a basis for outlining and writing the report. Here the writer determines and lists down the scope of work to be done for writing the report.

Collecting information: In this step, the writer will select the possible sources of information. Information may be collected form primary and secondary sources. Primary information can be obtained through observation and enquiring. On the other hand, secondary information can be obtained from journals, newspapers, reports, books etc.

Organizing and analyzing the information: Here the collected information is organized according to its nature. In this step, a lot of data will have to be rejected while it may be needed to collect more additional data. In order to organize and analyze the information, the writer takes help of various statistical techniques.

Arriving at conclusions: Basing on the data analysis, the reporter arrives at a conclusion. The final pattern of report depends on this conclusion. If the writer fails to draw correct conclusion, the report will fail to serve its purpose. Therefore, arriving at conclusion is an important step in report writing.

Selecting the method of writing report: Once the writer has arrived at conclusions, the next step is to select the writing method. There are two methods of writing report such as inductive method and deductive method.

a. Inductive method: The inductive method arranges the report contents in the sequence of introduction of background information, discussion and analysis, recommendations and conclusions.

b. Deductive method: The deductive method arranges the contents in the sequence of summary and recommendations, introduction, discussion and analysis.

These two methods are suitable for different situations. After selecting the appropriate method, the writer goes for actual writing.

Writing and submitting the report: The process of writing a report ends with writing and submitting the report. Before drafting the final report, the writer develops rough copy for checking, editing and revision. In the rough copy, the writer checks the accuracy of information, formation of sentences, grammatical accuracy, and style of presentation, sequence of the contents etc. after all these checking and corrections, the final draft is prepared and submitted to the concerned authority.

Purposes or Objective of Business Reports

Reports are the primary means of communication in organization. In large-scale organizations, there is no alternative to use reports. Reports also play an important role in small-scale organizations. Some points highlighting the purposes or objectives or important of business report are presented below-

Transmitting Information: Business report is very important for transmitting information from one person to another or form one level to another. Although a manager can personally collect required information in a small scale enterprise, it is not possible in the context of a large scale organization. In the latter case, the managers rely on reports for obtaining necessary information.
Interpretation and Explanation of event: Report provides interpretation and explanation of information. As a result, readers can easily understand reports

Making decisions: A report is the basic management tool for making decisions. The job of a manager is nothing but making decisions. Reports supply necessary information to managers to solve problems.

Communication with external stakeholders: In addition to internal use, reports also communicate information to the external stakeholders like shareholders, creditors, customers, suppliers, government officials and various regulatory agencies. In the absence of formal business report, such stakeholders would remain at dark about the organizations.

Development of information base: Reports also contribute to the development of information base in organization. It develops information base in two ways. Firstly, day to day information is recorded permanently for writing reports. Secondly, the written reports are preserved for future reference. In these ways, reports help in developing a strong and sound information base.

Developing labour management relationship: Reports also help to improve labour management relationship particularly, in large organizations. In a large organization, there is little opportunity of direct communication between top-level management and employees. In this case, report is used as mechanism of keeping both sides informed about each other and improving their relationships.

Controlling: Controlling is the final function of management. It ensures whether the actual performance meets the standard. In order to perform the managerial function of controlling, report serves as a yardstick. It supplies necessary information to impose controlling mechanism.

Recommending actions: Reports not only supply information but also recommend natural actions or solutions to problem. When someone is given the charge of investigating a complex problem and suggesting appropriate remedy, the investigator usually submits a report to the concerned manger.

Above discussion makes it clear that reports are the commonly used vehicles that help mangers in planning, organizing, staffing and controlling. In a nutshell, report is indispensable for carrying out the management functions. Report is the nerve of an organization that circulates information.