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Business Communication

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Lesson 29
BUSINESS REPORTS
Model Business Reports
A Model Report
October 10, 2003
The General Manager,
Fit Garment Industries,
Multan Road Lahore.
Dear Sir,
Subject: Report on the strike of the workers in the factory.
Following your instructions, I have probed into the matter regarding the strike of all the workers in
the factory. Here are my findings.
On Monday morning, in the production unit 2, two workers started a fight on a money matter.
Ahmad had lent some money to Kareem, who made several promises but did not return a single penny.
On Monday morning Ahmad demanded an immediate return of his amount but instead of an apologetic
behaviour Kareem abused Ahmad. Hot remarks were exchanged. Kareem picked up a hammer and hit it
hard on Ahmad's head. It started bleeding.
He was rushed to the hospital by the workers. Members of the labour union reached and all the
workers took out a procession. The President of the union gave a call for strike. They raised slogans against
the culprit. While addressing the mob, union leaders demanded a prompt termination of the culprit. They
wanted to continue the strike till the acceptance of their demand.
However, on the assurance of the Production Manager, they agreed to call off their strike.
Everything was done amicably.
On Monday morning Ahmad demanded an immediate return of his amount but instead of an apologetic
behaviour Kareem abused Ahmad. Hot remarks were exchanged. Kareem picked up a hammer and hit it
hard on Ahmad's head. It started bleeding.
He was rushed to the hospital by the workers. Members of the labour union reached and all the
workers took out a procession. The President of the union gave a call for strike. They raised slogans against
the culprit. While addressing the mob, union leaders demanded a prompt termination of the culprit. They
wanted to continue the strike till the acceptance of their demand.
However, on the assurance of the Production Manager, they agreed to call off their strike. Everything was
done amicably.
Sir,
You have asked for my suggestions, so I recommend Mr. Kareem's termination. I do feel that a
case of fraud and assault should be registered in the police station. Mr. Ahmad should be treated at the
expenses of the company and should be granted paid leave for one month.
Yours truly,
A. Sheikh
Regional Manager
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Definition
A Business Report is an impartial, objective, planned presentation of facts to one or more persons for a
specific business purpose. An orderly, objective message used to convey information from one
organizational area to another or from one institution to another to assist in decision making or problem
solving."
Reports have been classified in numerous ways by management and by report-preparation
authorities. We classify reports on the bases of their forms, uses, contents, etc.
Purpose of report
Purpose of Report
Common Examples
Reparation & Distribution
To monitor and control
Plans, operating reports,
Internal reports move upward on
operations
personal activity reports
recurring basis; external reports go
to selected audiences.
To implement policies
Lasting guideline, position Internal reports move downward or
and procedures
papers
on a non-recurring basis
To comply with
Reports IRS, SEC,
External reports are sent on a
regulatory requirements
EEOC, Human Rights
recurring basis
Commission
Definition
Purpose of Report
Common Examples
Reparation & Distribution
To obtain new business or Sales proposals
External reports are sent on non-
findings
recurring basis
To document client work
Interim progress reports, External reports are sent on a non-
final reports
recurring basis
To guide decisions
Research reports,
Internal reports move upward on a
justification reports,
non-recurring basis
trouble shooting reports
(Classifications)
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Classification of Report
Formal or Informal
Formal reports are carefully structured; they stress objectivity and organization, contain, much
detail, and are written in a style that tends to eliminate such elements as personal pronouns.
Informal reports are usually short messages with natural, casual use of language. The internal
memorandum generally can be described as an informal report.
Short or Long Reports?
"Short-or-long" can be a confusing classification for reports. A one-page memorandum is
obviously short, and a term paper of twenty pages is obviously long. What about in-between lengths?
One important distinction generally holds true: as a report becomes longer, it takes on more characteristics
of formal reports. Thus, the formal-informal and short-long classifications are closely related.
What Makes A Good Business Report
Business reports are like bridges spanning time and space. Organizations use them to provide a formal,
verifiable link among people, places, and times. Some reports are needed for internal communication: others
are vehicles for corresponding with outsiders. Some are required as a permanent record; others are needed
to solve an immediate problem or to answer a passing question. Many move upward through the chain of
command to help managers monitor the various units in the organization; some move downward to explain
management decisions to lower-level employees responsible for day-to-day operations.
The purpose of a business report is to convey essential information in an organized, useful format. And
despite technological advances, the ability to accumulate data, organize facts, and compose a readable text
remains a highly marketable skill.
A well-prepared business report will provide COMPLETE, ACCURATE information about an
aspect of a company's operations. The subject of a report may vary from expenses to profits, production to
sales, marketing trends to customer relations. The information provided by a report is often meant to
influence decisions, to determine changes, improvements, or solutions to problems. Therefore, the report
must also be CLEAR, CONCISE, and READABLE.
The format of a business report may vary, from a brief informal report intended for in-house use to a
voluminous formal report intended for a national public distribution. Some reports consist entirely of prose
while others consist of statistics; and still other reports may employ a combination of prose, tables, charts,
and graphs.
The style of a report depends upon the audience. An informal report to be read only by close
associates may be worded personally; in such a report "I" or "we" is acceptable. A formal report, on the
other hand, must be impersonal and expressed entirely in the third person. Note the difference
Style
Informal:
I recommend that the spring campaign concentrate on newspaper and television advertising.
Formal:
It is recommended that the spring campaign concentrate on newspaper and television advertising.
Informal:
After discussing the matter with our department managers, we came up with the following
information.
Formal:
The following report is based upon information provided by the managers of the Accounting,
Marketing, Personnel, and Advertising Departments.
Deciding on Format and Length
Preprinted form. Basically for "fill in the blank" reports. Most are relatively short (five or fewer pages) and
deal with routine information, often mainly numerical. Use this format when it's requested by the person
authorizing the report.
Letter. Common for reports of five or fewer pages that are directed to outsiders. These reports
include all the normal parts of a letter, but they may also have headings, footnotes, tables, and figures.
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Memo. Common for short (fewer than ten pages) informal reports distributed within an
organization. Memos have headings at the top: To, From, Date, and Subject. In addition, like longer reports,
they often have internal headings and sometimes have visual.(organizational plan)
Deciding on Approach
Audience attitude is the basis for decisions about organization. When the audience is considered either
receptive or open minded, use the direct approach.
Lead off with a summary of your key findings, conclusions, and recommendations. This "up-front"
approach is by far the most popular and convenient order for business reports because it saves time and
makes the best of the report easy to follow. For those who have questions or want more information,
later parts of the report provide complete findings and supporting details. In addition to being more
convenient for readers, the direct approach also produces a more forceful report. You are sure of yourself
when you state your conclusions confidently at the outset.
Types of Reports
A memo report is a cross between interoffice memo and a formal report
Memo reports can be used to:
 Answer a request for information
 Report progress
 Make recommendations
 State facts
 Communicates ideas
 Send statistical data
 Explain trend within an organization
Two types of Memo Reports
1. Informational Memorandum Reports
2. Analytical memo Reports
Informational Memorandum Reports
The central purpose of informational reports is to inform and to summarize information, similar to
the speech to inform. Obviously, these reports vary widely in content, depending on type of business,
purpose, topics discussed, and readers' needs. The following reports are often used in organizations:
Information Memo reports will
 Inform
 To summarize some information requested
 Organize information objectively
 Make recommendation
Conference Reports
Topics for conference reports range from summaries of personal sales called conferences to write-
ups of meetings attended by hundreds of persons. For example, A credit or collection manager or account
executive may make similar reports after conferences with clients. The text of such reports is usually organized by
topics discussed or presented simply in a chronological order. Some firms have standardized headings for the often-
written reports to ensure that the same information or main topics are recorded in all of them.
Progress Reports
Progress reports show, "progress," accomplishments, or activity over time or at a given stage of a
major assignment. The organizational plan is usually inductive, including topics similar to these.
1. Introduction (purpose, nature of project)
2. Description of accomplishments during the reporting period.
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3. Unanticipated problems (if any)
4. Plans for the next reporting period.
5. Summary (overall appraisal of progress to date)
6. (Periodic report)
Periodic Reports
They are routine reports prepared at regular time interval-daily, weekly, monthly quarterly or
annually.
Examples of such reports are:
1.
Sales Reports
2.
Financial Reports
They reports are prepared on pre-printed form.
Analytical Memorandum Reports
This analytical memorandum report, seeks to analyze a situation or problem; it may end with or without a
specific recommendation.
Such reports:
 On the causes of decline in Sales Volume
 On the evaluation of a person before recruitment
 On individual being considered for promotion
 On the analysis of a particular book
Recommendation-Justification Reports
Many analytical reports will have a special purpose: to recommend a change or remain with the
status quo (policy), support the idea that something is desirable or undesirable (value), or defend the
accuracy of information (fact). Your report may be in response to a specific request, or it may be voluntary.
Organizing memo reports
Itemize the information
Present the fact with absolute fairness and accuracy
Be careful not to mix you opinion with the facts you report
Reserve your comments for your conclusions and recommendations(letter report)
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Table of Contents:
  1. COMMUNICATION:Definition of Communication, Communication & Global Market
  2. FLOW OF COMMUNICATION:Internal Communication, External Communication
  3. THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION:Electronic Theory, Rhetorical Theory
  4. THE PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION & MISCOMMUNICATION:Message
  5. BARRIERS IN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION /COMMUNICATION FALLOFF
  6. NON- VERBAL COMMUNICATION:Analysing Nonverbal Communication
  7. NON- VERBAL COMMUNICATION:Environmental Factors
  8. TRAITS OF GOOD COMMUNICATORS:Careful Creation of the Message
  9. PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION:Clarity
  10. CORRECTNESS:Conciseness, Conciseness Checklist, Correct words
  11. CONSIDERATION:Completeness
  12. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
  13. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION:Education, Law and Regulations, Economics
  14. INDIVIDUAL CULTURAL VARIABLES:Acceptable Dress, Manners
  15. PROCESS OF PREPARING EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MESSAGES
  16. Composing the Messages:THE APPEARANCE AND DESIGN OF BUSINESS MESSAGES
  17. THE APPEARANCE AND DESIGN OF BUSINESS MESSAGES:Punctuation Styles
  18. COMMUNICATING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY:Email Etiquette, Electronic Media
  19. BASIC ORGANIZATIONAL PLANS:Writing Goodwill Letters
  20. LETTER WRITING:Direct Requests, Inquiries and General Requests
  21. LETTER WRITING:Replies to Inquiries, Model Letters
  22. LETTER WRITING:Placing Orders, Give the Information in a Clear Format
  23. LETTER WRITING:Claim and Adjustment Requests, Warm, Courteous Close
  24. LETTER WRITING:When The Buyer Is At Fault, Writing Credit Letters
  25. LETTER WRITING:Collection Letters, Collection Letter Series
  26. LETTER WRITING:Sales Letters, Know your Buyer, Prepare a List of Buyers
  27. MEMORANDUM & CIRCULAR:Purpose of Memo, Tone of Memorandums
  28. MINUTES OF THE MEETING:Committee Membersí Roles, Producing the Minutes
  29. BUSINESS REPORTS:A Model Report, Definition, Purpose of report
  30. BUSINESS REPORTS:Main Features of the Report, INTRODUCTION
  31. BUSINESS REPORTS:Prefatory Parts, Place of Title Page Items
  32. MARKET REPORTS:Classification of Markets, Wholesale Market
  33. JOB SEARCH AND EMPLOYMENT:Planning Your Career
  34. RESUME WRITING:The Chronological Resume, The Combination Resume
  35. RESUME & APPLICATION LETTER:Personal Details, Two Types of Job Letters
  36. JOB INQUIRY LETTER AND INTERVIEW:Understanding the Interview Process
  37. PROCESS OF PREPARING THE INTERVIEW:Planning for a Successful Interview
  38. ORAL PRESENTATION:Planning Oral Presentation, To Motivate
  39. ORAL PRESENTATION:Overcoming anxiety, Body Language
  40. LANGUAGE PRACTICE AND NEGOTIATION SKILLS:Psychological barriers
  41. NEGOTIATION AND LISTENING:Gather information that helps you
  42. THESIS WRITING AND PRESENTATION:Write down your ideas
  43. THESIS WRITING AND PRESENTATION:Sections of a Thesis (Format)
  44. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:Studies Primarily Qualitative in Nature
  45. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:Basic Rules, Basic Form, Basic Format for Books