How to Write a Short Report to the General Manager

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A short report to the general manager is a brief communication that provides information needed for the decision-making process. Common uses include budgetary issues, project proposals, record keeping issues and travel results. Sometimes, a short report is used as a paper trail to verify that a work initiative has been completed, or it's used to document an issue. Written in memo form, a short report to the general manager is usually one page, although sometimes it is less. Additional documents may be attached. Short reports should be written succinctly, with headings that highlight main points.


The beginning of a short report to the general manager should state the purpose of the report. The introduction should capture the manager’s attention and serve as a summary of the results or outcomes. After the introduction, be sure to double space.

The employment recruitment fair took place on February 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Contact was made with 200 prospective employees, but our compensation package was a concern for most candidates.

The second section of a short report to the general manager contains the results of the project or initiative. Serving as the meat of the short report, it should contain facts, implications for the organization and any other relevant information. Like the introduction, the body of the short report should be concise.

It was clear that prospective employees were interested in our company, but only 22 our of 200 candidates, completed our contact cards, requesting additional information. Discussion with candidates revealed hesitation after reviewing our salary scale. Specifically, competitors advertise lucrative signing bonuses that we don’t offer. Although this is anecdotal evidence, we should review salary practices for new employees -- starting immediately -- so that we are competitive in the market.

Add an addendum with statistics, or a chart, to provide more information about the results.

Conclusion"> Conclusion

The conclusion is the finish for a short report to a general manager. It should be a cordial closing that doesn’t offer any new information. You may offer a recommendation that reinforces the previous paragraph.

The employment recruitment fair was a productive option for employment outreach and company marketing. Adding a signing bonus for new employees would change our yield and would ensure that we are competitive in attracting the best and brightest talent.

We were successful in marketing our company, and we feel -- that in the future -- that it would be productive to return to the Chicago recruitment fair.

Optional Recommendations Paragraph

If you choose to close with a simple conclusion that does not specify an action step, you may write an additional paragraph that states a specific recommendation. This paragraph is a call to action, indicating that immediate attention is necessary.

Our experience at the Chicago recruitment fair indicates an immediate need to review our incentive package for new employees. This review should include a market analysis, hiring goals, and an assessment of fiscal resources, to determine what should be added for a hiring incentive.

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  • Place supplementary and supporting data in addendums that are attached to the report instead of including them in the body of the report. Addendums provide necessary information should your general manger need it, but they don’t make the report unwieldy or longer than expected.
  • Short reports primarily are used for internal communications only and can include company lingo and abbreviations that don’t require extensive explanations. They can be formal or informal. Formal short reports require a topic page that includes a list of the contents of the report. Short formal reports may be included in company records, while short informal reports usually are used for minor details within various departments or to update the GM on a single small issue and may not be recorded or kept.
  • Ask your general manager or a peer who also submits short reports to the general manager what is considered a short report in your company. Your general manager may expect you to deliver the gist of a project in one page, while other GMs are accustomed to short reports that are closer to 10 pages long and include a one-page executive summary.

Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books focusing on customer service, diversity and team building. She serves as a consultant for business, industry and educational organizations. Dr. Meier has written business articles and books for Talico, Inc, Dynateam Consulting, Inc. and Kinect Education Group.

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How to Write a Report for the Boss

by Jayne Thompson

Published on 22 Jan 2019

Whether you are an employee writing a report for your boss, or a business owner reporting to your general manager, the best tool is the "why-what-how" framework. Why are you writing this report? What information does the reader need to know? How are you going to present your recommendations or conclusions? Following this structure will give a logical flow to your document. It will give your boss or executive the precise information needed to make a well-informed business decision.

Focus On the Why

Understand why you are writing the report. It is essential that you are clear on the report's purpose, otherwise you might tailor your writing to the wrong audience or leave out vital information. Ask questions if necessary. If the report will be distributed to multiple departments, consider whether you should include individual sections addressing each department's concerns.

Decide What Information to Include 

Gather the information you need, such as financial data, charts and graphs. Interview the people whose opinions are relevant to your report. Then, decide on the most important point or points that you think the audience needs to know. Start by writing a few paragraphs that highlight the salient points, or structure your information into a bullet-point list of items.

Decide How to Present Your Recommendation

Give the report a title. Briefly describe the details of the assignment or the reason for writing the report. Describe your method of gathering information. Organize the body of the report logically, for example, according to core themes. Be sure to include enough information to show that you have investigated the subject thoroughly. End the report with your conclusion or recommendation, based on your findings.

Add an Executive Summary

Return to the beginning of your report and add a paragraph or two that sums up the main points of the report. Alternatively, use bullet points to structure your ideas. The executive summary might be all that your boss has time to read so be sure to include all the pertinent information. Briefly, what is the report is about? What are the major findings? What do you propose or recommend? What happens next? Edit your summary until it delivers the essence of your report within a reading time of one or two minutes.

Format the Report

If there's a company style guide, make sure you follow it. Otherwise, format the report in an easy-to-read style, making the copy as easy to scan as possible. Use clear headings to separate topics; this makes it easy for your boss to find the relevant page in the report. Consider highlighting the important facts in large font or bold print. Organize any financial statements, printed materials or other supporting documents in an appendix at the end of the report.

Check and Proofread

Check the report for the proper spelling and grammar. Online spell checks and grammar checks are helpful but they don't always allow for context. If possible, have someone proofread the report with a beady eye for errors. Ask the proofreader to critique the report in general. Have you left a thought unfinished? Have you used industry terminology consistently? Is it easy to understand? Do not try to impress with your stellar vocabulary – strive for clarity instead.

Executive Reporting: Management Reporting Best Practices & Report Examples

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Research shows that an average adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day , whether they’re conscious or not.

Managers, who are called decision-makers for a reason, may make even more. Their decisions directly affect the company’s finances in most cases, so it’s critical that they can rely on accurate and well-organized data, provided in a timely and easy-to-follow manner.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

When reporting to executives, you may find yourself crafting your reports a bit differently than when reporting to clients or your team. And if you’re not sure what leaders want and need to know, how you can present your data effectively, and how to tell the story behind it, this guide will help you build executive dashboards that will leave your managers at a loss for words.

Let’s get started.

  • What is Executive Reporting?

Why Is Executive Reporting Important?

  • When Should You Use an Executive Report?

How to Determine the Right Executive Report Format?

What should an executive report include.

  • What Is An Executive Dashboard?

Benefits Of Executive Reporting & Dashboards

Best practices in executive dashboard reporting, executive dashboard examples.


What Is Executive Reporting?

Executive reporting refers to writing concise, to-the-point reports for the senior managers who need streamlined and clear data to make vital business-related decisions in order to meet the high-level goals.

There are tons of different types of reports you have to write when working for any business – internal reports that you and your team act on, financial reports, marketing reports, strategy reports, and more.

However, these may sometimes be too comprehensive and way too long for a busy manager to read them whole. These reports include a bunch of metrics and explanations that are relevant for a specific aspect of a business or a particular team, but not for C-level managers who only need to focus on the essential business KPIs necessary for them to make future decisions.

Executive-level reports are sometimes only one page long and represent a summary of the most relevant data or results achieved in a specific time period – most likely a month, quarter, or year.

A survey from a couple of years ago showed that 74% of companies that reviewed their reports improved their overall performance . Not only does this apply to individual teams within a business, but it’s just as important for the executives, who need to know what’s going on at every level of the company.

Here’s why executive reporting matters:

Making the Right Decisions

Executives need to be in the know when it comes to the overall health of the company. That’s the only way for them to make the right decisions regarding the business’ future and make them quickly. Without a consistent and efficient reporting system, strategic planning cannot happen.

Identifying Issues and Risks

No matter how successful your strategy is, there will be times when some tactics fail or a factor that’s out of your control threatens your business. Executive reporting informs the C-suite about potential issues and risks timely, so they can react promptly and prepare to prevent them from becoming bigger.

Building a Better Company Culture

Executive reporting requires consistent and transparent communication between all levels of managers and team leaders. This way, you can avoid many misunderstandings and problems, and build trust between upper and middle or lower-level management, which contributes to stable professional relationships between everyone in the company and helps build a strong company culture.

Understanding Your Workflow

Sometimes, your reports will be meant for the managers of another business – new clients, potential investors , or partners. An executive report helps them understand how your company works and what your processes look like since they don’t have the time to read comprehensive business documentation, nor do they need all that data.

When Should You Use Executive Reporting?

Executive-level reporting comes in handy on several occasions. In fact, it’s useful in any situation in which you need to summarize a lot of data in a few crucial segments that will allow a manager to create an actionable plan based on the report.

Other than having regular reporting meetings that will occur, for example, quarterly or annually, here are several examples of when you should use executive reporting.

  • If there’s an issue that requires immediate attention from the senior management.
  • If lenders require seeing a summary of your business plan.
  • If your company is negotiating with new potential investors.
  • If you’re onboarding new clients or customers who need to know about your workflow.
  • If there’s an opportunity to scale or meet any business goals faster.
  • If a particular area of the business imposes a risk for the whole company.
  • If there’s an upcoming challenge or opportunity that the management needs to prepare for.

Not every executive-level report will look the same. The formatting, choice of data, and structure depend largely on the purpose of your report and who you need to prepare it for. If presenting your business plan to lenders, you will need to craft your report in one way, while your new clients will require a different format.

However, there are a few guidelines you should follow regardless of who you’re writing for.

Consistency: Do you have in-house documentation formatting rules? If so, make sure you consistently apply the rules to executive reports. And if not, you can make your own guidelines to make the document look professional, organized, and readable. Whatever the case in your company, make sure you use the same font, spacing, and other elements in every report you create.

Length: Whether it’s a one-pager or the purpose of the report requires it to be a tad longer, bear in mind that this type of reporting needs to be as concise as possible. That means only the key metrics, KPIs, and evaluations should be included. At the same time, you need to include all the data necessary for the executives or clients to make a decision. Some professionals recommend making the executive report up to 10% of the original documents.

Independence: Although an executive report is a summary of a more comprehensive document, a manager should be able to read it without needing to consult the original document. That means it shouldn’t include any data left unexplained or any new information you don’t have the room to elaborate on. Executive reports shouldn’t contain new data or materials that are not included in the original paperwork.

Tone: The tone and the terminology you’re using may differ depending on who you’re reporting to. If you’re documenting your processes to your superiors, you are able to use jargon and terminology that you know the managers will understand. However, if you’re writing for new clients and customers who may not be familiar with your industry, make sure you use natural language comprehensible to them. Always make sure you adjust the report to your audience.

Structure: Great reports start with a summary – go over the key points of the report so the person reading it immediately gets familiar with the topic. Use bullet points and short sentences and paragraphs to make the report readable and easy to follow. At the end, add evaluations and recommendations in a short, coherent conclusion.

Contents: Your executive report should cover the key points of the longer document clearly and concisely. Make sure all the answers you present in the executive report are based on data rather than on assumptions and don’t include any data that may seem important, but doesn’t actually contribute to the main goal of the report.

Writing an executive report may feel challenging because you need to find a balance between what the managers want to read and what they need to know. On top of that, you need to use the right formatting and make sure the report isn’t too comprehensive.

It may not be easy to squeeze all the data you consider relevant in a one-page report, but the following section reveals the information your report should contain to be truly effective.

What Executives Want to Know

What executives need to know.

There may be a slight discrepancy between wants and needs in the case of executive reporting. Managers are sometimes more interested in specific information without being patient enough to hear about the data they actually need to know. When you bear this in mind, it’s easier to prepare your reports and be ready to discuss them in a meeting.

Here’s what executives want to know.

Best and worst results: Although executives will want to hear about the best and the worst results, steer clear from extremes.

Sometimes, a business will have immediate success, and the revenue will skyrocket in a few months. Sometimes, you’ll be facing a huge failure, but these extremes are unlikely to be your reality every day. Executives can sometimes obsess with these best and worst days, and miss the opportunities that lie somewhere between.

Make sure the report pulled from your performance dashboard highlights the data that has a critical and long-term impact on the businesses, rather than these isolated cases of high or low performance.

Money talk: Some executives prefer to talk about cost savings and cuts, while others get excited about revenue and growth. The first ones typically run public companies looking for ways to save money and decrease expenses, while the second ones usually work in fast-growing startups.

However, money isn’t everything, and there is a lot of useful data to be found between cost-cutting and revenue growth. When writing a report, you should keep a balance between the money-talk and other relevant KPIs.

Pro Tip: How to Stay on Top of the Financial Health of Your Business

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What everyone thinks: In reporting meetings, managers usually want to give everyone attending a chance to share their opinion. That’s considered common courtesy, and it’s generally a good thing, but executive-level reporting meetings need to be concise and to-the-point, just like your report.

Not everyone can equally contribute to every meeting, and that’s expected. To make the meeting effective, it’s critical for everyone involved to be present, but they don’t all need to speak – only those who are directly related to the issue in question.

The same goes for crafting the report – it should be one person’s responsibility so it can be streamlined and written in one tone rather than several people using different voices and styles.

There are some things that you need to discuss in an executive meeting.

Meeting topic: Executive reporting meetings are the last place to waste time at. Senior management is usually so busy that they barely have the time to read the report, but if they don’t do so, the meeting can actually cost them more than if they had set aside time to prepare.

If they’re only getting familiar with the meeting’s topic and reading the report for the first time at the meeting itself, they’re wasting their own time and everyone else’s. That’s why it’s critical to send the report in advance and leave the managers enough time to get prepared for the meeting and make it truly productive.

Responsibilities: One of the primary rules of setting the right KPIs for a business is that they need to be assignable. That means that everyone involved gets to be responsible for tracking one or more relevant metrics that need to be measured. The same goes for the meeting aftermath. Executive reports should clearly outline who will be in charge of the recommended actionable steps after the meeting, as well as the details on the follow-up.

Multiple goals: The executives don’t look at different departments and functions separately, but at the business as a whole. They need to know about all lower-level goals and strategies that affect the high-level business goals directly. That’s why the report needs to encompass different goals, perspectives, and contributions made by different departments over a specific time period.

What Is an Executive Dashboard?

An executive dashboard is a reporting tool that provides an at-a-glance overview of a company’s high-level KPIs that executive managers can later act on to drive further success or fix potential issues.

Such dashboards are actually data visualization tools that display all the relevant metrics consolidated in one place. They are an excellent addition to executive reports since a written report doesn’t include any graphics, illustrations, or charts. An executive dashboard can supplement the report in a way that provides deeper insight into the data provided in the summary. 

Executives, regardless of how busy they may be with their own high-level processes and tasks, also need to know what’s happening with their teams on the operative level. When everyone in the company is kept in the loop, it’s possible to identify problems and risks, as well as trends and opportunities, as soon as they appear and react promptly. Executive dashboards allow them to do this quickly.

Executive reporting and dashboards also facilitate the decision-making process for the executives, since they’ll be sure their choices and forecasts are based on real and accurate data. And not only are you able to collect this data in real-time, but you can pull it from multiple sources into a single dashboard , where you can create visuals that will help you compare your performance to the last quarter’s, for example.

When you upgrade your executive report with a chart or table, you make it even more accessible and easier to act on. Summarizing the most important information, which may sometimes be complex, using visualization tools helps the executives:

  • Understand the data better
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Increase teams’ productivity and engagement
  • Improve internal processes
  • Grow revenue

Using illustrations, graphs, tables, and charts is highly recommended in executive-level reporting. And what are other best practices in creating executive dashboards you should know about?

Adjust the Report to Your Audience

Choose the right kpis, inform your team, customize the dashboard, integrate all your platforms, create a story.

Keep your audience in mind when writing an executive report. Senior managers and potential investors are two very different target groups who will need different information about your business.

Exploring your target readers before you create the report is worth it – you’ll understand better what their objectives and interests are, and it’ll help you present the right data in the right way. You may even speak to the managers directly to learn more about their goals and priorities.

Getting the KPIs right is always the number one concern within companies. Without these, you can’t have the right performance measurements. These KPIs need to be specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-bound, and they should reflect the company’s priorities. Executive reporting isn’t the right place to go too much into detail with every KPI each of your departments has.

Also, make sure the KPIs are up-to-date. Even the high-level KPIs are occasionally revisited and adjusted if deemed necessary.

Even if there’s one person in charge of writing the report, the whole team should know how the process of executive reporting works.

Being transparent about this process is especially important when collecting the data: if your team knows the system inside out, they’ll know what metrics to track and pay additional attention to.

Dashboards are only helpful if they’re well-organized and free of clutter. Choose your metrics wisely and don’t overload the dashboard with unnecessary data that will drive your attention away from the important stuff.

One of the most efficient practices is to create a dashboard template that you can later edit and adjust to different purposes of your executive report. That will save your time and let you focus on the core elements of the report rather than build the dashboard from scratch every time.

You are probably using different types of software to collect the necessary data: website analytics tools, project management tools, CRM systems, and more. To craft your report, you need to pull the data from each one.

But that may take too long, so using software integration solutions may be a lifesaver. By connecting all your systems, you’ll make sure your data is accurate and reliable, ready for analysis and report writing.

Just because an executive is going to read your report, it doesn’t mean it has to sound dry. Your report should tell a story about your business strategy and its performance, so don’t avoid using a compelling narrative to deliver the data. It’ll be an attention-grabbing read and easier to follow than a bunch of numbers and percentages put together. 

You now know in theory what a great executive report should look like. However, we’d like to share a few dashboard examples to help you get started with your own.

Management KPI Dashboard

Executive financial dashboard, financial overview dashboard, saas management dashboard, sales kpi dashboard.

How many customers downgraded their subscription this month? What is your churn rate? What’s your MRR? You can easily track all of this data by setting up this Stripe MRR & Churn dashboard template – it helps you track the number of customers you have at any given time. You can browse more KPI dashboards here.

Management KPI Dashboard

How many open invoices do you have? How much did you get from your paid invoices? You can track all your paid invoices, find out how many pending ones you have, and learn if you’re on the right track towards your financial goals for the month by downloading this QuickBooks + HubSpot CRM Financial Performance dashboard template . You can browse more revenue dashboards or profit and loss dashboards here.

Executive Financial Dashboard

This Quickbooks dashboard template is an excellent addition to your financial executive report. It’s a well-organized dashboard that provides you with valuable insight into your bank accounts, your company’s cash flow, expenses, and sales so you can be in the know when it comes to your business’s financial health. You can browse more financial dashboards here.

Financial Overview Dashboard

You can track your SaaS revenue in a streamlined and neat way by using this Profitwell Revenue Trends dashboard template . It contains metrics such as recurring revenue, churn by type, MRR changes by type, and more, and helps you track your company’s growth over the year and identify strategies that drive the most revenue. You can browse more SaaS dashboards here.

SaaS Management Dashboard

HubSpot Sales Manager KPIs dashboard template is ideal for sales managers who want a streamlined overview of the relevant sales rep KPIs such as average deal size, new deals create, number of deals won, and more. This HubSpot integration answers many questions about your sales team’s success, like how much revenue you can expect from new deals created in the current month. You can browse more sales dashboards here.

Sales KPI Dashboard

Improve Executive Reporting with Databox

Traditional business analysis made us all think that executive reporting is a tedious process that takes up way too much of our time and resources. And actually, it really used to be like that – long nights of writing and extracting data, instead of focusing on the core tasks your role included.

However, with modernized and automated reporting software , reporting has become faster, more accurate, and more effective than ever.

An executive dashboard software like Databox enables you to collect data from multiple sources in one place, create all types of charts and graphs to get straightforward visualizations of this data and get it ready for analysis. Thanks to drag-and-drop features, it’s incredibly easy to build your own, customized reports and adjust them depending on the purpose.

Simply put, Databox provides you with powerful financial reporting software that supports your leadership by getting you the right data at the right time, in a well-organized and accessible manner.

We made reporting simple and enjoyable, so who could ever ask for more?

To find out just how simple it can really be, sign up for our free trial and replace reporting decks with automated dashboards today.

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How to Write a Short Report (Over Email)

Although we all want to streamline our work and cut down on the amount of business communication we send and receive, the business world cannot function efficiently without short reports.

Short business reports communicate when work is being completed, if schedules are being met, how costs are being contained, if sales projections are being met, how clients are being served, and when unexpected problems come up.

As a businessperson, you may routinely write short reports on the activities of your department. You also may be asked to submit a short report in response to a specific and/or timely circumstance. The most common short reports are periodic reports, sales reports, progress reports, travel reports, test reports and incident reports.

Periodic Reports provide readers with information at regular intervals, including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. Business managers rely on periodic reports to make budgets, create schedules, order materials, hire personnel, and determine other business needs.

Sales Reports give records of accounts, purchases, and profits and losses over a specified time. These reports help managers see where changes need to be made, and how to plan for the future.

Progress Reports inform readers about ongoing projects. They offer details on scheduling, budgeting, equipment, work assignments, and job completion. Progress reports help mangers coordinate one project with another one going on at the same time. They should include information on past work, current work, and future work.

Travel Reports include documentation on field trips, site inspections, conferences, home health, or social work visits. Mangers use them to budget for future trips and to evaluate their effectiveness from a profit and loss basis.

Test Reports are documents based on research conducted in the field, or in a lab. They offer objective details on how a test was performed, what outcomes were identified, and what recommendations should be followed.

Incident Reports are used to describe accidents, breakdowns, delays, and cost overruns. These reports may be used as evidence in court, so they must be concise, accurate, and complete.

Here are some basic guidelines for short reports:

1. Know your purpose. Who is your audience? What do they know? What do they need to know?

Your audience for a short report may include someone from outside your firm, or someone who works within your company. Remember that regardless of your audience, no bottom line speaks louder than money to a company or client. Anticipate the needs of the audience members and how they will use the information in your report.

2. Do your homework . Most reports, short or long, require some research. Perform the interviews, inspect the equipment, or read the studies necessary to gain the information you need.

You may obtain data internally, such as sales figures from your company's sales department. Or you may have to conduct research on your own for the report.

3. Be objective. Leave your preconceptions behind. Base your conclusions and recommendations on complete data and thorough research, not guesswork.

4. Choose a reader-friendly format. Use a clear subject line. Avoid big blocks of text. Make use of subheadings, bullet points, bold print, and graphics to make your report clear and easy to read. Be flexible on format according to the nature of your report.

5. Use graphs or tables to summarize data. A visual image is usually easier to understand than numbers. Don't go overboard with colors or graphics. Too many bells and whistles can look unprofessional, or worse -- look as if you don't have much to say in your report.

6. Write in a concise format. Avoid long, complicated sentences in favor of short, clear sentences. Allow for careful proofreading and revisions.

7. Be careful with jargon and avoid using either too informal or too technical language.

9. Organize your short report . A long, formal business report is divided into 10 sections. A short business report, however, typically has only four main sections.

The Terms of Reference section gives readers any necessary background information on the report, and why the report is needed. Include only the information that is needed for recipients to put the report in proper perspective.

Next is the Procedure section. This section (sometimes called "Scope") details the specific steps taken and methods used for the report. If there are certain constraints that limit the study, explain what they are here.

If your findings are based on a questionnaire or survey, outline the steps you took. If your report has a scientific emphasis, include an explanation of the technical processes used in your research.

The third main area of a business report is the Findings section. The findings section details information that is discovered, or made clear, during the course of the report.

Your findings section can be subdivided with numbered or bulleted headings. Order your observations in a logical way. You can arrange them by category or topic, in chronological or spatial order, or by order of importance.

The final area of a business report includes Conclusions and Recommendations based upon the findings.

The writer of a business report should try to remain as objective as possible. While conclusions and recommendations do reflect opinions, these statements should be based upon the facts, as revealed in the findings section of the report.

Place your top recommendations or conclusions first. Any recommendation should include clear, measurable actions. Numbering your ideas may make them easier to refer to during a later in-person or e-mail discussion.

e-mail body:

Hello (Name of recipient);

At the June board meeting, Allison Campden requested that I survey employees on their satisfaction with our employee benefits. I completed the project last week and have included my findings for your review in the attached report.

I will be happy to answer any questions you have. I also plan to present my report at Friday's HR meeting.

Your position

Your contact information

Attachment: Employee Benefits Satisfaction Report

Terms of Reference

As the monthly board meeting on June 11, Allison Campden, director of Human Resources (HR), requested this report on employee benefits satisfaction.

A representative selection of 20 percent of all employees was interviewed in person and by phone in the period between July 1 and July 15 concerning:

  • their overall satisfaction with our current company benefits package
  • any problems they encountered when dealing with HR
  • any suggestions they have for improved communication policies
  • any difficulties they encountered when dealing with our HMO

Our survey showed that our employees are generally satisfied with the company's current benefits package.

Some employees mentioned long approval waiting periods for vacation times.

Our older employees (45+) frequently mentioned difficulties with HMO prescription drugs procedures. Employees under age 45 reported fewer problems with HMO.

Many employees cited lack of dental insurance in our benefits package as a concern.

Dental coverage was also cited most frequently as an area for improvement.


Our older employees are having problems with the HMO's prescription drug program.

Our HR response time, particularly in regard to vacation time, needs to be improved.


Meet with HMO representatives to discuss prescription drug benefit complaints for employees age 45 and up.

Give priority to vacation request response times so employees may plan their vacations.

Memo format

Another way to organize a short report e-mail is with the memo format.

Use standard headings, such as To, From, Subject, Date, in this way:

To: Marketing team members

From: Andy Bayless

Subject: Annual Sales Report

Date: Jan. 4, 2016

Then make a brief introductory statement that gives the reader an overview of the problem, or the context of the report.

Now you can include the four sections for a short report:

Conclusions and recommendations

Proofread your report several times. Misspellings, typos, or basic grammatical errors will give your readers the impression that you did not put a great deal of effort into the report.

Consider asking someone else in your department to read it, checking for accuracy. Be open to this feedback and consider any comments carefully.

Presenting a report

Many companies ask a report writer to present a report at a meeting. If you have this opportunity, look at it as a way to emphasize the key findings of the report, rather than simply read it your audience. Use your charts or graphs as visuals, and as a springboard to discuss your findings

Anticipate questions, and plan to leave a large portion of your presentation for questions and answers from the audience.

A business report requires you to analyze a situation, and to apply business theories to offer suggestions for improvement.

It allows you to demonstrate your reasoning and evaluation skills, and to provide recommendations for future action. With most business reports, there is no single correct solution, but several solutions. The writer must weigh the costs and benefits of each possibility to an organization. It is these costs and benefits that you need to identify and weigh in your report.

Effective business reports reveal the objectivity and the concise and clear communication skills of their writers. These skills are so important in today's competitive business environment, that a growing number of business owners are reporting that business communication skills are at the top of their lists when they interview and hire new employees.

Some hiring managers even ask applicants to write a sample business report as a way of screening applicants.

According to a study by Grammarly that was published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), more than two-thirds of salaried jobs in America require a large amount of written communication. The study revealed that major companies spend more than of $3 billion each year training their employees in writing skills.

One CEO, Kyle Wiens of iFixit, wrote in a HBR blog post that he will not hire people who use poor grammar. Wiens claims that good grammar is a telltale sign of professionalism, attention to detail, credibility, and the ability to learn new things.

Think of how you will stand out in an interview, or on the job, if your writing skills are already above average.

Many fans of social media have been hitting the death knell for e-mail for years. Despite this, e-mail is here to stay. People check their smart phones up to 150 times a day, according to the Kleiner Perkins Internet research firm. And checking e-mail is the number one activity people do on their phones.

As a paraphrase of a familiar Mark Twain quote might read, "The reports of e-mail's death have been greatly exaggerated."

Good business communication means good business. Bad business communication can mean wasted time and effort and the possibility of lost business and revenues.

When you use good business practices in composing and sending professional e-mails, you further your career and the success of your company.

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How to write a great management report

“how to write…” video series.

A business update — or management report — is one of the most common reports that a leader will be asked to write, and it’s your chance to instil confidence and build trust. But the trap that some people fall into is writing a “busyness” report — that is, an account of all the things that are keeping them busy, which is not what your board or your boss is looking for.

What they want to know is whether you have a grasp of the key issues in your part of the business and whether you have the smarts to propose how best to tackle them. Your ability to pull the signal from the noise and plot a course through it, well, that’s great leadership — and that’s what your reader will be looking for.

The 4 simple (but powerful) questions that hold the key to a successful management report

Management reports go by different names —  operational updates , performance reviews , or MI reports . Done well, they will build your readers’ confidence in you. And you know what? It has very little to do with how much good news you’re bringing to the table.

Most reports trip up on the same things. They don’t mention the flag on the hill they’re trying to achieve; they’re either too backwards-looking or it’s just a good news story. And, finally, they’re inconclusive — they don’t spell out whether you believe you’ll meet your goals or whether you need to course correct. To avoid these pitfalls and ace your report, there are four simple questions to address.

1. What are we trying to achieve?

Start by recapping your goals and how they support your organisation’s higher-level goals. Your reader will be interested in the big issues, so explaining how your area relates to them will motivate your reader to read on.

This sounds obvious, right? But, too often, it’s overlooked. As well as orienting your reader, it’s also your chance to connect with the “Why?”, with that flag on the hill that your hard work is striding towards.

2. How are we performing against our plan?

Split this into two areas:

  • Where are we performing better than planned?
  • And where are we performing less well than planned?

Just three to five key points for each area is enough. Don’t drown your reader, and don’t shy away from bad news; your reader will go searching for it if you don’t address it upfront. Confidence comes from talking about what you’re doing to address what went wrong.

And, with each of these points you cover, ask yourself, “So what?” What does it imply? And what are we doing in response?

3. What is our outlook?

Look to the future and talk about the opportunities and challenges. This is where the conversation is of most value to you. Engaging your reader by asking for their ideas, advice, and experience on your outlook can be really valuable.

4. What are the implications?

So, net-net, what is your confidence in the plan? Ask yourself, are there things that we should start, stop, or do differently?

All too often, leaders lean on the facts and leave out what they really think. But there’s no shortage of information these days; in fact, we’re drowning in it. So, what sorts the winners from the losers? Our ability to pull meaning from the noise and to identify the best way forward; you’re the expert and what you think matters.

And, because you’ve been balanced, you’ll inspire confidence; because you’ve expressed judgment in building on those facts, your audience will respect you.

If you found this useful, check back for other videos in this series and take a look at Lucia, our management reporting platform that helps you write brilliantly clever reports that spur your business to action.

  Lucia   Write great reports, every time    A thinking and writing platform that helps you to write brilliantly clever and  beautiful reports that surface breakthrough insights and spur your business to  action. Find out more

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Top 25 Management Reporting Best Practices To Create Effective Reports

Top 25 management reporting best practices blog by datapine

Table of Contents

1) What Is A Management Report?

2) Financial vs. Management Reports

3) Management Reporting Best Practices & Examples

4) Management Reporting Trends & History

5) Importance Of Management Reporting

6) Types Of Management Reports

7) Management Reporting System Functionalities

8) Best Practices Summary

Management reporting is a source of business intelligence that helps business leaders make more accurate, data-driven decisions. But, these reports are only as useful as the work that goes into preparing and presenting them. In this blog post, we’re going to give a bit of background and context about performance management reports, and then we’ll outline 25 essential best practices you can use to be sure your reports are effective.

We’ll also examine examples that illustrate these practices in action created with modern online reporting tools . By the end of this article, making stunning and useful managerial reports will be second nature to you. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with the basic definition.

What Is A Management Report?

A management dashboard example visualizing the number of paying customers, ARPU, CAC, CLTV, and MRR over the course of a month.

Management reports are analytical tools used by managers to inform the performance of the business in several areas and departments. Senior executives and leadership use management reporting to drive their strategic decisions and monitor critical KPIs in real-time. 

They basically show the worth of your business over a specific time period by disclosing financial and operational information. Reporting for management provides insights into how the organization is doing, empowering decision-makers to find the right path to increase operating efficiency and make pertinent decisions to remain competitive. To do so, many companies use professional management reporting software .

Backed up with powerful visualizations developed with a dashboard creator , no information can stay hidden, eliminating thus the possibility of human errors and negative business impact. The image above is a management report example focusing on a SaaS business. Throughout this post, we will cover various examples for different industries and departments to help you understand the power of these modern tools.

In The Beginning, Financial Reports

Most people in business are familiar with financial reports, which your business is required to keep for external accounting purposes. These reports are generally put out “after the fact” and follow a very clear and established set of guidelines known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

While such reports are useful for legal purposes, they’re not ideal for decision-making. They give you a bird's eye view of your business operations but without the actionable insights that are useful for making strategic choices. They’re also slow. As Tyrone Cotie, treasurer of Clearwater Seafoods, said , “…no matter how quickly you compile and release historical financial statements, you never make a decision from them. The challenge for finance is getting timely and accurate analysis that’s forward-looking and helps us make decisions.” This statement is valid today and probably, in the future as well. Why?

Because this mismatch between usefulness and reality comes from the fact that financial reports were never designed to be useful: they were designed to satisfy legal requirements. They were using historical data only.

Trying to make financial management reports useful

The mentioned mismatch led some companies to try to use their financial reports for legal purposes as decision-making tools by including additional information in them. While this approach has some merit, it has one big drawback: increased complexity and time cost. Considering that financial reports have to hit specific legal deadlines and that any additional information will cause them to be prepared in a more time-intensive way, this approach of “hybridizing” financial reports into management + finances is not recommended. Thus, the practice of management reporting separately from financial reporting came about. Managerial reports use a lot of the same data as financial ones but are presented in a more useful way, for example, via interactive management dashboards .

As a Growthforce article states, management reports help answer some of the following questions for a CEO:

  • “Am I pricing my jobs right?
  • Who are my most profitable clients?
  • Do I have enough cash for payroll?
  • Should I hire more employees? If so, how much should I pay them?
  • Where should I spend my marketing dollars?”

To answer these questions, you will need a financial management report focused not on legal requirements but on business-level and decision-making ones. In essence, analysis reports are a specific form of business intelligence that has been around for a while. However, using dashboards, big data, and predictive analytics is changing the face of this kind of reporting.

Before moving on to our list of best practices, we leave you an image to help you easily visualize the differences between these two types of reports.

Differences between traditional financial reports and modern management reports

**click to enlarge**

What Should Be Included In A Management Report: Top 25 Best Practices, Examples & Templates

We’ve asked the question: ‘ What is a management report?’ and explored its clear-cut benefits. Now, it’s time to consider the management reporting best practices.

Here, we’ll explore 25 essential tips, looking at management reporting examples while considering how you can apply these principles to different types of managerial reports.

1) Set the strategic goals and objectives

For every report you write, you will need to start with the end in mind. Why do you need that report in the first place? Do you know the key drivers of your business? How can you tell if your pricing is correct? How do you define success? Ask yourself some important data analysis questions that will allow you to address the needs of the report.

Once you know what you are monitoring and why it will be much easier to set the performance indicators that will track each specific aspect of the performance, don’t go further in the reporting process until you have set at least two to three goals.

2) Gather and clean your data  

After you’ve set strategic and operational goals for the organization, your next step is to collect the information needed to track the success and performance of your efforts toward achieving those goals. Now, an important point to consider here is to pick only the data that will assist you in tracking your goals. Businesses gather an infinite amount of information coming from customers, sales, marketing, and much more, and tracking everything can become overwhelming and counterproductive. Instead, pick the sources of data that you actually need and move on to the cleaning stage. 

Once you have selected your sources, you must ensure your data is clean and ready to be analyzed. When we say clean your data, we mean erasing any duplicates, missing codes, or incorrectly formatted data that can damage your analysis in the future. If, just by reading this, you are thinking, “What a tedious process this must be,” it's because it is. Cleaning your data manually requires a lot of time and effort. That said, there are many online data analysis tools out there that automate this process to save you countless hours of work and prevent any risk of human error. 

3) Pick the right KPIs for your audience

OK – so you know that you need to focus on a small number of KPIs. Which ones should you be putting on?

It really depends on your audience – both on their job function and their level of seniority. For example, a junior sales manager and a junior marketing manager are both going to want to see different indicators. And the junior marketing manager will be interested in different data than the head of marketing. Good KPI management is critical in the process of manager reporting. A good way to think about the challenge of picking the correct metrics is to think: what data-driven questions will the readers of this report want to be answered? A sales manager might be interested in which of his reps is performing better, while an inbound marketing manager might want to know which piece of content is performing better regarding new email signups. Only after answering this question you will be able to address your audience’s expectations and benefit from effective reporting. You can also read our KPI reports article, where you can find precious advice on how to pick your KPIs.

Hereafter is an investment management reporting format that illustrates this practice well. It focuses entirely on variables that investors would care about, including the share price and the price-to-earnings ratio.

Management report for investors focusing on KPIs investor-oriented: Return on Asset, Return on Equity, Debt-Equity ratio, Share Price, P/E ratio, and Working-Capital ratio

 **click to enlarge**

4) Set measurable targets and benchmarks

Once you’ve set your goals and defined the KPIs you’ll need to measure them, it is a good practice to set targets or benchmarks to evaluate your progress based on specific values. Let’s explore some ways in which you can define them in the most efficient way possible. 

To do so, you first need to understand the difference between targets and goals. On one hand, goals are general strategic objectives that your company wants to achieve, such as increasing revenue compared to the previous year. And on the other hand, targets are the measures that will enable you to understand if you are on the right track to achieving your initial goals. Based on that, you should be able to set measurable, relevant, and achievable targets. Emphasis on achievable. Many businesses make the mistake of setting unrealistic targets and end up being disappointed when they don’t reach them. To prevent that from happening, comparing your performance to the previous period is a good and realistic benchmark to get started. Our example below is a CEO dashboard that gives managers a perfect overview of the organization’s performance compared to the previous period. Let’s talk about it in more detail below.  

CEO management report tracking relevant metrics fro finances, sales and marketing, customer service and HR

The CEO template provides insights into 4 critical areas for any C-level executive: finances, sales and marketing, customer service, and HR. Each of the metrics displayed in this report is compared to a benchmark of the previous period, with the colors red and green showing negative or positive development, respectively. Through this, managers can understand if their strategies are performing as expected and quickly spot any issues or improvement opportunities. 

5) Take customer feedback into consideration in your reports

An additional tip is to use customer service analytics to draw conclusions from your client's feedback. Customer feedback plays into the overall performance of an organization as it caters to the organization’s ability to meet the needs of its customers. This feedback not only helps teams gauge what they’re doing wrong on their digital channels but also what they’re doing right .

Reporting on insights from feedback surveys can aid in forming a more data-driven digital strategy. For example, it can be leveraged to inform your product roadmap, identify pain points across the website (usability), and boost overall customer satisfaction.

Is it overall customer satisfaction you wish to report on? Dive into your charts and show the rise (or fall) of your Net Promoter Score (NPS). Then take it one step further and analyze open comments associated with your scores to uncover what’s causing the drop. From here, you can formulate a strategy for boosting the organization’s NPS.

Here is an illustration of an NPS (feedback) chart:

NPS and CES development by month, depicted on a line chart throughout the year

6) Tell a story with your data

Our next tip zooms out of hard data and figures to focus more on the style and how to present your raw content. Human beings are primarily persuaded through 3 different types of information: context, content, and meaning. When you tell a story using the insights on your report, you can utilize all of them. This form of storytelling is challenging, but you have a few tools at your disposal and some tips:

  • Using time periods and historical data. Stories follow a beginning, middle, and end pattern, and through the use of showing trends over time, you can achieve something similar. For example, you could compare the revenue in Q1 this year to the revenue in Q1 last year.
  • Contrasting different KPIs and metrics against each other. For example, showing a target revenue number vs. the actual number this quarter.

Hereafter is a good example of a management report, mainly thanks to the three large historical graphs taking up most of the display:

Management report telling a story thanks to historical graphs (Revenue, Operational expenses and Earning before interest) that are displayed so as to be the most important graphs, with additional info on their side (Gross Profit Margin, OPEX ratio, EBIT Margin, Net Profit Margin, etc.)

Let’s take a real-world example of how you can selectively use metrics to tell a specific story: you are the head of marketing and need to justify your current expenditures on content marketing to the CEO. She doesn’t care about email signups or page visits. No, your CEO is interested in revenue and ROI (an essential element of any effective financial management report). It is your job to connect the KPIs you look at revenue so that your CEO understands how important funding your department is.

You could show her the following variables to tell a story:

  • Current email list numbers compared to last quarter
  • How many new email list signups you’re currently getting per week on average
  • The average email list signups you got per week last quarter
  • How much money are you making, on average, for every new email subscriber and calculate the expected ROI

Using all of this information, you can answer the following question: how much new revenue is being driven by your new content marketing strategy?

This is the kind of story that can make or break funding allocation for a department.

7) Pick the right visuals 

If you ever dealt with analytics and reporting before, then you must be aware of the multiple types of graphs and charts available to visualize your most important KPIs and build your reports. That said, being aware that these graphics exist does not mean you have the knowledge of how to use them correctly. A common mistake when it comes to management reporting is to use the wrong visual. This can significantly harm the decision-making process as the data can be perceived in the wrong way. 

The first step you should take to avoid this mistake is to think about the goal of the data you want to display. Are you trying to show the breakdown of total costs? Or comparing costs to a previous period? Understanding the end goal will enable you to pick the right visual to convey the information you want. To help you with this task, below we display a visual overview of the different types of graphs and charts you should use depending on whether you want to compare, find relationships, analyze distribution, or composition. 

Overview to use the right data visualization types for comparisons, compositions, relationships and distributions.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, our guide on the different types of graphs and charts will provide all the necessary knowledge and practical examples. 

 8) Make your report visually pleasing through focus

The human mind cannot process too much data at a time without getting overwhelmed. Getting overwhelmed leads to decision fatigue – which makes it harder for your management team to think strategically. That’s why when it comes to this level of reporting, you should remember the mantra of “less is more.” As a rough rule of thumb, displaying three to six KPIs on a report is a good range, and going too much beyond this is not the greatest idea.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t have other data presented – but you must have a clear hierarchy of visual importance in your report and only give the most important spots to your indicators. Other metrics should occupy secondary or tertiary positions. State-of-the-art online dashboard software allows you to easily build interactive KPI dashboards in no time that will become your prime asset when you’ll need to convey your information.

The following example is good to showcase this practice:

Management report of Revenue and Customer Overview, displaying 4 main KPIs in order of importance and comparing to the previous year, with the purpose of telling a clear story

The four KPIs in this report template are prominently displayed:

  • Number of New Customers
  • Average Revenue per customer
  • Customer Acquisition Cost

These metrics are set in context with historical trends, targets for the period, or other metrics like Customer Lifetime Value, causing this focused graph to tell a story.

9) Make your report very clear

In business writing and management reporting, clarity is the primary objective. This has several implications for your report design:

  • Follow established dashboard design principles – give plenty of white space, ensure your colors stand out from each other, and select colors carefully.
  • Don’t forget the small things – display a date range next to the data, and ensure it’s clear whether a given KPI is good, bad, or neutral. A good way to do this is by comparing expected values to real ones, like the expected revenue for a quarter to the actual revenue of this very quarter.
  • Use common metrics that everyone who will read the report can understand and has experience with using.

For more tips & tricks on data-efficient reporting, you can read one of our previous blog posts on how to create data reports people love to read.

10) Be mindful not to mislead 

As you learned in our two previous points, making your reports visually appealing and following design best practices is a fundamental aspect of achieving a successful management reporting process. Another important aspect to consider in this regard is to be mindful of how the information is presented to avoid being misleading. As a manager generating a report, it is very likely that you will have a diverse audience which can include people that are not familiar with the data presented in them. For this reason, following some best practices to avoid misleading reports can help you keep your work objective and easy to understand. 

  • Labels : When integrating several charts and graphs into your reports, labels play a fundamental role in how the data is perceived. For this reason, your labels should be short, clear, and concise. Avoid writing labels that guide the viewer to a specific conclusion or too complicated ones that can make the chart hard to understand. 
  • Axis: Manipulating an axis is a common form of misleading statistics used by the media and politicians to manipulate the public. A common bad practice in this regard is to start the X axis in a higher number than 0 to exaggerate a comparison between two data points. To avoid this, use your axis correctly, following charting guidelines. 
  • Cherry picking: This means picking only the data that will make you look good. As a manager, you obviously want to show how great the business is doing. However, showing only good results is a practice that can mislead the audience into believing something that is not the complete truth. Including bad results is a good way to learn and find improvement opportunities. 

Your Chance: Want to test a management reporting software for free? We offer a 14-day free trial. Benefit from great management reports!

11) Go digital!

An important best practice for management reporting is to ditch paper-based reports and go digital. Online KPI reporting software is a great asset for your business, as they offer real-time updating capabilities, saves money, and reduces waste.

These digital reports can be made to be interactive, allowing you to get more granular or zoom out as you wish. Moreover, they are collaborative tools that let your team onboard the analytics train and work conjointly on the same report. Another example we will provide you with is the following marketing KPI report:

Marketing report for management, with main KPIs about costs and revenue

This is the perfect type of report a management team needs to ensure actionable, data-driven decisions: a high-level overview of the marketing performance is given. Indeed, focusing on the click-through rate, the website traffic evolution, or page views wouldn’t make sense. On the other hand, the big picture of how the marketing department works as a whole will be more appreciated: total revenue generated standing next to the total spend, the profit that came out of it, the return on investment, etc.

12) Strike a balance with your visualizations

We’ve established that making your report clear is vital to success. Another way of making sure that your management report format is digestible is to make your various visualizations balanced on the page. Our SaaS executive dashboard is an excellent example of a visually balanced format:

A management report visualizing the number of paying customers, ARPU, CAC, CLTV, and MRR over the course of a month.

The primary focus of this particular example is to provide a customer-centric view of the costs, revenue, and performance stability of your SaaS-based activities from a senior standpoint.

As you can see, our SaaS executive dashboard serves up 4 performance indicators (Customer Acquisition Costs, CLV, ARPU, and MRR) to offer a concise snapshot for senior decision-makers, with each visualization selected based on their ability to offer at-a-glance information without clashing or creating confusion.

When choosing types of graphs and charts, it’s important to consider basic design principles while also considering whether each chart, graph, or display works cohesively to provide essential information without causing conflict or consuming too much time.

By considering the previous tips, testing your visualization choices, and considering your core goals throughout, you’ll create a managerial report that gets real results.

13) Make your report scannable & drillable

It’s clear that going digital with your management reporting system is essential in our tech-driven age. And as we touched on earlier, two of the significant advantages of these systems are interactive functionality and customizable features.

By being able to customize your reports with ease while taking advantage of interactive features, you can build on your data visualization selection and design practices to ensure your management report template is both scannable & drillable.

Take this dynamic project reporting example, for instance:

One of our management reporting examples: IT project management depicting the budget, workload, overdue tasks, upcoming deadlines, among others

By making customizations and using interactive functions to drill down deeper into particular pockets of information, this IT report sample is effective for quick access to real-time project performance information as well as comprehensive trend-based data.

Working from the top left to the top right and down the project dashboard in a logical format, you can see the dashboard is entirely scannable and customized for cherry-picking important metrics. Here, it’s possible to get a clear gauge of project progress, looming deadlines, budgets, and workloads by simply scanning the page.

Plus, by taking advantage of interactive features and drill-down boxes, it’s possible to dig deeper into your data as required. By embracing customizable and interactive dashboard features, you can build your creations flexibly, working in real-time or with monthly management report tools. If you want to track your progress in a different format, you can take a look at our KPI scorecard article and organize your milestones differently.

14) Deliver real-time data that aligns with your objectives

Regarding major types of management reports, it’s important to understand when to lean on real-time insights. Knowing when to use this kind of dynamic data is the most prominent feature of your dashboard.

We’ve covered the importance of storytelling and selecting a balanced mix of KPIs (for past, predictive, and real-time insights). But what is important to consider with any management report sample is making sure your real-time insights fully align with your objectives.

The next of our examples comes in the form of our energy dashboard - a prime representation of well-placed real-time insights:

Energy management dashboard with selected KPIs

Energy management is challenging as it requires quick responses to potential issues or inefficiencies to prevent major losses or problem escalations by utilizing modern energy analytics solutions. As demonstrated in this most insightful example, while you can see a mix of data types, the real-time metrics reflect the core aims of monitoring energy consumption and improving powercut management.

When creating your report, here’s what you should do to ensure your real-time data aligns with your primary goals:

  • Revisit your key objectives and KPI selections, studying them in greater detail to see whether your real-time metrics “tell a story or paint a picture” that your audience will benefit from.
  • Run your report for a week, personally testing it to check if your real-time insights allow you to achieve your goals and make quick, informed decisions.
  • Ask other key stakeholders within the organization to test your report and offer their feedback. Based on their (and your) discoveries, make tweaks, changes, or customizations accordingly.

15) Try Predictive Analytics & AI Technologies 

Following the line of real-time data, our next best practice is related to advanced management reporting systems. To extract the maximum potential out of your reports, you need to be sure you invest in a tool that will make your process easier, more automated, and more time-efficient. To assist you with this purpose, there are several business analytics tools in the market that can offer you these types of solutions. Let’s look at what you can achieve with these technologies. 

Predictive analytics: Unlike not many other solutions out there, datapine provides a predictive analytics tool that takes historical data in order to predict future outcomes in your business performance. Getting these kinds of predictions is valuable as it will let you prepare in advance for the future and spot any potential issues before they happen. 

Artificial intelligence (AI): As we’ve mentioned a few times throughout this post, management reports should turn your life easier. For this reason, embracing the powers of AI can take your managerial data to the next level. datapine’s intelligent alerts use neural networks to learn from trends and patterns in your data so they can later notify you if something unusual happens. All you need to do is set predefined targets or goals, and the alerts will set off as soon as a goal is met or something is not going as planned. 

16) Keep your dashboards actionable and improve constantly

Expanding on the previous point: whether a financial management report, a monthly management report sample, or any other type of senior dashboard, continual improvements will ensure your offerings remain relevant and actionable.

The digital world is constantly evolving, and as such, business goals, aims, strategies, and initiatives are always changing to adapt to the landscape around them. To ensure your reports work for you on a sustainable basis, you should periodically test each report to check for any irrelevant KPIs while looking for any reporting inefficiencies. This can be done simply by utilizing visual analytics tools that use the power of visualization to ensure your reporting stays on course and improves your business's bottom line.

At this point, you’ll have already laid out the framework for your reports, and by committing ample time to make updates as well as improvements, you’ll remain one step ahead of the competition at all times. Get testing!

17) Develop your reports collaboratively

Managerial reporting systems are designed to offer insight, clarity, and direction.

To squeeze every last drop of value from your managerial reports, you must commit to developing your reports according to the landscape around you—and the best way to do so is as a team.

By taking a collaborative approach to your company's reporting initiatives, you will increase your chances of making tweaks or enhancements that offer a real benefit to your business.

Suppose you're in charge of financial management reporting, for instance. In that case, you should create a tight-knit workgroup of relevant specialists within your organization to gather on a regular basis and assess the relevance of your KPIs or metrics.

With this mix of professional perspectives, you will gain the power to spot any existing report management system weaknesses (outdated visualizations, inefficient reporting layouts, unnecessary data, etc.) to ensure that your accounting management reports not only capture every valuable fiscal insight but work in a way that gives every user the tools to perform to the best of their abilities.

As modern management reporting templates offer flexible 24/7 access across a multitude of devices, it’s possible to develop or evolve your visualizations and insights collaboratively on a remote basis, if required.

18) Create a sense of cohesion & consistency

Concerning financial management reporting best practices, our dynamic financial dashboard is as good as it gets. With a balanced mix of scannable visualizations and KPIs designed to drill down into the four primary areas of CFO management, this particular tool demonstrates the unrivaled value of internal executive reports.

One of our management reports examples focused on Chief Financial Officer's data such as revenue, EBIT, operations expenses, etc

Here, everything is geared towards striking a balance between economic value, improved financial performance, and ongoing employee satisfaction, presented in a logical and digestible format for swift decision-making even under pressure.

One of the main reasons this CFO manager report template works so well is it is functional as well as visual cohesion and consistency. Every key element is neatly segmented on screen, with charts that offer a wealth of relevant information at a glance.

As you can see, everything flows, each element fits into the right place, the colors and tones are cohesive, and it’s clear where you need to look when you need very specific nuggets of information at the moment.

Using this template as a working example, which you can adjust also as a CEO dashboard , you can create various types of reports in management with visual and practical consistency and cohesion at the forefront of your mind. If something appears out of place or creates friction, return to the drawing board and start again until everything is harmonious and offers genuine value.

19) Compartmentalize your data effectively

Our striking IT dashboard is a dynamic informational toolkit for anyone leading a company’s technical innovation and progress.

A dashboard showing relevant metrics focused on internal processes, learning, finance and customers, and users, important for modern CTOs

Whether you’re a small, medium, or large business (and regardless of your sector), our CTO-centric management reports template focuses on minimizing technical issues, streamlining tech-based processes, improving team attrition rates, managing new developments, and more.

In addition to its streamlined functionality and sheer reporting power, one of the key reasons this managerial report example is so powerful is its effective compartmentalization. Expanding on our last trip, by focusing on cohesion before considering how you will compartmentalize your insights, you will consistently get the most from your reporting efforts.

We touched on this before, but it’s a vital component of reporting, so it’s worth covering in further detail: once you’ve committed to your data and visual KPIs, examine how each key element fits into your report and place it into the ‘right compartment’ on-page.

Looking at the CTO dashboard, each core branch of information is split into a box under a clear-cut subheading. Within each of these compartmentalizations, there are clearly labeled data, insights, and visualizations.

By drilling down further into how you compartmentalize your reports, you will give yourself the ability to analyze one area of information or grab an entire snapshot at a simple glance. As a result, you will improve your business performance and streamline your decision-making process.

20) Create a scannable timeline

Employee management reporting helps managers make vital improvements to specific functions of the business with clear-cut direction and complete confidence.

Our HR dashboard — a must for any modern HR department — exists to assist personnel-based managers in keeping their employees happy, engaged, and motivated. Employees who feel valued and engaged in the business are generally more productive and more creative, so looking after your talent the right way should be one of your company’s top priorities — no exceptions.

Managerial report example showing talent management metrics such as the hiring stats, talent turnover rate, fired talents, satisfaction, and rating

When it comes to HR, managers need to take care of many tasks, which include picking the best payroll system, conducting performance reviews to ensure productivity, hiring the right talents, and more. Putting the talent area into perspective, our HR management reporting template serves up a perfect storm of data-driven insights that covers staff turnover, dismissal, rising talent, and overall satisfaction levels. For example, the talent satisfaction KPI for HR managers gives you a clear overview of whether your business gives enough incentives to satisfy your current workforce.

But not only here, but you will also gain a deep working insight into where you might be going wrong while capitalizing on your strengths and, ultimately, offering the right reward, recognition, training, and support where needed.

What makes this workforce management reporting example so successful is the fact that it provides a solid timeline of information. By working down or across, you can access an excellent balance of historical, real-time, and predictive knowledge with ease.

As such, this report paints a data-centric timeline that will empower any HR manager to examine trends, understand fluctuations in employee engagement rates, and create viable strategies that increase retention while boosting productivity.

The takeaway here? When considering the contents of a good managerial report, it’s always important to look at how your visualizations and design layout create a timeline that allows you to formulate initiatives that will benefit the business both in the moment and in the future.

21) Embed your reports  

As we are about to reach the end of this insightful list of tips and best practices, we couldn’t leave out one of the technologies that have revolutionized the reporting landscape: embedding analytics. Essentially, embedding a report means integrating all the functionalities of a business intelligence reporting software , such as dashboards, charts, and more, into your company’s existing system. 

Having access to this type of technology is not only way cheaper as your company doesn’t need to invest in creating a system of its own, but it can also provide a great competitive advantage. Embedded dashboards and reports are fully customized to the colors, logo, and font of the organization, allowing employees and managers to enjoy all the functionalities of a reporting system in a familiar environment which can boost productivity and performance. 

22) Don’t neglect security and privacy  

So far, we’ve covered tips related to the planning, design, and usability of your reports. Now, we will talk about a topic that is often overlooked but is becoming increasingly important, privacy and security. According to research , in 2021, 70% of small businesses reported a cyberattack of some kind. The financial impact of these attacks can significantly damage an organization. It is believed the average cost of an email comprise attack is $130.000. At the same time, ransomware attacks are projected to reach $11.5 million in damages this year.  

That said, privacy and security issues affect businesses on a financial level but also on a reputational and legal one. Not protecting sensitive customer and employee data, such as addresses, bank records, phone numbers, and others, can expose them to serious damage that can lead to legal repercussions. 

To prevent critical business information from falling into the wrong hands, you should implement strict access controls, data encryption, and data anonymization processes, among other things. Plus, you should train your employees about potential threats and prevent risky behaviors, such as accessing reports on a public network. Tools such as datapine provide a secure environment for your management reporting process. This includes secure sharing options such as password-protected URLs or strict viewing rights to make sure only authorized people have access to the reports. 

23) Explore self-service analytics tools 

The times when financial or management reports were only meant for analysts or scientists are long gone. In today’s data-driven era, if a business wants to succeed and get an advantage over competitors fully, they need to make sure that everyone in its organization can benefit from data analysis. For this purpose, implementing a self-service business intelligence tool can be the answer. 

In simple words, self-service BI refers to the process or tools companies use to analyze and visualize their data without needing any prior technical skills. Management reporting systems such as datapine include a user-friendly interface as well as an intuitive dashboard designer that will allow you and anyone in your business to visualize insights from several sources and create powerful reports with just a few clicks. Businesses that benefit from these types of solutions can extract valuable information into their performance and constantly spot improvement opportunities. 

24) Assess data literacy  

As mentioned a couple of times already, in order for your management reporting process to be efficient, it is necessary to involve the entire organization. While self-service tools such as the ones we mentioned in the previous point are extremely valuable to achieve this task, there is still a level of knowledge or analytical awareness that needs to be had across all employees for the process to be successful. To do so, assessing the level of data literacy is a great place to start. 

Data literacy refers to the ability to understand and communicate using data. To evaluate the level of literacy of your employees, you can carry out surveys to categorize them depending on their level of knowledge. With the results, you can set up training instances to get everyone in the same place with the tools and concepts that will need to be used across the organization’s analytical journey. In time, everyone will be able to generate stunning management reports and use them to collaborate with each other. This leads us to our next and final best practice. 

25) Encourage a data-driven culture

Following on from the prior point, by implementing self-service solutions, you will gain an invaluable benefit: a data-driven culture for your business. Your company culture is the blueprint for how your business runs, as well as how everyone within your business interacts or operates internally. Naturally, your internal culture will have a notable impact on the way your clients, customers, and affiliates view your business.

Seventy-eight percent of top business leaders believe that company culture is among the top five things that add value to their company. That said, if you want to maximize the power and wider organizational values of your data-driven reporting efforts, you should make it a key component of your company culture.

If you place the value of data and using it to its maximum capabilities at the heart of your company culture, you will empower everyone to embrace and make use of the reporting tools that will improve their performance while making their roles easier (which, in turn, will boost employee satisfaction levels).

To do so, you should hold regular meetings to explain how data reporting can benefit every department within your organization while holding educational workshops where everyone within the business can learn how to use the tools.

Let’s now go over the history of these reports, where they come from, and how they have been developed.

History And Trends Of Management Reporting

In the past, legacy systems were used to prepare reports for management – and still are, in many cases. These systems are much more useful than financial reports but still have their drawbacks. Legacy systems are often quite technical in their operation and interface, which makes them challenging for most non-IT personnel to use effectively. This creates a situation of “lag time” between a member of management wanting a report and actually receiving it.

In modern times, with the breadth and depth of data available growing at an astonishing rate, these challenges have only escalated. As Peter Wollmert, an EY global leader, stated in a quote from a Financial Director article: “Many [CFOs] are encumbered by legacy systems that do not allow reporting teams to extract forward-looking insight from large, fast-changing data sets.”

To put the rise of management reporting into perspective, let’s analyze the results of Deloitte’s survey about the changes in this managerial practice. As we mentioned before, top managers are no longer satisfied with static financial reports that don’t provide the level of insights the business needs to grow. Although getting a clear picture of a company’s finances is fundamental, modern management reports provide the context and reasons behind the business's financial results, which makes it possible to go deeper into the roots for better decision-making. 

Although managers have the willingness to adopt these reporting practices, the survey shows that only 24% of the reporting time is actually spent doing analysis and building strategies. The reason is businesses today are still spending an insane amount of time building their reports. Paired with this, 50% of respondents said they were unsatisfied with the speed of delivery and the quality of the reports they received. 

What businesses need today are management systems that will provide them with the perfect mix of internal and external real-time data to put their business performance into context and drive those much-wanted business insights. 

Tools such as datapine provide businesses with an all-in-one management reporting system in which they can connect all their data sources to create real-time automated reports in the form of professional business dashboards . By adopting this type of technology, managers and their teams can save countless hours on manually gathering the data and creating the reports, and spend all the necessary time monitoring and analyzing their performance in the most interactive and efficient way. 

Why Is It Important To Write A Management Report?

For any function and in any industry, reports are more than useful, they are crucial to the well-functioning of the company.

Reporting is all the more important in management as it has higher stakes and holds bigger, cross-disciplinary decisions. In general, reports are important to management for various reasons: they measure strategic metrics to assess and monitor the performance, they set benchmarks about said performance, enable the business to learn from its activity by leaving a track record, and finally, enhance communication. Here’s a short list of benefits:

  • Measuring strategic metrics to assess and monitor the performance: by now, we’ve understood that if businesses wanted to grow, they would need to implement a way to measure their performance against their competitors – but also against their own
  • Helping you understand your position: a management-style report provides you with the right metrics to get a snapshot of your business's health and evolution. You can compare it to your competitors to focus on or realign your strategy.
  • Setting clear-cut performance benchmarks: thanks to that track record, you have a regular benchmark about how you perform both operationally and financially.
  • Learning and reproducing – or not: benchmarks are a guide to tell you what works and what doesn’t. From it, you can learn the best and worst practices to develop or avoid.
  • Enhancing communication: among partners, investors, customers, and colleagues. Management-type reports develop the visibility of the different activities across departments and improve communication within the company.
  • Improving collaboration: as a direct result of improved internal communication, senior-level reports enhance interdepartmental collaboration. With people working cohesively towards a common goal, departments can use management reporting discoveries to collaborate on specific projects or initiatives, catalyzing success in a number of key areas.
  • Boosting engagement & motivation: a well-crafted manager-level report makes critical company data accessible to all, which improves individual performance. When people perform at an optimum level and are recognized for their work, they will become more engaged, inspired, and motivated. This, in turn, will increase productivity across the organization.
  • Fostering continual business growth: solid reporting in management indeed improves productivity and decision-making, which fosters consistency as well as continual business growth. If you’re growing consistently over time, you will ensure long-term success - the most powerful benefit of reporting in management.

Essential Types Of Management Reports

As we’ve mentioned throughout this post, there is an immense amount of growth possibilities when implementing a modern management reporting system in your business. To finalize interiorizing you into the benefits of these powerful tools, we will mention 9 essential types of reports for management you can adopt for different analytical purposes. 

  • External reports: We’ve already introduced you to this type of report at the beginning of the post. As its name suggests, these reports are aimed at external stakeholders, which can be investors, creditors, suppliers, and bankers, among others. These reports can also be used to provide context into something that might be affecting business performance, for example, industry trends.
  • Internal reports: The next in our list are internal ones. This refers to any managerial task that must be reported on, and it is not expected to follow legal format standards. Internal reports can be used for top-level, middle-level, or lower-level management, and their frequency will vary depending on their main goal.
  • Progress or status reports: Tracks the progress of a project or a goal in detail. By using this type of management report, you can track all activities related to the completion of the project, see how far you are from the final goal, and if tasks are running at the expected schedule.  
  • Operational reports: This type aims to track all aspects related to the operation or performance of different metrics. They are usually created on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis and are used to optimize business processes, lower costs, spot trends, and improve the overall day-to-day running of the company. 
  • Analytical reports: This type of business report uses quantitative and qualitative data to analyze, evaluate, and filter the performance of a company's strategies. They can deliver predictions and trends for better decision-making and business innovation.
  • Industry reports: As its name suggests, this type gives managers an overview of the industry's status. These reports are helpful because they enable decision-makers to understand their position in the industry and their competitors. The insights provided in this report can help businesses extract benchmarks to measure their performance. 
  • Product reports : C-level executives need to oversee every single aspect of the business, and one of them is product development. These reports provide a complete overview of product development, such as feature adoption, top-selling products, and willingness to pay, among other things. Through them, decision-makers can find improvement opportunities and boost their products and services through the power of analytics.  
  • Project reports: In a business context, there is always a range of projects being carried out. These reports provide an overview of the development of a project with insights into completed and upcoming tasks, budget usage, competition percentage, and launch dates, among other things. Through them, teams can stay connected to ensure every task is carried out efficiently and in the expected time. 
  • Compliance reports: As mentioned previously, companies have been generating financial reports for decades. These reports enable them to stay compliant with law and tax regulations and provide an accurate picture of financial health to investors and other external stakeholders.

What Should A Successful Management Reporting System Include?

In our 25 tips to generate efficient management reports, we presented you with a few features any software worth its salt should include, such as real-time data, embedding capabilities, predictive analytics technologies, and more. A management reporting system that wants to be successful in today’s fast-paced world needs to support itself with a set of functionalities and technologies that will make it more efficient in various aspects. Paired with the features we already presented before, a couple of others that are fundamental include: 

  • The ability to connect multiple data sources 

If you’ve ever dealt with generating a report, then you must be aware of the fact that manual work is the enemy of productivity. For this reason, your management reporting system should provide you with the possibility to automatically connect multiple external and internal data sources with just a few clicks. Management reporting tools, such as datapine, offer professional data connectors that allow users to merge all their sources into one location. The best part is that the information in them is updated automatically, eliminating any kind of manual work from the process.  

  • Be user-friendly and intuitive 

Another important functionality is user-friendliness and accessibility. Analytics has become a mandatory practice for modern businesses, meaning generating reports and analyzing the information in them is a task that cannot be segregated to people with technical knowledge anymore. When investing in professional software, ensure it has a user-friendly interface that anyone in your organization can use. This way, you’ll make sure all employees are empowered to integrate data into their daily routines. 

  • Interactive filters to explore your reports 

While report generation is an important part to consider, data exploration is equally as important. Traditional reports created on PowerPoint or Excel often limit users to only analyze the information that is visually available. Modern management reports should be interactive and provide a set of filters that allow users to navigate the data and extract deeper conclusions from it. For instance, datapine’s drill down filter allows you to explore lower levels of data just by clicking on a specific chart. For example, say you have a chart showing sales by product category. A drill down would allow you to click on a specific category and see the best-selling products in that category. This proves to be a great method to support discussions and make more improved strategic decisions. 

  • Automation of various tasks  

Going back to the first point, automation is key when it comes to achieving an efficient management reporting process. We already talked about merging your sources of information as a key automation feature. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Any reporting system worth its salt should also provide other automation features, such as report automation and sharing. This means telling the tool that you want to generate a report with specific data in it, and you want it sent to a specific recipient on a specific date and time, and the system should do it on its own. Relying on automation for various tasks that would otherwise take a lot of time and resources is a great way to focus your efforts on growing the business and carrying out successful strategies. 

How To Prepare A Management Report – Summary

Blackboard showing a summary of the 25 management reporting best practices by datapine

To sum up, the main steps we have explored throughout this guide and cement our understanding of the question “What is management reporting,” here is a list of the 25 best practices you should use to prepare a solid report or overview. By taking the time to get acquainted with these approaches, you will boost your business intelligence (BI) initiatives sooner than you think.

Without further ado, let’s summarize:

  • Set the strategic goals and objectives : Start by defining what you want to achieve, why you need to write that report, and who you are writing it for.
  • Clean your data : Make sure it is clean from any formatting errors or duplications to avoid damaging your analysis later.
  • Choose the right KPIs for your audience: Different positions have different needs – keep in mind who will read what you write to know what you need to focus on.
  • Set measurable targets: Set performance benchmarks or targets to evaluate the success of your strategies toward achieving general company goals. 
  • Take customer feedback into consideration: Customers are the backbone of any business, and you need to understand what your business is doing wrong as well as right.
  • Polish your storytelling skills : You have hard data in your hands that need to be understood by everyone: clarifying it with a nice story backed with a comprehensive dashboard will convey your insights even more easily.
  • Pick the right visuals: Understand the goal of your reports to help you pick the right graph or chart to visualize your data. 
  • Make your report visually pleasing through focus : With the help of BI software, you can build compelling dashboards in no time that will be your best ally when communicating your findings.
  • Clarity is the watchword : Follow some presentation and design principles to stay on the safe side while elaborating your report.
  • Don't mislead : make sure you follow design best practices and avoid unethical manipulations of the data to avoid misleading your audience.
  • Go digital : Paper-based reports are of the past. Put your hands on an online dashboard tool that will let you consolidate your data in one central place and quickly and smoothly build interactive reports with always up-to-date information.
  • Striking the balance : To ensure you get the most from your centralized digital dashboards, you need to make sure that the visualizations work well on-page and help those within your organization obtain at-glance information with ease, devoid of confusion.
  • Scannability + drillability = success: By taking full advantage of the interactive functionality of digital reporting dashboards, you can improve the scannability of your dashboard reports while using filters and drill-down boxes to dig deeper into important pockets of information with ease.
  • Real-time data relevance: Real-time insights are invaluable to any organization—but only if they align with your core reporting goals. Test your reports before rolling them out across the organization, checking your real-time metrics for clarity and relevance.
  • Keep on improving: The digital world is constantly evolving. Sector, niche, or industry aside, you must regularly test your reports, making changes or customizations to iron out any data that has become redundant or inefficient. Never stop testing; never stop improving.
  • Use predictive analytics & AI: Benefit from advanced analytical technologies to spot trends and patterns in your data and get a pick into your future performance.
  • Develop your reports collaboratively: When improving and enhancing your reports and dashboards, you should work as a tight-knit team, taking everyone’s ideas and perspectives on board. Doing so will ensure your reports are valuable and built for success at all times.
  • Create a sense of cohesion & consistency: From both a visual and functional perspective, focusing on creating a sense of consistency and harmony with your KPIs and visualizations will improve your reporting success across the board.
  • Compartmentalize your data effectively: In addition to making sure you create cohesion within your on-page reporting layout, you should also compartmentalize every key branch of information, creating separate boxes and subheadings for quick access to effective information.
  • Create a scannable timeline: When creating your dashboard reports, developing an informational timeline over a specific period will make it easier for you to put together strategies and initiatives in a wealth of key areas.
  • Use embedding analytics : Use this technology to make your reports more professional and accessible to all stakeholders.
  • Don’t neglect privacy and security: Implement security measures to ensure your financial, customer, and employee data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. 
  • Use self-service analytics: Involve all your employees in your reporting process with the help of intuitive self-service BI tools.
  • Assess data literacy: Evaluate your employee's analytical knowledge and provide training instances where needed. 
  • Encourage a data-driven culture: Your company culture is, in many ways, the beating heart of your entire business. By taking measures to place respect and value for data-driven reporting at the heart of your business, you will empower everyone to embrace the concept, boosting the value of your dashboard-centric efforts.

With all of these reporting best practices, you can now perform online reporting that will help your company’s leaders to make effective, data-driven decisions. 

Key Takeaways Management Reporting  

On our journey, we’ve outlined the management reporting definition, looked at management reports examples, explored best practices, and drilled down into the business-boosting benefits of dynamic digital dashboards.

It’s clear that by embracing the wealth of digital data available to your business and harnessing it effectively, you stand to make the kind of management decisions that will drive your organization forward with force, accelerating your success in the process.

In a nutshell, you should follow the management reporting examples by hand-picking a few relevant KPIs to display and tell a clear story with your data. It’s also essential to work collaboratively, creating a healthy ecosystem of data-driven innovation that will empower everyone in the business to benefit from the unrivaled power of managerial-style reporting. Knowledge is indeed power, and if your business runs on it, you will reap great rewards, both now and in the long run.

Combine this concept with the help of our BI dashboard software which will empower you to work on the evolution of your data in real-time while enabling you to create efficient dashboards, and you will drive your business well above the competition.

Take charge of professional destiny today by trying datapine with a 14-day trial , completely free, and start creating your own reports just with a few clicks!

Management Reporting: Definition, Examples, Best Practices

how to write a short report to the general manager

We all know the importance of analyzing data to figure out how a business is doing and what we need to do differently.

But when it comes to compiling useful reports... We might be a bit lost.

In this blog, we'll guide you through the main things you need to know and do about management reporting.

Let's start with definitions.

What Is a Management Report?

A management report is a critical tool in business intelligence, enabling leaders and managers at all levels to make informed, data-driven decisions. These reports, varying in format and detail, are prepared to reflect the financial and operational aspects of a business over a specific period.

By providing insights into different areas and departments, management reports help in assessing the company's performance against its strategic goals.

Management reports include a range of data like cash flow, budget, profit, wage-revenue ratio, and employee productivity. They can be presented in various formats such as visual (graphs, charts), written (tables, ratios), or oral (meetings, discussions), depending on the audience and the type of information being communicated.

They're primarily for internal use, and internal reports don't need to adhere to standards made for external reports like GAAP.

Practical examples of management reports include sales and marketing reports, which might focus on metrics like sales volume and customer engagement, and operational reports, which could cover production efficiency and inventory levels.

These reports provide a platform for monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and are instrumental in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and the effectiveness of current strategies.

Who Creates Management Reports?

Management reports are typically generated by various departments within an organization, each contributing insights from their specific areas of expertise.

This means that departments such as finance, sales, operations, marketing, customer service, and IT all play a role in creating these reports.

The responsibility of preparing these reports usually falls on employees who then submit them to their managers. These managers, in turn, use the reports to inform higher-level executives, aiding in strategic decision-making processes.

How Often Are Management Reports Made?

The frequency of management report generation can vary greatly depending on the needs and policies of the organization. Some reports are produced weekly or monthly to keep track of ongoing operations and performance metrics.

Others might be generated quarterly or annually, providing a broader overview of the company’s strategic progress and financial health.

The timing and regularity of these reports are decided internally by the management based on the organization's requirements and the specific purposes the reports serve.

Why Managers Need Good Reports

Good management reports equip leaders with the insights necessary to steer their teams and projects toward success.

  • Informed Decision-Making : Management reports provide a detailed overview of business performance, enabling managers to make data-driven decisions. This could range from adjusting strategies and reallocating resources to identifying areas for improvement.
  • Performance Tracking : They help managers monitor various aspects of the business, from sales and marketing reports to operational efficiency. This ongoing evaluation is crucial for maintaining and improving business processes.
  • Strategic Planning : Good reports serve as a foundation for strategic planning. They offer a clear picture of where the business stands, allowing managers to plan for future growth and address potential challenges.
  • Communication and Alignment : Management reports facilitate better communication within the team and with senior executives. They ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the company's objectives and achievements.
  • Problem Identification and Resolution : These reports help in quickly identifying problems and inefficiencies. Managers can then take timely actions to address these issues, preventing minor problems from escalating.

Creating Effective Management Reports

(1) identify the purpose and audience.

Start by determining the specific objectives of your report. Is it to inform decision-making, track progress, or communicate strategy?

Clearly define the primary audience for your report. Understanding whether your report is for internal management, external stakeholders, or specific departments will guide the tone, content, and complexity of the report.

Example : For a financial report aimed at external stakeholders like investors or regulatory bodies, focus on clarity, accuracy, and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. This ensures the report meets external reporting standards and effectively communicates the company's financial health.

(2) Select and Prioritize KPIs

Begin by identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with the specific goals of your report and the interests of your audience.

Consider the relevance of each KPI to the report's objectives, ensuring they provide a comprehensive overview of the subject matter.

Incorporate measurable targets and benchmarks for each KPI to establish a clear frame of reference and gauge performance effectively.

Regularly review and update the chosen KPIs to reflect any changes in business objectives or market conditions.

Example : In a sales report, key KPIs might include sales growth, customer acquisition cost, market penetration, and customer retention rates. For each KPI, set clear targets, like achieving a 10% growth in sales or reducing acquisition costs by 15%.

(3) Gather, Analyze Data, and Provide Recommendations

Compile relevant data from various sources like financial systems, customer feedback, and operational metrics.

Ensure the data is accurate and up-to-date to maintain the report's credibility.

Look for trends, patterns, and anomalies. This could involve comparing current performance against historical data or benchmarks.

Utilize data analysis techniques to extract meaningful insights. For instance, apply predictive analytics using a tool like Tableau or Alteryx to forecast future trends based on current data patterns, such as predicting next quarter's sales figures from current market trends and past sales data.

Based on these insights, provide actionable recommendations and strategies, such as adjusting sales tactics based on market trends.

Example : If data analysis reveals a consistent increase in product demand every quarter, recommend boosting production capacity to meet this growing demand.

(4) Choose the Right Format and Present Information Clearly

Select an appropriate format (tables, charts, narratives) and tools (management reporting software, Excel, BI tools) to enhance the report’s readability and comprehension.

Make reports easy to understand using simple language and visual aids, such as graphs to depict sales trends.

Provide context and commentary to explain data, keeping the narrative clear, concise, and focused on the report’s objectives.

Example : For an operational report, use a dashboard format to present key performance indicators (KPIs).

(5) Review and Refine the Report

Conduct a thorough review to ensure the report aligns with its objectives and is free from errors. This involves checking data accuracy, clarity of information, and relevance to the intended audience.

Seek feedback from a peer, supervisor, or subject matter expert to gain different perspectives. This can help identify areas that might need more clarification or additional data.

Similarly, for a project report, feedback from a project management expert can help fine-tune the details and ensure all aspects of the project are accurately represented.

Example: For compliance reports, a review by a legal expert or a financial auditor might be necessary to ensure the report adheres to legal standards and accurately represents the company’s compliance status.

(5) Effective Distribution and Follow-Up

Depending on the report type and audience, select the most appropriate method to share your report, such as digital distribution via email, management systems, or interactive dashboards.

For significant reports, consider an in-person presentation or scheduled meeting to discuss key findings. This allows for direct interaction and clarification.

Distribute the report promptly to relevant stakeholders. Be prepared for follow-up discussions, addressing questions and providing further explanations as needed.

Example : In a management meeting, present a financial report using clear visual aids and then open the floor for questions, ensuring stakeholders fully grasp the implications of the financial data.

General Management Report Template

This template outlines a structured approach to report writing while allowing enough flexibility to accommodate different types of management reports, whether they are financial, operational, or analytical.

You can follow this general framework to ensure an organized report and adjust sections according to your needs.

Types of Reports for Managers

Effective management reporting encompasses various types of reports, each serving a unique purpose in guiding business leaders and aiding decision-making processes.

Understanding these report types is crucial for interpreting management reports and utilizing them to enhance business performance. Here are the essential types of reports for management:

External Reports : Aimed at stakeholders outside the organization like investors or creditors, external reports provide insights into industry trends and business performance. These reports portray the company's financial health to external entities.

  • Annual Reports: Summarizing the company's yearly financial performance and strategic direction.

Internal Reports : These are crucial for internal management, catering to different management levels without the need for a standardized legal format. They can range from operational to strategic in focus, providing insights into various aspects of business operations.

  • Performance Reports: Evaluating individual or departmental performance against set goals.

Progress and Operational Reports : Essential for monitoring the day-to-day operations, these reports track the progress of projects or goals and operational performance metrics. They are vital tools for managing business processes, spotting trends, and improving efficiency.

  • Budget Reports: Monitoring financial performance against the budget.
  • Human Resources Reports: Providing data on employee performance and recruitment activities.

Analytical Reports : Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data, analytical reports delve deep into evaluating the effectiveness of an organization's strategies. These reports are instrumental in providing predictions, identifying trends, and fostering business innovation.

  • Sales Reports: Tracking sales performance and customer behavior.
  • Marketing Reports: Analyzing campaign performance and market positioning.

Financial Reports : These reports show the financial position of the business over time. They can be static, showing assets and liabilities at a specific point, or dynamic, summarizing changes in financial position. Financial management reports are crucial for understanding and communicating the company's financial status.

  • Balance Sheets: Detailing the company's assets, liabilities, and equity at a given time.
  • Income Statements: Showing revenue, expenses, and profits over a specific period.

Compliance Reports : These ensure that the company stays compliant with laws and tax regulations, providing an accurate picture of financial health to investors and other external stakeholders.

  • Regulatory Compliance Reports: Demonstrating adherence to industry-specific regulations and standards.

Need more insight for your reports from employees or colleagues but don't have time to have long conversations with them? The easiest way to achieve this is by using Wudpecker, which extracts information from company meetings.

Key Differences: Financial vs. Management Reports

People sometimes confuse financial and management reports with each other. There are different ways to build a conceptual mind map for management reporting systems.

In this blog, we've seen management reporting as a big umbrella under which financial reporting falls as one subcategory. Based on this understanding, let's have a better breakdown of how they differ, yet complement each other.

Definition and Scope

  • Management Reports : These are comprehensive reports that cover a wide range of internal business aspects. They are designed to provide managers with the information needed for strategic decision-making and operational control.
  • Financial Reports : A specific category within management reports, financial reports focus exclusively on the financial performance and position of the company. They form a critical component of management reporting by offering detailed financial insights.

Audience and Purpose

  • Management Reports : Primarily intended for internal stakeholders, including managers and department heads. These reports help in understanding various facets of the business, from operations to marketing strategies.
  • Financial Reports : Although part of internal management reporting, they are also crucial for external stakeholders like investors, creditors, and regulatory bodies. Financial reports ensure transparency and compliance with financial regulations.

Content Focus

  • Management Reports : Encompass a wide array of topics such as operational efficiency, market trends, resource utilization, employee performance, and future projections. They are tailored to the specific needs of the business and its departments.
  • Financial Reports : Concentrate on financial statements like the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. They provide a clear picture of the financial health and profitability of the business.

Frequency and Timeliness

  • Management Reports : These can be generated as needed, often providing real-time or near-real-time data for agile decision-making.
  • Financial Reports : Typically produced at regular intervals (quarterly, annually) due to statutory requirements and for historical financial analysis.

Detail and Flexibility

  • Management Reports : Highly customizable and detailed, addressing specific managerial queries and operational areas.
  • Financial Reports : Standardized in format to comply with accounting principles and regulations, focusing on precision and accuracy of financial data.

Historical vs. Forward-Looking

  • Management Reports : Blend historical data with forward-looking projections, offering both retrospective analysis and future planning tools.
  • Financial Reports : Predominantly historical, providing a retrospective view of the company’s financial performance.

In this blog, we've explored the essentials of management reporting, from understanding what goes into a report to the steps in creating one.

We've also shown why good reports are crucial for managers and what different types of management reports are out there. By following the outlined steps and incorporating the tips for better reporting, you can enhance the effectiveness of your management reports.

Hopefully, this blog motivated you to kick up your management reporting system a notch!

What should be included in a management report?

A management report should include financial data, key performance indicators, forecasts, narrative analysis, and visual elements like charts and graphs. It should offer a comprehensive view of the company's performance, tailored to the needs of the management team.

What is management reporting vs financial reporting?

Management reporting focuses on internal decision-making and includes a variety of data like operational metrics and forecasts. Financial reports, on the other hand, are aimed at external stakeholders and primarily include standardized financial statements.

What are the examples of account management reporting?

Examples of account management reporting include client performance reports, account status updates, and sales activity reports. These reports provide insights into client relationships, account health, and sales effectiveness.


1. Title Page :

  • Report Title
  • Date of Report
  • Prepared by (Name/Position)
  • Company/Organization Name

2. Executive Summary :

  • Brief overview of the report's purpose
  • Key findings or insights in a concise format

3. Introduction :

  • Purpose of the report
  • Background information or context

4. Data Collection and Methodology :

  • Sources of data (e.g., financial systems, customer feedback, operational metrics)
  • Methodology used for data analysis

5. Analysis and Findings :

  • Presentation of data (charts, graphs, tables)
  • Analysis of trends, patterns, and anomalies
  • Interpretation of data

6. Recommendations and Action Plans :

  • Suggestions based on analysis
  • Proposed action steps or strategies

7. Conclusion :

  • Summary of key points and findings
  • Final thoughts or observations

8. Appendices and References :

  • Supporting documents, data tables, detailed analysis
  • References to external sources or data

9. Approval and Sign-off (if required):

  • Signatures from relevant authorities or management team members


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What Is Short Report & How To Write Short Report With Examples

Table of Contents

What is a Short Report?

A short report is a concise and focused document that presents information, findings, or recommendations about a specific topic or issue. Short reports are usually limited in length and scope, aiming to deliver essential details clearly and straightforwardly. They are commonly used in business, academic, and professional settings to communicate key insights or updates efficiently.

In the business environment, short reports are used to update stakeholders on project progress, summarize market research, or present financial data. In academic settings, short reports are used to summarize research findings, provide a quick overview of a study or give updates on ongoing research.

Overall the primary goal of a short report writing is to present information in a manner that is both easy to understand for its intended audience.

Characteristics of a Short Report

Their key characteristics include:

1/ Brevity : Short reports are relatively brief, typically ranging from one to a few pages. They avoid unnecessary details and get straight to the point.

2/ Purposeful : Short reports have a clear purpose, which could be to inform, summarize, analyze, or propose actions. The content should align with this purpose and avoid unrelated information.

3/ Specific Scope : These reports focus on a single topic or a specific aspect of a larger subject. They do not cover multiple unrelated subjects in a single document.

4/ Structure : A typical short report structure includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The introduction outlines the purpose and scope, the main body presents the information or analysis, and the conclusion summarizes the key findings or recommendations.

5/ Formality : Depending on the context, short reports may have a more formal or informal tone. In business settings, they are often more formal, while in academic environments, they might lean toward a formal style.

6/ No or Minimal Appendices : Short reports do not usually contain lengthy appendices, as their purpose is to provide a concise overview.

7/ Audience-oriented : The content of a short report is tailored to the needs of its intended audience. It presents information in a way that is understandable and relevant to the readers.

8/ Visual elements : Depending on the content, short reports may incorporate charts, graphs, or other visual aids to enhance understanding and clarity.

Related Reading: Characteristics And Features of a Good Business Report

Examples of Short Reports Used By Businesses


Format of a Short Report

The short report writing format may vary depending on the organization, purpose, and specific guidelines, but generally, it follows a structured layout. Here’s a detailed outline of the typical format of a short report:

1/ Title Page : The title page is the first page of the report and contains essential information about the report, such as the title, the name of the author or authors, and any other relevant identification details. The title should be clear and concise, reflecting the main focus of the report.

2/ Table of Contents (optional): For longer short reports, you may include a table of contents to help readers navigate through the sections and subsections. However, for very brief reports, a table of contents may not be necessary.

3/ Executive Summary (or Abstract) : This section provides a concise summary of the entire report, highlighting its key points, findings, and recommendations. The executive summary allows readers to grasp the main content without reading the entire report.

4/ Introduction : The introduction sets the context for the report, explains its purpose, and outlines what readers can expect to find. It provides a brief background of the subject and explains the significance of the report.

5/ Body of the Report : The body of the report is where you present the main content and findings. It is organized into sections with clear headings and subheadings. Common sections may include:

  • Methodology (if applicable) : If the report involves research or data collection, this section describes the methods used to gather information. It includes details about the data sources, research design, sampling techniques, and data analysis procedures.
  • Findings or Results : This section presents the main information, data, or findings that have been discovered or collected during the research or investigation. It can include text, numerical data, charts, graphs, or any other relevant information to support the report’s objectives.
  • Analysis and Discussion : In this section, the report’s author interprets and analyzes the findings presented earlier. It provides insights, explanations, and discussions on the implications of the data or information gathered. The analysis helps readers understand the significance and relevance of the results.
  • Conclusions : The conclusions section provides a concise summary of the main points from the report. It restates the main findings and may offer recommendations based on the analysis. Conclusions should be clear and directly linked to the objectives outlined in the introduction.

5/ References (or Bibliography) : If external sources were used, proper citation and referencing should be provided in a separate section at the end of the report. This ensures that readers can verify the sources and explore further if needed.

It is important to note that the length and depth of each section can vary based on the specific requirements and the complexity of the report. For instance, a short business report may include a specific section for recommendations and appendices for more detailed information.

However, the overall objective of a short report is to convey the necessary information in a clear, concise, and organized manner, tailored to the audience’s needs.

The Six-Step Formula of How To Write A Short Report Planning Researching Drafting Editing Concluding Recommending

Types of Short Reports

Short reports can be categorized into different types based on their purpose, content, and the information they convey. Here are some common types of short reports:

1/ Progress Report : A progress report provides an update on an ongoing project or task status. It outlines the achievements made, the challenges faced, and the remaining work to be done. Progress reports are often used in business and academic settings to inform stakeholders about the project’s development.

2/ Meeting Minutes : Meeting minutes are a type of short report that records the discussions, decisions, and action items from a business meeting. They act as an authoritative record of the proceedings during the meeting. and are essential for tracking progress and accountability.

3/ Trip Report: A trip report outlines the details of a business trip or visit to a specific location. It includes information about the purpose of the trip, the places visited, meetings attended, and any notable observations or insights gathered during the trip.

4/ Sales Report : A sales report presents data related to sales performance over a specific period. It may include information on revenue generated, sales volume, customer demographics, and analysis of sales trends. Sales reports help businesses monitor their sales activities and make informed decisions.

5/ Feasibility Report : A feasibility report assesses the viability and practicality of a proposed project or initiative. It examines various factors such as technical, financial, legal, and operational aspects to determine if the project is feasible and worth pursuing.

These are just a few examples of the types of short reports that are commonly used in various fields. Each type of report serves a specific purpose, and its content and format will vary accordingly. Regardless of the type, the key to writing a short report is to present information clearly and in a format suitable for the intended audience.

Related Reading : Types of Business Reports in business communication

What is a long report?

A long report is a formal and comprehensive document that provides a detailed analysis, in-depth information, and extensive findings on a particular subject or topic.

Unlike a short report, which is concise and focuses on essential information, a long report delves deeper into the subject matter, offering a more thorough examination of the issues at hand. Long reports are commonly used in academic, business, government, and research settings when extensive analysis and detailed information are required.

Types of a long report

1/ Business Report : Business reports offer in-depth insights and comprehensive analysis covering diverse aspects of a company’s operations. They can cover market research, financial analysis, performance evaluations, feasibility studies, and more. Business reports help stakeholders make informed decisions and develop strategies for improvement. The structured presentation in a business report format ensures that information is organized logically, allowing for easier comprehension and data-driven decision-making.

2/ Financial Report : Financial reports present comprehensive financial information about a company or organization. Within these reports, you will find balance sheets, income statements, positive and negative cash flow statements, and other crucial financial data. All of this wealth of information offers valuable insights into the financial well-being and performance of the entity.

3/ Annual Report : An annual report offers a comprehensive overview of a company’s activities, achievements, financial performance, and future plans during the previous year. It is typically prepared for shareholders and stakeholders to provide transparency about the company’s operations.

4/ Technical Report : Technical reports are thorough documents that emphasize technical information concerning a particular subject or project. They are commonly used in engineering, technology, and scientific fields to communicate complex data, designs, experiments, and analyses.

Differences Between a Long and Short Report

A long report is generally referred to as a formal report. It contains a wider range of information which requires a lot of research and documentation of in-depth details.  On the other hand, a short report is generally considered an informal kind of report. It is usually written in the form of a letter or memo. The information presented is concise and to the point. 

Six key differences between short and long reports: 

It is important to note that the specific characteristics of short and long reports may vary based on the context and requirements of individual reports.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1) what is short report writing .

Ans: Short report writing refers to the process of creating concise, formal documents that present specific information or findings on a particular topic. These reports are typically brief and to the point, focusing on essential details without excessive elaboration. 

Q2) How long should a report be? 

Ans: The length of a report can vary significantly depending on its purpose, the subject matter, and the specific requirements of the organization or institution requesting it. There is no fixed rule for the exact length of a report, but it should be long enough to effectively convey the necessary information while also being concise and avoiding unnecessary details.

Q3) A shorter report is considered to be? 

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Sample Daily Report to Your Manager

Ashley Minogue

Ashley Murphy

August 3, 2017

Listen to this post below. 

When you are one of the first 10 business development reps at a startup, processes and policies are likely few and far between. The lack of bureaucracy is probably one of the reasons why you joined the team. That said, I am willing to bet you don’t have adequate sales ops nor training resources to support you. It is critical then for you to learn ways to effectively self-manage early in your career and in the company’s development so you and the company can achieve your full potential.

Below are guidelines you can follow to create a daily email report to show management your progress and to ensure your results are in line with their expectations.

But first, why is this even important?

Before we talk about how to create a performance report to your manager, let’s make sure we are on the same page on why doing so is important. Below are just a few reasons why it’s worth taking 5 minutes at the end of your day to report out on your results:

  • Personal accountability: You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Reporting out on your results cultivates a personal responsibility to acknowledge your impact each day and will drive you to continuously improve those results.
  • Senior level visibility: There’s no doubt about it, visibility is important for career development. If you are a part of a fast growing company, one downside of employee growth can be decreasing interactions with senior management. Providing a quick and clear recap of your impact at your boss’s fingertips makes it that much easier for your results to get communicated upwards.
  • Build your resume: Knowing your impact and activity metrics inside and out will not only behoove you at your current organization, but also at your future career. You never know when your next formal (or informal) interview will be – being able to confidently rattle off your impact will benefit you.

Report Guidelines

Create a simple report to email your manager daily with your KPIs. Use the same format daily so it is easy for your manager to digest. We recommend including trailing 5 business days to showcase trends. Use this as a starting point, and collect feedback from your manager on how to improve it!

how to write a short report to the general manager

Call outs to Include

Be sure to include insights on trends that are out of the ordinary. This can include successes, impediments you want to put on your manager’s radar or areas where you need their help. Remember to keep this section simple and short – no more than 3 bullets. Highlight any information that requires action from them and in no time you’ll be moving up the sales career ladder.

What comes next?

Are you a part of a team that is building the outbound lead pipeline for the first time? If so, check out our free eBook:  Get More Customers! How to Build an Outbound B2B Lead Generation Team that Drives Sales , which provides a detailed overview of B2B lead generation and how to create an effective B2B lead generation machine.

how to write a short report to the general manager

Download this free eBook and learn how to:

  • Understand what outbound lead generation is and why it’s important
  • Recognize the components of a successful outbound generation implementation
  • Build an effective and sustainable compensation plan
  • Improve your outbound approach and process
  • Explore the various technologies available to sales managers and how to utilize them effectively to manage the outbound lead generation process

Senior Director of Growth

Ashley is Senior Director of Growth on OpenView's Expansion team. She helps OpenView’s portfolio companies achieve repeatable scale via marketing, sales and pricing strategy optimization. Most frequently, she partners with the portfolio on projects related to improving lead funnel conversion, customer segmentation, sales process, pricing and demand gen. Prior to joining OpenView, Ashley was the Senior Manager of B2B Strategy & Analytics at Her efforts spanned marketing, BDR optimization & funnel analytics to help the B2B business grow by 9x in just a few years. Before, Ashley worked as a consultant for Simon-Kucher & Partners, the global marketing and strategy consulting firm known as the world leader in pricing.

Does automating outbound sales efforts really work? It can and it does, as shown in this post by Thena. They use automated outbound to 10x their efforts. Here’s how they do it.

How do you find and hire a sales leader who can thrive in today’s rocky selling environment. Expert Amy Volas lays it out here.

B2B SaaS companies need to not only learn how to “do more with less” but also “do different with what we have.” This three-part framework can help.

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Six Basics for General Managers

  • Andrall E. Pearson

how to write a short report to the general manager

Great coaches stress fundamentals. So do successful general managers. Whatever their leadership style, they invariably focus their efforts on the six tasks that lay the foundation for effective performance—their own and that of the entire organization.

To shape the organization’s work environment, top GMs use three levers: (1) high performance standards, (2) strong business concepts, and (3) clearly defined people concepts.

The best GMs spearhead strategy formulation; they don’t just preside over it. They also allocate resources to back up the company’s strategic focus, not to prop up marginal businesses or support low-payout projects.

Developing superior managers and building a strong organization are two more critical general manager jobs. Giving periodic tough-minded performance appraisals and organizing around people, not concepts, are two key practices the best GMs follow.

Finally, successful GMs supervise operations and implementation: producing sound plans, spotting problems and opportunities early, and responding aggressively to them.

Individually, none of these tasks is new or startling. Together they’re the key to setting priorities and making the right things happen—which is what general management is all about.

Whatever the leadership style they bring to their jobs, the best GMs focus on the same set of fundamental tasks.

Great coaches stress fundamentals—the basic skills and plays that make a team a consistent winner. Great general managers do the same thing. They know that sustained superior performance can’t be built on one-shot improvements like restructurings, massive cost reductions, or reorganizations. Sure, they’ll take such sweeping actions if they’re in a situation where that’s necessary or desirable. But their priority is avoiding that kind of situation. And they do that by focusing on the six key tasks that constitute the foundations of every general manager’s job: shaping the work environment, setting strategy, allocating resources, developing managers, building the organization, and overseeing operations.

  • AP Andrall E. Pearson was a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in Boston when he wrote this article, and before that he was the president of PepsiCo for 15 years. After becoming professor emeritus, he served as the chairman and CEO of Tricon Global Restaurants, the world’s largest restaurant chain.

how to write a short report to the general manager

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Short Report

how to write a short report to the general manager

Writing a report is not an easy task for anyone. There are factors that one must consider, such as the reliability of a source and the structure of the report . It’s important that a report stays informative to a reader while still being understandable. People use various types of reports to relay information, one of which would include a short report.

Short Business Report Sample

Short Business Report Sample

  • Google Docs
  • Apple Pages

Size: 78 KB

Short Acknowledgement For Project Report

Short Acknowledgement For Project Report

Size: 137 KB

Technical Short Report

Technical Short Report

Size: 721 KB

Short Annual Report

Short Annual Report

Size: 36 KB

Short Formal Report Sample

Short Formal Report Sample

Size: 30 KB

What Is a Short Report?

A short report consists of significant information of a particular topic that is meant to inform a reader. A report may either be oral or written in the report form of a memo or a letter.

It generally consists of a summary of the report, a brief background, a defined purpose, and a conclusion. The short report must also contain a title that defines its content. There are other form examples that contain similar parts in its structure. You may also like marketing report examples.

How to Write an Outline for a Short Report?

We define an outline as a brief executive summary of a given subject matter. Although a short report is a summary in itself, creating an outline will allow you to focus on what is essential for the report.

To do so, identify the key points. With this, you will have to construct sentences that will define the given point without having to include sub-points. It isn’t necessary to provide a thorough explanation of such matter, all you have to do is address it briefly. You may also check out sample activity reports .

With the given points, you can create a recommendation or a conclusion. This would contain your personal opinion on the main problem or the facts that may have contributed to the problem. Free Reports you can download may serve as a reference for you to write your report.

Short Report Example

Short Report Example

Size: 41 KB

Short Research Report Sample

Short Research Report Sample

Size: 119 KB

Short Evaluation Report

Short Evaluation Report

Size: 202 KB

Short Seminar Report

Short Seminar Report

How Fast Can You Create a Short Report?

A short report, from the name itself, is not meant to be lengthy.

It typically consists of a maximum of two pages with the succeeding pages containing attachments that support the report. With this in mind, writing a short report won’t take a long time to create. This will solely depend on your critical level of thinking. You would need to do a thorough research on the given topic to keep yourself knowledgeable. It would also be an advantage if you prepare a draft to gather your thoughts before you create your report.

With the right information, your short report can be completed in a few hours or less.

What Is a Short Report in Business Communication?

In business communication, a report is used to provide an free analysis example  on a given situation, whether it’s based on a real incident or a case study, and apply business theories to resolve such.

This allows a person to evaluate possible solutions to a problem or issue. By doing so, one’s analytical, reasoning, and evaluation skills are put to the test through the process of weighing down solutions to resolve an incident. You may also see monthly report examples & samples.

It’s important to keep in mind that in a business report , there’s not exactly a single correct answer but there could be several solutions that have their own advantages and disadvantages.


Report Generator

Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

Generate a report on the impact of technology in the classroom on student learning outcomes

Prepare a report analyzing the trends in student participation in sports and arts programs over the last five years at your school.

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  6. How To Write a Standout Business Report


  1. How to Write a Short Report to the General Manager

    The beginning of a short report to the general manager should state the purpose of the report. The introduction should capture the manager's attention and serve as a summary of the results or outcomes. After the introduction, be sure to double space. The employment recruitment fair took place on February 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

  2. How to Write a Short Report to the General Manager

    Write the body or content of the report by including the findings and data gathered in Step 1. Provide a brief analysis of the findings and state what they mean to the overall project and the business. Incorporate charts, questionnaires, surveys and references into the report to support your analysis. Draw a conclusion by briefly stating the ...

  3. How To Write a Report for Work (With Examples)

    The more reports you write, the more efficient you will be in composing them. The following are steps you can take to write a professional report in the workplace: 1. Identify your audience. Knowing who will be reading your report is an important step in determining how to format it, what to include and the tone you should use when writing it.

  4. How to Write a Management Report (Free Template Included)

    Write with a lack of clarity which could result in confusing the audience. Include irrelevant information which does not help your audience draws conclusions. Make the report unnecessarily long as it should be clear and concise. Disregard relevant information only because it is negative or inconvenient.

  5. How to Write a Report for the Boss

    Add an Executive Summary. Return to the beginning of your report and add a paragraph or two that sums up the main points of the report. Alternatively, use bullet points to structure your ideas. The executive summary might be all that your boss has time to read so be sure to include all the pertinent information.

  6. Executive Reporting: Management Reporting Best Practices & Report

    Use bullet points and short sentences and paragraphs to make the report readable and easy to follow. At the end, add evaluations and recommendations in a short, coherent conclusion. Contents: Your executive report should cover the key points of the longer document clearly and concisely. Make sure all the answers you present in the executive ...

  7. How To Write a Management Report in 5 Steps

    1. Set goals for your staff. Managerial reports are useful for you and the rest of your management team, but also for the recipient. It gives them a thorough appraisal of your department's output and performance. For example, a sales manager may have certain goals to meet and can read your report to get a better idea of the team's ability to ...

  8. How to Write a Short Report (Over Email)

    Make use of subheadings, bullet points, bold print, and graphics to make your report clear and easy to read. Be flexible on format according to the nature of your report. 5. Use graphs or tables to summarize data. A visual image is usually easier to understand than numbers. Don't go overboard with colors or graphics.

  9. How to write a great management report by Board Intelligence

    3. What is our outlook? Look to the future and talk about the opportunities and challenges. This is where the conversation is of most value to you. Engaging your reader by asking for their ideas, advice, and experience on your outlook can be really valuable. 4. What are the implications?

  10. Management Reporting Best Practices & Report Examples

    Contrasting different KPIs and metrics against each other. For example, showing a target revenue number vs. the actual number this quarter. Hereafter is a good example of a management report, mainly thanks to the three large historical graphs taking up most of the display: **click to enlarge**.

  11. How to Write a Report Properly and Effectively

    4 How to Write a Report Cover Page. Now we're ready to get started on your report cover page! When you're first working on your cover page, it's a good idea to start with a template.. This helps you to spice up your report design and make it more than a black and white word document. It can also help you design your title page in an aesthetically pleasing way so it stands out to your ...

  12. Management Reporting: Definition, Examples, Best Practices

    Management reports include a range of data like cash flow, budget, profit, wage-revenue ratio, and employee productivity. They can be presented in various formats such as visual (graphs, charts), written (tables, ratios), or oral (meetings, discussions), depending on the audience and the type of information being communicated.

  13. What Is Short Report & How To Write Short Report With Examples

    1/ Title Page: The title page is the first page of the report and contains essential information about the report, such as the title, the name of the author or authors, and any other relevant identification details. The title should be clear and concise, reflecting the main focus of the report. 2/ Table of Contents (optional): For longer short ...

  14. Sample Daily Report to Your Manager

    Report Guidelines. Create a simple report to email your manager daily with your KPIs. Use the same format daily so it is easy for your manager to digest. We recommend including trailing 5 business days to showcase trends. Use this as a starting point, and collect feedback from your manager on how to improve it!

  15. How to Write a Project Management Report (+ Templates)

    Start with a stunning cover page followed by a table of contents. Then move on to the executive summary and the body, which includes the key details. Finally, you can round off your report with a summary. To make your report actionable, summarize it with key takeaways, action points and expectations.

  16. Six Basics for General Managers

    Summary. Great coaches stress fundamentals. So do successful general managers. Whatever their leadership style, they invariably focus their efforts on the six tasks that lay the foundation for ...

  17. How to Write a Short Report to the General Manager

    A short report to the gen manager be a way to communicate conclusions upon a my, or a recommendation used further action. Written in memo form, a short report should be concise also indirect with tangible action steps. And optimum length available a short report can sole page, or smaller.

  18. How to Write an Effective Monthly Report [+ Templates]

    Edit and Download. Present your company's attendance rates for the month with this colorful report template. Highlight an attendance overview and leave vs attendance with a pie chart and donut chart respectively. Use 3D graphics to visualize the information and make the report more amenable.

  19. Short Report

    A short report consists of significant information of a particular topic that is meant to inform a reader. A report may either be oral or written in the report formof a memo or a letter. It generally consists of a summary of the report, a brief background, a defined purpose, and a conclusion. The short report must also contain a title that ...

  20. How To Write a Letter to Your Boss About Concerns (With Template)

    Summarize your chief concerns in one to two sentences. State your concerns directly but professionally. Focus on the objective facts rather than on how you feel about the situation. 3. Explain the effects. Describe how your concerns have affected or could affect your team, company or clients.

  21. 15 Free Daily Report Templates to Stay Productive

    Edit and Download. Daily class reports allow teachers and parents to motivate and monitor their children's performance regularly. We have designed this daily report template to help teachers teach their students better. Keep track of the student's activities, meals and other behavior easily using this report template. 6.

  22. How to Write a Short Report to the General Manager

    The second section of a short report to the general manager contains to results of the plan or initiative. Serving as aforementioned meat of the little report, it should contain facts, implications for the organization and any other relevant information. ... Like the introduction, which body of the short report shall be concise. 8 Steps to ...

  23. General Manager Resume Examples and Templates for 2024

    Resume Builder offers free, HR-approved resume templates to help you create a professional resume in minutes. 1. Write a brief summary of your general manager qualifications. Use the profile summary to communicate your value proposition — it makes you different from other candidates and a great option for the position.