Business internal correspondence: Internal reports
Reports can be on any subject, of any size, from disciplinary reports to evaluations of staff performance, to special reports on aspects of the business.
They can also be unreadable, in multiple formats, and cover subjects which aren't within the normal range of correspondence.
Standardized reporting formats
As usual, having one standard system instead of several makes life a lot easier. Most large organizations create a format which greatly simplifies the process of creating and reading reports, and it works in smaller businesses, too. Even big, complex reports can be formatted quite easily.
The basic format will be familiar to readers of corporate reports:
- Title and subject page
- Introduction stating objectives of the report
- Synopsis of report, with sub headings for each section.
- Body of report, in chapter form, with subject titles
- Appendices related to data, documentation, etc.
- Additional materials
- Glossary of terms or subjects
This is a very reliable system, used by the biggest companies on Earth.
- Reports must be readable, and information findable.
- The report should be written clearly, in plain language, as far as possible, with a glossary in alphabetical order to explain any difficult or obscure professional terms or references.
- Always use appendices for detailed information.
- Accounts are always kept separate, only relevant excerpts appear in the body of the text, if required.
- In any electronic format, ensure all software is compatible with systems.
This example is the report format of a company reporting on budget overruns in its production. The report is for reading by internal department managers. The material is all generated internally, with an external consultant writing the report and providing an analysis of the problem.
TITLE: ABCDE INC: REPORT ON BUDGET OVERRUNS, 25 JANUARY 2010
- Report by consultant
- Case studies
- Quotes received
- Projections based on quotes
- Projections based on cost overruns
- Revised consolidated projections
- Revised consolidated accounts
- Graphs and charts
2. Legal issues
- Advisings from legal counsel
- Glossary of terms (alphabetical)
- This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
- Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
- Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.