A complete business report has the following parts. Each part is briefly explained
Essential elements or Parts of a Business Report
Here are some of the essential elements or parts of a business report.
1. Title Page: It is otherwise called as heading of the report. The title page contains the details of the name and address of the reporter, the name and address of the receiver and the date and place of submission of a report.
2. Table of Contents: It is desirable to give the table of contents at the beginning of the report. It gives full view of the report. One can know the full contents of the report briefly by reading the table of contents. Moreover, the reader can turn the required page number to study the specified heading very easily. It means that the table of contents have not only contents but also include page number of heading and sub-heading of the report.
3. List of Figures (or) List of Illustrations: This part contains the map and pictures which are related to the report. Such type of map and pictures enable the readers for proper and clear understanding of the report. The name of map and pictures are given with page number under this part.
4. Abstract or Summary: An abstract or summary gives overall view of the report briefly. An abstract is called synopsis. There is no hard and fast rules to be followed in writing an abstract or summary. But, it is generally agreed that 300 words to 500 words are used for writing an abstract or summary.
5. Introduction: Introduction is the first part of any type of report. It contains the following information.
- Authorization of the report and terms of reference.
- Brief history and background of the subject matter of the report.
- Scope of the study of the report which contains the details of the list of areas to be covered in the report within the subject matter.
- Limitations and qualifications of the report.
- Methodology used to collect both primary and secondary data. The list of sources of secondary data should be provided for the reliability of the report.
- Definitions of special terms and symbols if desirable. Generally, the introduction of the report attracts the attention of the reader. It is necessary for the continued study of the full report.
6. Discussion (or) Description or Body of the Report: This is the main part of the report. The subject matter of the report should be systematically presented with suitable headings and sub-headings. It contains the facts found by the reporter(s) along with his/their comments. The subject matter is dealt with the help of charts, graphs, statistical tables etc. Sometimes, excerpts from other reports can be included in order to improve the quality of the report.
7. Recommendations: The reporter(s) can present the report along with his/their recommendations which are based on the findings. When a report is prepared by a committee or sub-committee, the recommendations are put in the form of “motions” or “resolutions”.
8. Conclusion: The reporter should give a definite conclusion at the end of the report. Generally, the conclusion is based on the findings and nature of the subject matter dealt in the report.
9. List of References: Some excerpts may be used from any other report or books, periodicals, magazines, journals etc. If so, the page number of the relevant items should be given as footnotes on the page on which they are cited or given as references at the end of the report. The list of references may be arranged in an chronological order in which they occur in the report or presented in an alphabetical order.
10. Bibliography: In the case of market report, the reporter presents the report based on the extensive research. He/she may refer the number of books for writing the report. Such books are given as bibliography at the end of the report.
11. Glossary: Glossary is the explanation of the technical terms used in the report writing. Some reporters are given such explanation as footnotes on the page in which the technical term used. Some reporters are given the explanation at the end of the report. There is no hard and fast rules for giving the glossary. The readers can understand the report in right direction and sense if the glossary is given.
12. Appendices: Primary data is used to collect the information for report writing. Besides, some statistical information are also collected and used for report writing. Such information cannot be incorporated in the main body of the report in order to keep the main line of argument. But, these are necessary for proper understanding of the report. Hence, these are given as Appendices at the end of the report.
13. Index: Index is divided into two. They are subject index and name index. Subject index means an indication of page number(s) of important words. Name index means an indication of page number of various individuals or institutions which are appearing in the body of the report. Index is highly useful to the readers who can easily turnout the page number for quick reference.
14. Signature: The business report is signed by the person(s) who has (have) submitted along with date. In the case of committee or sub-committee report, all the persons are expected to sing with date. If not so, the chairman of such committee or sub-committee can sign with date on behalf of its members.