Requisites of a Good Report

Requisites of a Good Report

A report is a vehicle that carrying information. The usefulness of the work completed through the dissimilar executives not only relies on the quality of work itself but also the way where the information or results are conveyed to their superiors. So, good reporting is essential for effective communication. So a good report should have the following requisites:

1. Following points are important in this respect:

(a) Report should contain a suggestive sub-headings, title, heading, and paragraph divisions.

(b) In case statistical figures are to be quoted in the report, only the important totals should be provided in the body of the report. The other statistical details might be provided, in the appendix.

(c) The report should consist of facts rather than opinions. In case specific opinions are expressed, they should be logical sequence of facts available in the report.

(d) In case report is in response to a request or letter, cross reference of such type of request or letter should be provided.

(e) The report should allow the date on which it is put up. The names of the person to which the report is to be sent should also be mentioned on the top.

(f) The aims of the report should be perfectly served through the contents of the report.

(g) The contents should follow in a subsequent sequence:

(i)  The summary of current position,

(ii) The course that might be taken and the supposed results,

(iii) The suggestions and reasons for their submission.

2. The report should be submitted as soon as probable. Information delayed is information denied. Reports are intended for action. The sooner the report is created, the quicker can the action is taken. In some cases speed in presentation is more significant than any other general principles of reporting. Correctness might have to be sacrificed to get the objective of promptness. In order to raise the speed of collecting the accounting information, following steps might be taken:

(a) A specific record-keeping system, tailored as per to the needs of submission of different reports, should be established in the organisation.

(b) In order to prevent clerical errors and increase productivity, mechanical accounting devices might be employed.

(c) Accounting work should be departmentalised in order to avoid blocks in reporting.

(d) Employees might be asked to report directly about any abnormal or extra-ordinary situation.

3. Reports are also intended for comparison. This is feasible only when information contained in the report is placed in some perspective, example time, norms or standards. Figures should be provided for some previous period like "last month" or "similar month for the last year" etc. Actual figures might also be placed side by side with subsequent budget, standard or estimated figures. The aim is to emphasize important deviations from previous periods or standards or estimates. The principle of 'Management by exception' should be useful when drafting 'reports.' unimportant variations require not be reported.

4. Consistency is closely related with comparability because comparison is possible only while the reports are ready and existed on a consistent basis. This aim can be acquired if the information embodied in the report emanates from a general source. Furthermore, uniform procedure might be followed over a period of time for collection, classification and presentation of the accounting information.

5. The report have to be in-simple, unmistakable and concise form. Professional or technical jargon should be avoided because those who receive the report might be fairly not familiar with expressions the accountant takes for approved. It should be also readable. Conciseness and rounding off of figures to an advantageous point both add to readability of the report that is other dimension to simplicity.

6. The report should be suitable for the person for whom it is meant. The following points are of meaning in this context:

(i) Report should be associated to the responsibilities of the recipients. For instance, the Production Manager should be supplied along with only such type of reports that relate to his division or area of control.

(ii) Report should be intended to suit the level of management for whom it is intended. The general principle is higher the level of management, the more brief the report should be. The top management acquires reports from all areas but the number of reports and the details of the information have to be very carefully pruned. Though, reports to the middle-management must be more detailed that are covering section-wise deviations and performance. For instance the top management has to be provided reports covering profit and loss statement, the approximate funds flow, the sales, production, the capital expenditure follow up, and other appropriate statistics. Alternatively, a Sales Manager may be provided reports only regarding such type of matters that directly affect him. He might be supplied with reports comprising detailed comparison of actual sales along with the budgeted sales along with reference to products, customers, territories salesmen etc.

7. In order to have a suitable response of the report, it is essential that every report might be addressed to a responsibility centre and should consist of a message about the variances that are controllable at that point. There is no objection to the mention of all variances describing the area covered in order to make the report comprehensive. But variances that are out of the control of the executive reserving the report should be mentioned separately in the report.

8. The report should be reasonably precise. The degree of accuracy will rely on the aim for which the information is needed. Such type of inaccuracies that will not affect the importance of the information might be ignored.

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