137+ Professional Report Templates for MS Word & Excel
What is a report?
A report is an organized, short, concise, and specific document. The word report comes from the Latin word “reportare” which refers to the meaning of “carrying back”. Reports are special pieces of documents that are designed keeping a specific meaning in mind and are sharp, precise, and accurate in their meaning and purpose. The intended audience or readers of the report are also specific and have been kept in mind while formulating the report. A report is compiled after carrying out a series of research, data analysis, and investigation. These data findings are then used to create facts, statements, and observations related to a particular topic of interest. The information is presented in a sequential manner and is almost always backed by evidence.
Download below 137+ professionally formatted Report Templates for every field of business or individual use. These templates are designed in MS Word and MS Excel and are very easy to be customized.
Why do we need reports?
Reports are needed in order to make informed, research-based data that helps decision-makers come to conclusions. For us to be able to get a brief, organized, and easily readable idea of information about a concerning topic, we might need to get a report that has been prepared in a systematized manner. It is definitely hard looking at chunks of scattered and cluttered information. So, to be able to remove confusion, and handle jumbled data one needs to give an aligned form.
Reports are also pretty useful when it comes to keeping a record of certain instances and things and bring the benefit of communicating compiled data in an easy way.
What are good reports?
Good reports communicate data that has been concluded as a result of analysis and research and delivers it in a clear, unambiguous style. The purpose of the report must be defined, objective, accurate, and comprehensive. Good reports are able to keep the readers hooked, prevent monotony, are well-structured, and are able to convey their purpose in a wholesome manner. The clarity, association, and quality of the material define a report.
Types of reports:
Reports can be broadly categorized into oral and written ones, written ones can further be divided into these types based on STRUCTURE:
- Informal or Formal reports:
Formal reports are slightly more structured, have been formulated on request, and are comprised of detailed information backed by research and analysis. These reports are generally written with the idea of coming up with a solution to a particular problem at hand. These are widely used in academics and business. Examples of formal reports include annual reports, audits, investigation reports, corporate reports, etc.
Informal reports, however, are relatively short and less structured documents that have been designed to be sent within the same organization or institution where they are formed. These only include pertinent and highly important details. Examples of informal reports include short memos, emails, circulars, etc.
- Short or Long reports:
Informal reports are also referred to as Short reports that are written for day-to-day activities and tasks. These require lesser underneath information and come up with deductive facts and figures. Examples include progress reports, incident reports, etc.
Long reports are also known as formal reports and are more organized, complex, detailed, data-based, objective, and planning-based. Examples include research reports, market reports, etc.
- Informational or Analytical reports:
Information reports present facts, data, feedback, but is not intended to scrutinize or interpret information or present suggestions. These are generally more simple and direct. These provide information based on stats and data. Example: Incident report.
Analytical reports are more detailed, formal, and complex and are based on analysis and investigation of facts and figures. These are intended to come up with recommendations or solutions. Example: Benchmark reports.
- Proposal reports:
Proposal reports are informal reports that are constructed in order to put forth an idea, a project, or an action. These are used to seek other’s permission or approval. These provide a proposed solution related to a problem or topic. Example: A business proposal for introducing a new product.
- Vertical or Lateral reports:
Vertical or lateral reports are differentiated on the basis of who these are meant to be targeted. A vertical report is one intended to reach the upper-level hierarchy such as the upper managers. These might be directed to the upper or the lower direction of the hierarchy.
Lateral reports are rotating between the same levels of hierarchy in a horizontal manner.
- Internal or External reports:
Internal reports have limited internal distribution (such as monthly departmental reports) while external reports have public availability too (such as audits).
- Periodic reports:
These are formal, objective reports that provide information on specific intervals such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and daily. These are summarized in a complex, data-based manner including graphs, charts, etc.
- Functional reports:
Reports meant to respond to a specific function or purpose. Almost all kinds of reports can be summarized inside this one kind. Example: an accident report, a lab report, a sales report, etc.
Types of reports based on PURPOSE can be enlisted as:
– Research reports
– Topic reports
– Trip reports
– Business reports
– Market reports
– Event reports
– Technical reports
– Media reports
– Field reports
– Scientific reports
What is the process of report writing?
THINKING/ Pre-writing stage:
- Define an objective
- Researching to collect the information required
- Organizing and structuring the information
- Define the readers/target audience
INKING/ Writing stage:
- Compile and formulate
- Quality assurance
- Give final touches.
REVIEWING/ Re-writing stage:
- Submit for approval and adoption.
How reports are generally structured?
Structure of an Informal/Short Report:
- Title page
Structure of a Formal/Long Report:
- Starting Section:
- Title page
- Letter of transmittal
- Table of contents
- Main Body:
- Conclusion and Recommendations
- Supporting section: