Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reports are well-researched, planned, and organised documents written for a purpose. They are written for a specific audience and must always be accurate and objective. A report is a concise document based on research that typically analyses a situation and sometimes makes recommendations.

All your facts and information presented in the report not only have to be bias-free, but they also have to be 100% correct. Proofreading and fact-checking are always what you do as a thumb rule before submitting a report. Your suggestions for a specific case after a factual report are often required. That depends on why you are writing the report and who you are writing it for in the first place. Knowing your audience’s motive for asking for that report is very important as it sets the course of the facts focused on your report.

Formal Report

Formal reports are meticulously structured. They focus on objectivity and organisation and contain deeper detail. The writer must write them in a style that eliminates factors like personal pronouns.

Informal Report

Informal reports are usually short messages with free-flowing, casual use of language. We generally describe the internal report/memorandum as an informal report.

Informational Report

Informational reports provide information, facts, and data without evaluation, recommendation, or conclusion. They can be formal or informal, and examples include meeting minutes, expense reports, and progress reports.

Analytical Report

The analytical report provides the same information as the informational report but also analyses the problems and suggests possible solutions. Analytical reports can be formal or informal, including annual, audit, feasibility, justification, and closure reports.

Internal Report

An internal report stays within a particular organisation or group of people. In the case of office settings, internal reports are for within the organisation.

External Report

We prepare external reports, such as a newspaper report about an incident or company annual reports, for distribution outside the organisation. We call these public reports.

Vertical Report

This is about the hierarchy of the reports’ ultimate target. If the report is for your management or mentees, it’s a vertical report. Wherever a direction of upwards or downwards comes into motion, we call it a vertical report.

Lateral Report

Lateral reports assist in the organisation’s coordination. A report travelling between units of the same organisation level (for example, a report among the administration and finance departments) is lateral.

Periodic Report

Periodic reports are sent out on regularly pre-scheduled dates. In most cases, their direction is upward and serves as management control. Some, like annual reports, are not vertical but are a Government mandate to be periodic. That is why we have annual, quarterly, or half-yearly reports. If they are this frequent, it only makes sense to pre-set the structure of these reports and just fill in the data every period. That’s precisely what happens in most cases, too.

Proposal Report

These kinds of reports are like extensions to the analytical/problem-solving reports. A proposal is a document one prepares to describe how one organisation can provide a solution to a problem they are facing. There’s always a need to prepare a report in a business setup. The end goal is usually very solution-oriented. We call such kinds of reports proposal reports.

Functional Report

These kinds of reports include marketing reports, financial reports, accounting reports, and a spectrum of other reports that provide a specific function.

Statutory Report

Statutory reports are mandatory, and companies are required by law to submit financial information to specific government agencies. Statutory reports must be prepared according to the structure and rules already defined for these types of reports.

Non-Statutory Report

Non-statutory reports are not required to be submitted by law. These are formal reports submitted to the higher-up in rank or informal for administrative use.

Annual Report

As the name suggests, annual reports are yearly reports. They are based on yearly data, sales, and profit. An annual report is submitted at the end of every year for the decision-makers to study and plan accordingly.

General or Confidential Reports

Business reports can be general or confidential. A general report is for the inside of an organisation, the press, or the public. A confidential report is not for many people and is reserved for some important figures in the organisation.

Long and Short Reports

These kinds of reports are pretty straightforward, as the name suggests. A two-page report, sometimes referred to as a memorandum, is short, and a thirty-page report is long. More extended reports are generally written formally.