Definition of an Annual Report
An annual report can be defined as,
"As the name indicates, it is an annual publication that public corporations must provide to shareholders to describe their operations and financial conditions".
"An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company’s activities throughout the preceding year". Design & Template of a Basic Annual Report
Typically, the design and template of a standard annual report comprises of the following components:
Report by Chairperson Report by CEO Corporate Information Corporate Governance Report Mission Statement Letters to the Shareholders Corporate Governance Statement of Compliance Awards, Grants and Loans
Managements Discussion and Analysis Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements Balance Sheet Income Statement Statement of Retained Earnings Cash Flow Statement Notes to the Financial Statements Accounting Policies Financial Highlights
The front part of the report often contains an impressive combination of graphics, photos and an accompanying narrative, all of which chronicle the company’s activities over the past year. The back part of the report contains detailed financial and operational information.
Significance of an Annual Report
The purpose of annual reports is to give the shareholders and other interested parties information about the company’s financial performance. It is considered mandatory by most jurisdictions that companies disclose their financial performance for shareholders and prospective investors at the end of financial year.
Companies listed on a stock exchange are also required to release annual reports. Most of the information disclosed in annual reports in quantitative since its main focus is on the financial operations. In addition to communicating the financial performance of the company, annual reports also communicate the readers about the technological innovations and strategic revision taken up by the company. The words by the chairperson inform the shareholders that their investment is in safe hands.
How to Write an Annual Report?
Here are a few easy steps which will help you in learning best practices for writing an annual report for your business: Gather Information
First of all, you need to gather financial data of the company for the past twelve months. You also need to gain information on the key activities of the company which helped in increasing revenues. Discuss the financial performance of the company with the members of finance department and board in particular.
Focus on Accomplishments
Once you have all the necessary information in hand, go through it and pick out points which focus on the accomplishments of the company. You must know that your readers are not interested in knowing about the company’s philosophy and values; what they are looking for is how you carried out a particular activity and how it helped you in achieving your mission and objectives. Talk about any innovations and strategy modifications which have helped the company gain profit. You can also share your future plans regarding the improvement of financial situation of the company.
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