Generally, business reports are categorized into two ways. They are oral and written. An oral report is a piece of face-to-face communication about something seen or observed. Though it saves the reporter’s time, it is more time-consuming for the receiver as he has to listen to every word of the report.
A written report is relatively more accurate and permanent. In certain cases, the reader may just skim through it, or read the abstract or the conclusions or recommendations only. It can be referred to again and again and is by its very nature more formal than an oral report. A written report is then divided into two types. They are as follows:
- Formal report
- Informal report
Formal reports vary a great deal according to their purposes and contents, different organizations have different ways of classifying them. some classify them according to their source or frequency of appearance, others by their Letter or degree of formality or physical form.
- Informational report:
An informational report contains only the data collected or the facts observed in an organized form. it presents the situation as it is and not as it should be. It does not contain any conclusions or recommendations. It is useful because it presents relevant data put together in a form in which it is required by the management to take decisions.
- Interpretive report:
An interpretive report, like an informational report, contains facts but it also includes an evaluation or interpretation or analysis of data and the reporter’s conclusions. it may have recommendations for actions. An interpretive report which consists principally of recommendations is also called a recommendation or recommendatory report.
- Routine report:
All that .the report writer has to do is to put a tick mark against certain items listed- in the form or write very brief remarks against them. These reports are written usually for recording routine matters at regular intervals, e.g. confidential reports on employees, periodic reports on the progress of projects, reports on inspection of emendations also, they are called as Routine reports. Routine reports are further divided into fanny types. They are as follows:
- Progress reports:
The frequency of progress reports depends upon the practice followed in an organization. They may be written and circulated at the end of each phase or a specified period of time or completion of a stage of work. If they are prepared at regular inter vials, they are called as periodic reports. They contain the following information:
- Date, Total work to be
- Work completed to date, work to be
- Laboratory reports:
A laboratory report is an account of various steps, findings and conclusions put together in a logical order. As a matter of fact, no scientific experiment can be considered valid unless it is presented in terms intelligible to other scientists. Thus, writing laboratory reports are considered to be an essential part of scientific investigation and experimentation. These reports contain the following elements:
- Heading, Experiment No.
- Statement of analysis,
- Apparatus used.
- Inventory reports:
It is customary for every organization to take stock of equipment, furniture, stationery, etc. at regular intervals. The person who checks the stock fills in his findings in a prescribed form.