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Report Writing
The Function of Business ReportsWriting Business Reports


Business reports are required in disciplines such as accounting, finance, management, marketing and commerce. Often the type of assignment set is a practical learning task requiring you to apply the theories you have been studying to real world (or realistic) situations; for example, accounting and finance students may be asked to analyse a company’s financial data and to write a report detailing their findings, marketing students may be asked to research and develop a marketing campaign for a product and to write a report presenting the proposal to the company, management students may be asked to report on the management structure of a company and make recommendations for its improvement. Learning how to report on financial information, marketing and management strategies and issues to others is an important component of business studies.

Your assignment question will most probably guide you as to the type of information that should be included in your report and the steps you should follow. Here are some examples:

A typical question from accounting and finance
A typical question from marketing
A typical question from commerce

In these examples there are separate, yet related tasks, and this will be reflected in the structure of the report: information will be divided into sections with headings (for example, Recommendations), and the sections will follow a logical progression.

Business reports will obviously differ according to the specific question and task they seek to answer. It is important, however, to be clear what the overall purpose of your report is: is it to inform, to make a proposal, or to solve a problem?

Some of the material in this unit is adapted from Woodward-Kron, R. (1997) Writing in Commerce: a guide to assist Commerce students with assignment writing, (Revised edition), Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle, pp. 25-31.


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