There are a number of annual report types; relating to education where students’ annual reports are written and business where annual reports of performance of companies and even individuals are written for assessing the performance of a company or individual. In a broader perspective most of the times we are talking about annual reports regarding business companies and their performance and the predictions based on the past performance in an annual report. Annual reports are critical and explanatory documents, which play an important role in performance study and assessment of any business or company in business.
Annual reports are to include a number of key elements without which an annual report is incomplete. These key elements are KEY ELEMENTS for a reason and hence can’t be ignored at any cost. As a general overview an annual report is a document all about telling the performance of a company to its owners and people who are indulged in its running based on the performance of the employees. The audience mostly affected by an annual report is the investors and stakeholders of any company who have their sums invested in and are always expecting progress and profits out of any company.
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The most important feature of an annual report is the profit assessment and financial figures over the past year of the company’s tenure. This part of the report is extra crucial since the people are affected by the readings recorded in financial report part. Profits, losses, investments, expenditures and even pay roll of the employees are the main focuses of this portion of the report. This is also considered to be the strongest performance assessing part since the profits determine the rate of success for any company.
Apart from this important portion of the report an overall profile of what company actually does is a ‘must thing to include’ feature of an annual report. This includes the details of all the departments and roles a company is playing, its subsidiaries, the chains and subdivisions a company comprises of. This is to give the readers of report an overview of what their investment has grown into.
Comparisons based on different aspects are important feature of annual reports; comparison of profits from the current year to the previous years, comparisons of size of investments, comparisons of employees and company size and comparisons of expenditures etc. are important features which give a quick overview of where the company stands and what can be expected in the coming years. These figures are not only important for the current investors and people in business in fact these also affect the people who are planning to invest in a company since these figures show where the company is going.
In some annual reports the inclusion of a chairman letter has become more of a trend. But this is simply not a formality to be met; in fact the chairman has a deep insight on the accomplishments and the standing of the company in the past years and the current situation. So this is an important part to be included to give the readers something they need to know about the company.
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