Common Characteristics or Features of Report
When a report is written for business purpose, it is called business report. A business report conveys information to assist in business decision-making. There are numerous types of reports. The objective, length, and users of reports vary widely. However, all the reports must have some general features. Some of them are as follows:
Specific event: Report is usually written on a specific event. If there is no predefined event, there cannot be any report.
Past event: Report is usually written on past or previous events. So it is a written statement on the past like a postmortem.
Specified structure: Every report follows a specified structure for presenting information. Structure of reports varies from one kind to another. But the structure and contents of a particular category of report may remain same.
Neutrality: Neutrality is another common feature of a report. It is because information is presented on the basis of a particular event but not on the basis of writer’s taste or fascination.
Factual Information: Report contains only factual information. Factual information is based on events, records and data.
Orderly information: Report presents information in a logical and orderly way. Report is different from casual exchange of information. Therefore, it is prepared carefully.
Requested by higher authority: Reports are usually prepared on the request of higher authority. In most cases people would not prepare report unless requested to do so.
Upward oriented: Most reports are upward oriented. That is, reports move up the organizational hierarchy. This characteristics of reports arises due to the fact that higher authority requests for a report.
Limited recipients: In most cases, reports are prepared for a limited number of recipients. Internal people mostly use reports. However, some reports like, annual reports, audit reports etc. are sent to external audiences.