Business reports are a valued tool for tracking and analyzing performance and overall business health. A well-documented report will reveal nuances related to core business functions, while opening opportunities to improve and make market gains. Business reports are not typically used for independent contractors and single-owner models, as they simply review financials but small, medium, and large business stand to benefit from detailed reports.

Critical Analysis

Business reports are valuable for critically analyzing financial reports, performance reports and areas in which the business is doing well or poorly. Deep diving into available data leads to a cause-and-effect approach to solving performance problems. You may find that one department is under-performing, not reaching goals and experiencing more turmoil and turnover than other departments. The cause may be managerial or because of an issue revealed in the report itself. With the knowledge gained from reporting, a business owner or manager can investigate to solve the problem.

Benchmarks, Goal Setting and KPI's

Reports show performance across quarters and for the entire year, in the case of annual reports. Watching performance trends allows for the company to set benchmarks and goals. This takes the annual revenue goal, and breaks it down into more digestible benchmarks. So that if a company meets 30-percent of the annual revenue goal in Q1, that sets a benchmark, placing them ahead of the goal. KPI's (key performance indicators) are also an important aspect of reports. These are clues that show performance, based on the most important aspects of the business. If a business reports thousands of website visits or foot traffic in a physical store, it may look as if good actual conversions and sales on that traffic is the main KPI. Prioritizing that KPI will influence how all other aspects of the business are managed.

Planning and Decision Making

Reports help business leaders plan and make strategic decisions. They use the data to back their decisions and to justify each move made. Reports can influence hiring, firing, new product development, the elimination of entire departments and adaptable measures made to ensure that the business survives and thrives in the future. Shareholders of large businesses will use reports to track their value and make high level decisions about top level management capable of improving their overall invested value.