Classification of Report

Report is a one kind of tool for communication. It is considered report as upward communication tool. Reports can be classified in various aspects depending on their functions, working arena, Time interval, Subject Matter, Geography, Length  and Direction.

A Good Report writer keeps deep knowledge on the part of his arena. A business or commercial person should also keep the knowledge on various types of reports.
As a whole, All types of reports have been discussed on the following way:

A♣ Oral Report: It is simple and easy to present,  because there is no problem of writing. Such report can be designed at any time and can easily raise confusion because there is no written evidence at all. Such report is not used so commonly because of its less benefits.

B♣ Written Report: Written report is given in a black and white. Such report can be acted as evidence for any incident and can be used as future reference.

C♣ Formal Report: A report which is prepared in a prescribed form and presented to a concerned authority according to established procedure is known as formal report. There are usually seen two types of Formal reports depending on mandatory of law:

(i) Statutory Report: A formal report prepared and submitted as required by law is called a statutory report e.g. Report of directors to shareholders, Auditors Report, Annual Report etc. This report must be prepared for legal bindings.

(ii) Non-Statutory Report: A formal report which is not required under any law but prepared to help the managerial activities is known to be non-statutory report. e.g. Manager's Report etc.

D♣ Informal Report: An informal report is usually in the form of a person to person communication. It does not follow the rules and procedure prescribed by an organization. It may be prepared in one page or may require several pages. Such report is quickly prepared and does not require any extended planning to make it. Generally, Informal report follows natural language and style.

E♣ Informative Report: Informative report presents the facts, events or issues related to particular situation. It does not make analysis, explanation, conclusion or recommendation. e.g. financial statement, work record for employees and workers, list for assets etc.

F♣ Interpretative Report: If the report contains both presentation of facts or data or event as well as analysis and explanation of data is known to be interpretative report. Here, the report writer does not draw any conclusion nor make recommendations. These are left to the readers to derive. Such report are usually self-explanatory.

G♣ Analytical Report: It is the one kinds of report which attempts to solve the problems. Such report includes presentation of facts as well as analysis, explanation, conclusion and recommendations. Reports of scientific research, feasibility reports are the best examples of analytical report.

H♣ Periodic Report: A report prepared and issued at regular intervals for routine activities of the business is known as periodic report. Such report may be issued daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. For example: Performance report, Inspection report, Inventory report,  Annual confidential report etc. are the example of periodic report.

I♣ Special Report: Special report is a report which is related to a single occasion or situation. It is also called one-time-only report. e.g. Report on proposal of a new branch, Report regarding problems among staff etc.

J♣ Financial Report: A report containing financial information is known as a financial report. Usually it comprises of income statement and balance sheet. These two provides information to make decision and know about the financial condition of respective organization.

K♣ Performance Report: This type of reports is submitted to higher authority stating evaluation of workers, employees or learners. In many cases, the progress or stage of completion of project work is submitted also to the higher authority through performance report.

L♣ Technical Report: Technical report is report which provides information relating to specialized or technical subject. It is prepared with or without recommendation and only technical experts prepare such reports. For example: Weather report, Laboratory report, Quality report etc. are the example of Technical report.

M♣ Geological Report: A report that supplies information not only on a particular subject but also on many subjects generally is known as geological report. It provides information relating to overall conditions of the organization.

N♣ Internal Report: Such report moves within the organization. They are prepared to help business operation as well as administration. It is also known as administrative reports.

O♣ External Report: Such report is prepared for distribution information among the outsiders who are interested and related to the company e.g. Annual reports are prepared for shareholders, creditors, investors, bank, regulatory bodies, tax authority and the society as a whole.

P♣ Short Report: The report that contains topics of medium or moderate length and having no special need for formal presentation are called short report. Most short reports include the minimum supporting materials such as problems, methods, findings and conclusions.

Q♣ Long Report: The name of such report clearly tells us about the scope and size of such report. When there is major investigation of large and complicated matters, long report is prepared for high level administration.

R♣ Vertical Report:  Report that moves upward and downward in an organization is known to be vertical report. They help management for control. Most of the time. such report is prepared for top level management.

S♣ Lateral Report: Such report travels between the same units of an organization. It helps coordination among the various departments of the same organization.