5 Tips to Create Company Annual Reports Stakeholders Will Love
Annual reports are an essential part of running successful businesses. Effective annual reports are the ones that stand out and help distinguish you in your line of competition, while helping to reinforce the relationship you share with stakeholders. Irrespective of the fact that electronic documentation has pretty much taken over all forms of documenting, the annual report remains one of the most integral and crucial reports your organization will come up with.
What are annual reports?
An annual report is simply a comprehensive report that mentions the company’s financial activities that took place throughout the year, alongside an analysis by the management regarding the current financial standings as well as future plans. This report is prepared at the end of the fiscal year so that those interested in knowing more about the company are given access to financial information about the internal workings of the company and how the management managed financial matters.
A standard annual report contains several distinctive sections that assist both investors and creditors in understanding the company better than if they just looked at general financial statements. A typical annual report would include the following sections:
- Letter to Shareholders
- Financial History and Climaxes
- Management Analysis and Discussion
- Report from Management on Financial Statements and on Internal Controls
- Report of Independent Accountants
- Follow-ups to Financial Statements
- Names of Directors and Officers
Your financial Statements should also include the following:
- Income Statement
- Balance Sheet
- Cash Flows Statement
- Statement of Stockholders’ Equity
Why are annual reports important?
Perhaps one of the main reasons why an annual report is such an important asset for your company is the fact that sharing your annual report is the best platform for you to maintain contact with your organization’s chief stakeholders. You can present your annual figures in a brief and transparent way all the while communicating your organization’s management strategy. This strategy helps to up your company’s credibility as well as keep your stakeholders at bay.
To precisely state it, if you want a reputation that stands out positively and proves that your company is not in it to deceive clients, annual reports are the way forward.
5 Tips to Create Great Annual Reports
Considering all of the above, there’s no denying that a good annual report makes a lasting impression on your company. The following are five tips to keep in mind to come up with great annual reports that stand out:
1. Identify your audience
You may have numerous members among your audience. However, it’s important for you to know who you want to target to read your annual report. Be sure to include the information that you feel your intended audience is looking for.
2. Tell it like it is
Your company’s story is for you to tell. Even if you haven’t had a great year financially, make the report resonate the lessons learnt or the progress you have made. Think over how you can tell a story alongside the financial aspects.
3. Make the report link well
The information on your annual report should be easy to read through. By creating sections and segments as mentioned above, your report can have a proper flow to it.
4. Include visual data
It is so important for you to keep in mind that most people are visual learners or readers. Infographics are a great way to present all the numbers that are generally included in annual reports.
5. Make the report visually appealing
Believe it or not, there are several ways you can make your annual report appealing to the eye. Whether it be the images you include, the colors used or the way you use the space within the pages. These factors in addition to others go a long way in determining the effectiveness of your report. Never underestimate the importance of being visually appealing.
Mining Companies with Good Annual Reports
Mining companies understand just how far a good annual report can take their company in the long term.
Mining companies such as Happy Creek Minerals Ltd. provide an extensive list of financial reports (four per year). Hudson Resources Inc. also includes four reports per year, audited annual financial statements and other similar statements on their website. As these reports can be easily accessed through online means, the company in concern lets viewers know just how transparent they are willing to remain.
Grace is a writer at Neumarkets. She's a single mother and spends most of her time travelling with her daughter and her laptop. Travel opens up a new world to her and she embraces knowledge from every corner.