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Key terms: analytical reports; informational reports; periodic reports; sales reports; expense reports.

 

Exercises

Exercise 1. Review questions.

  1. What is an analytical report?
  2. In what situations it may be used?
  3. What do you know about the informational reports?

 

Exercise 2. Summarise the ground rules for writing reports in no more than 100 words using the key words and phrases, technique explained in previous units.

Exercise 3. Reading and understanding

As you read the following report, decide how much the findings meet the objectives of the introduction. Also decide whether the report is organised chronologically (according to time) or logically (according to a sequence of ideas).

 

Confidential report of finance director S.hart

Introduction
This report aims to assess the performance of S.Hart, Finance Director, during the year 1999. In particular, it aims to review his actions and decisions in the following areas:

  1. General financial control
  2. Budgetary control
  3. Staff relations

Findings
S.Hart was appointed Financial Director in January 1999. He had previously been Chief Account in the company.
For the first three months in his new position Mr.Hart worked alongside Mr.Gwent, his predecessor. At his first General Management Meeting, he was asked how he saw his role in the company. He replied that he thought his primary responsibility was to exert tight financial control particularly on running costs.
In April 1999, he submitted a first quarter financial report which already showed a slight decrease in current costs. At this meeting, the Marketing Director commented that the Spring advertising campaign had been delayed by the Finance Departments slowness in approving the expenditure.
In June 1999, two junior members of the Finance Department resigned and went to work for one of our competitors.
The second quarter financial report showed costs running considerably below forecast. The Marketing Director complained at the Meeting that his advertising budget had again been restricted. The problem was in getting funds from the Finance Department.
In the following month, F.Flynn, the Finance Directors assistant, asked to be moved to another department. He said he could not work any longer with Mr.Hart.
In October, Mr.Hart presented his 1999 budget. This was based on pessimistic forecasts for sales, and a planned 18% reduction in running costs. The third quarter financial report had shown a marked drop in income matched by an even sharper drop in costs.
In November 1999, the Marketing Director resigned saying: If he stays, I go. It was understood that he was speaking about the Finance Director. Final figures for the year showed a good level of profitability (slightly higher than expected) but an alarming downward trend in sales.

  1. What experience did Mr.Hart have for this job?
  2. For how long did Mr.Hart work alone in 1999?
  3. What did he consider his main duty?
  4. In which area did he have most success?
  5. How many staff left the department during the year?
  6. Why did the Marketing Director leave?
  7. In what other way could these findings be presented?
  8. What style is the report written in:

a) formal or informal? b) personal or impersonal?

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