For many companies, the annual report is their very first opportunity to view the progress they have made during the year. Any business can use annual reports as a promotional tool to attract new customers or convey information on their company strategy and present achievements.
What is an annual report template?
An annual report template is a document provided to public corporations by financial companies to help them prepare the annual report. Generally, it is a solid document written in an office word processor. However, when publishing on the Internet, one can do with an annual report template that was designed for this purpose only.
When do you need an annual report template?
Most businesses that operate on a public stock exchange like the MTA expects to be audited by regulatory agencies regularly. The most common one is the annual audit, which normally involves financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements, and other reports. These reports are often completed by the business owner or the chief accountant of the operation, so it’s not an entirely incorrect assumption to state that there’s a need for an annual report template.
What should be included in an annual report?
This part will describe what you should include in an annual report:
The cover page contains important information, such as the name of the company and its address, as well as contact information for investors and other stakeholders. The cover page also includes a table of contents used to navigate through all document sections.
Table of Contents
The table of contents breaks down all sections in an easy-to-read format. It also allows readers to quickly find specific sections without reading through every detail of an annual report.
Letter from Management (CEO, CFO, Chairman)
This section includes a letter from senior management informing shareholders about their expectations for future performance and goals for growth within their organization. In addition, it provides additional details about any major challenges or opportunities facing the business at the present time.
Financial Statements (Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement)
The financial statements are a snapshot of the business at one point in time. They provide information about a company’s assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity at a specific date.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A)
The MD&A section is often referred to as “the meat” of an annual report because it discusses financial results, accounting policies, and other factors that affect the company’s performance over time. It also includes forward-looking statements that provide insight into management’s expectations regarding future events or trends that may impact the business.
The Compensation Information section provides details about executive compensation plans, including how much each executive officer was paid in total compensation and what percentage of total compensation was made up by base salary versus bonus payouts (if any).
Corporate Governance Information
This section includes information about how directors are elected by shareholders and any committees formed by the board of directors.
Target audiences for your annual report template
While the primary target audience of your annual report is the current shareholders and potential investors, this isn’t the only group that you have to think about when making your own report layout. The following groups of people are also key target audiences for your annual report:
The annual report is often distributed to employees as a reward for their hard work. Think about how you can make it a great read for them, too. This might mean focusing on sections like benefits or employee recognition. It could also mean including photos of staff members who have helped you reach your goals over the past year.
Your customers are one of your most important assets, so ensure they know how much you appreciate them by including photos or testimonials from customers in your annual report template. You could also include a list of customer awards or mentions from industry publications like magazines or newspapers that recognize your company’s products and services.
Your community is another important group of people that deserves recognition from you each year. Highlight any charitable donations from your company or leadership team, or share how your team members have volunteered their time to impact local communities worldwide.
How do you create an annual report?
Here are some tips on exactly how to make a great annual report:
Focus on the activities and accomplishments of your company
The main objective of an annual report is to inform readers about your organization’s performance over the past year. This means you need to highlight what you achieved during that time. You can use charts, graphs, images, or even videos to summarize your accomplishments clearly and concisely.
Don’t talk too much about internal affairs.
Although it’s important to discuss some internal facts like new policies, new products launched and other similar matters, don’t make them too long because it could confuse readers and distract them from the main topic of your report – achievements. If you want to talk about internal affairs, do it briefly so as not to bore people with too much information at once!
Try not to brag
An annual report should be informative as well as entertaining. It should include facts and figures relevant to your business goals and any achievements made during the past year. But don’t try too hard — if you’re bragging about something that doesn’t matter (like an award you won), it could come across as arrogant or, worse, fake!
Include high-quality and relevant photos
Photos are a great way to capture attention and tell a story. They can show off your products or services in action or provide context for what you’ve been talking about in text form. Make sure photos are high quality — low-resolution images look cheap and amateurish!
Include personal profiles
People like reading about real people and not just numbers and figures. Use personal profiles to add personality to your report by showcasing employees who have made significant contributions throughout the year.
Explain financial information
Make sure investors understand how much money they’ve earned compared to last year’s earnings before deciding whether they want to invest more money into your company. This can be done by comparing total income with total expenses and net profit with a net loss for each month or quarter of operation.