Guiding Principles In The Preparation Of Reports

Append below some guiding principles for preparing reports for management:



1.      Report should be addressed to those for whom it has been prepared; it should state by whom it is submitted, be dated and name of preparer.

2.      Report should not be too long; complex tabulations should be avoided

3.       Report should show relevant information, eliminate all nonessential information

4.      Reports should be standardized to enable easy to search for specific information. Changing of report forms indiscriminately can be a source of annoyance. However, constant attention must be given to improving them, any desirable changes be made at an opportune time and adequately presented to prevent confusion.

5.      Sections should be headed and paragraphs numbered for easy reference

6.       Language should be clear and unambiguous. Should be clear and concise wherever possible. Professional jargon should be avoided

7.      Report should be impartial

8.    The contents should follow a logical sequence:

·          Summary of present position

·         Courses of action which might be taken and the expected results

·         Recommendations and reasons for their submission.

9.       Professional opinions should not be expressed assertively as they are still opinions and not facts. Expressions of caution such as “ it would appear that,” “ from the evidence supplied it would seem that,” ,etc should always be used to show that assumptions or opinions are expressed.

10.   Discrimination must be used in selecting the facts to be submitted. Remember that it is about management by exception, highlights those material/significant one.

11.    Where it is necessary to provide additional documents, such as plans or graphs, they should be appended and clearly referenced.

[ In examination questions, need to know by whom the opinion is to be given re: by an accountant – financial matters take precedence while by a cost accountant-cost, overheads, budgets and variances will predominate. ]

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