Unit 6 REPORTS AND REPORTING , , , . (, 55:6)

Unit 6 REPORTS AND REPORTING

 

Institutions of all types - business, governmental, service, and charitable - are with daily problem-solving and decision-making tasks. Whether at the policy-making executive level or at the operational management level, decision makers and problem solvers require a steady supply of information on which they can rely. This information may be supplied orally or in written form. The term used to describe the body of information is a report. The process of developing the information, preparing it for presentation, and presenting it is reporting. Many kinds of documents are called reports. In some organizations, a report is a long document or a document that contains numerical data. In others, one  and two-page memos are called reports. A short report to a client may use letter format. Formal reports contain formal elements such as a title  page, a transmittal, a table of contents, and a list of illustrations. Informal reports may be computer printouts of production or sales figures; they may be handwritten answers to questions on a printed form; they may use letter or memo format. But all reports, whatever their length or degree of formality, provide the information that people in organizations need to make plans and solve problems.

Reports can be called information reports if they collect data for the reader, analytical reports if they interpret data but do not recommend action, and recommendation reports if they recommend action or a solution.

The following report are usually information reports:

Sales reports list sales figures for the week or month.

Quarterly reports document a plants productivity and profits for the quarter.

The following reports are usually analytical reports:

Annual reports record an organizations accomplishments during the past year and provide financial data.

Audit reports document the facts revealed during an audit and offer an

interpretation of them.

Make-good or pay-back reports calculate the point at which a new capital   investment will pay for itself.

 

The following reports can be information, analytical, or recommendation reports:

Accident reports list the nature and causes of accidents in a factory or office and can recommend changes to make conditions safer.

Credit reports summarize an applicants income and other credit obligations and evaluate his or her collateral and creditworthiness.

Committee reports document a committees work for the quarter or the year.

Progress and interim reports record the work done so far and the work remaining on a project.

Trip reports share what the author learned at a conference or during a visit to a customer or supplier.

Closure reports document research that is not economically or technically feasible for new products under current conditions.

The following reports are recommendation reports:

Scouting reports identify the strengths and weaknesses of a potential recruit or an opposing team and recommend whether to bid for the recruit or recommend strategies for beating the opponent.

Feasibility reports evaluate two or more alternatives and recommend which the organization should choose.

Justification reports justify the need for a purchase, an investment, a new personnel line, or a change in procedure.

Problem-solving reports identify the causes of an organizational problem and recommend a solution.

 

In writing any report, there are five basic steps:

 

1.   Define the problem.

2.   Gather the necessary data and information.

3.   Interpret the data.

4.   Organize the information.

5.   Write the report.

 
 
 
 


A STUDENT PROGRESS REPORT

November 10, 1999

To:              Kitty O.Locker

From:          David G.Bunnel

Subject:       Progress on Cad/CAM Software Feasibility Study for the Architecture Firm, Patrick and Associates, Inc.

 

I have obtained most of the information necessary to recommend whether CADAM or CATIA is better for Patrick and Associates, Inc. (P&A). I am currently analyzing and organizing this information and am on schedule.

 

Work Completed

 

To learn how computer literate P&A employees are, I interviewed a judgment sample of five employees. My interview with Bruce Ratekin, the director of P&As Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Department on November 3 enabled  me to determine the architectural drafting needs of the firm. Mr. Ratekin also gave me a basic drawing of a building showing both two-and three-dimensional views so that I could replicate the drawing with both software packages.

 

I obtained tutorials for both packages to use as a reference while making the drawings. First I drew the building using CADAM the package designed primarily for two-dimensional architectural drawings. I encountered problems with the isometric drawing  because there was a mistake in the manual I was using; I fixed the problem by tying alternatives and finally getting heel from another CADAM user. Next, I used CATIA, the package whose strength is three-dimensional drawings, to construct the drawing. I am in the process of comparing the two packages based on these criteria: quality of drawing, ease of data entry (lines, points, surfaces, etc.) for computer experts and novices, and ease of making changes in the completed drawings. Based on my experience with the packages, I have analyzed the training people with and without experience in CAD  would need to learn to each of these packages.

 

Work to Be Completed

 

Making the drawings has shown that neither of the packages can do everything that P&A needs. Therefore, I want to investigate the feasibility of P&As buying both packages.

 

As soon as he comes back from an unexpected illness that has kept him out of the office, I will meet with Tom Merrick, the CAD systems programmer for The Ohio State University, to learn about software expansion flexibility for both packages as well as the costs for initial purchase, installation, maintenance, and software updates. After this meeting, I will be ready to begin the first draft of my report.

 

Whether I am able to meet my deadline will depend on when I am able to meet with Mr. Merrick. Right now, I am on schedule and plan to submit my report by the December 1 deadline.

ACTIVE VOCABULARY

to rely

presentation

numerical data

formal report

transmittal

 

accomplishment

to document

make-good report

 

credit report

collateral

feasibility report

 

literate

to submit a report

software updates

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USEFUL EXPRESSIONS

At the police-making executive level

At the operational management level

A new capital investment will pay for itself

I am on schedule

,

Software expansion flexibility for both packages

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.   What is report and reporting?

2.   Do you know the elements of the formal reports? Name them.

3.   What reports can be called informational, analytical and recommendation ones?

4.   What analytical reports do you know?

5.   What are the basic steps in writing any report?

 

LANGUAGE PRACTICE

Contrast

Look at the following  ways of expressing contrast:

a)    Turnover increased. However, profitability fell.

     Although turnover increased, profitability fell.

     Profitability fell (even) though turnover increased.

b)    It would be difficult to ventilate site B, while/whereas the exterior position of site A would improve ventilation.

 

a) However is used for general contrasts where the ideas are not equivalent. Although is used when there is a contrast that surprises us. Even though is like although but  more emphatic.

b) While/whereas are used where there is a contrast between equivalent ideas.

Use although, even though, while or however to contrast the following:

1 . There are only six recruiters.

2 . Site B would be easy to build on.

3 . Salaries have been fixed for two years.

4 . The recruitment agency concentrated on the UK.

5 . There are ten managers.

They do most of the work.

Site A would require new foundations.

They will be revised if business improves.

Its competitors turned to foreign markets.

Only the Managing Director has decision-making power.

6 . Working conditions are above average.

7 . The recruitment Managers received a basic salary of 7,250.

8 . Prospective clients were offered discounted rates for the first year of business.

 

9 . There are ten managers.

There is no rest room.

 

They benefited from high rates of commission.

 

Many of these new clients continued to pay less after the first contract year.

 

There are only seven non-management staff.

10 Site A will be easy to ventilate.

Site B will be exposed to fumes from the shop floor.

 


EXERCISES

Ex. 1

Read through this report and then note down possible sources of information which the Credit and Marketing Section Head referred to before writing

TO:             Accounts Relationship                                     

REF:            CM35AC

FROM:       Credit and Marketing Section Head                 

DATE:         10.11.98

SUBJECT:  Financial Analysis  (Sales and Profitability)

                   of Acme Trading Company (ATC)

ATC increased its sales from $2 million on 1994 to 4 million in 1995. This increase was partially the result of the growing popularity of its Hong Kong showroom and  partially because of the opening of its new Kuala Lumpur branch. This latter development offsets some of the risk of  loss of business associated with the expected increasing  instability in the Hong Kong situation.

Whilst sales increased by 100%, net profit increased from  100,000 in 1994 to  150,000 in 1995. Thus the company has  been consistently profitable, although profit margins have declined over the period. This decline has been caused by the entry of additional competition from Aberdeen Holdings Ltd. and rising import prices.

 

The above operational performance is highly creditable in view of the economic climate during the period under review. It is expected that the economy will revive during the next year, and strong results from Acme are anticipated.

 

Ex. 2

Read the following summary of a report on environmental conditions at work. Break it down into the following parts: (a) Terms of reference, (b) Findings, ( c ) Conclusions, (d) Recommendations.

In brief, the report sets out to list present conditions on the shop floor. It draws attention to such features as lighting, dirt, ventilation, washing and sanitary conditions. Particular emphasis is placed on the lack of rest facilities for employees. It concludes that, although working conditions are generally above average, the company should consider building a separate rest room for employees.

Ex. 3

Match the following extracts from reports with  the styles listed on the right.

1 . I think we should go ahead and invest in this project. If we dont, well be missing a golden opportunity.

 

2 . Investment in this project is imperative. Failure to invest would mean a missed opportunity.

 

3 . No time should be wasted in advertising the post. Any delay will certainly result in less efficiency.

 

4 . We should consider advertising the post. If we dont, it could lead to a reduction in efficiency.

a) impersonal, formal and very sure

 

 

b) personal and unsure

 

 

 

c) impersonal and very sure

 

 

d) personal and informal

 

Now consider which of the following features are present in the above extracts:

 

1

2

3

4

Personal pronouns

Passives

Idiomatic phrases

Expressions of certainty

Expressions of possibility

 

 

 

 

 


Ex. 4

Read through the following conversation.

MAURICE: Hello, Bader, I havent seen you for a while.

BADER:       Thats not surprising. Ive been out of the country for a few months.

MAURICE: Really? Where were you?

BADER:       I spent six months at Louisiana State University.

MAURICE: Oh, thats interesting. How did that come about? I suppose you took some time off and went as a private student.

BADER:       No, no, I was sponsored by the company. It was part of the Personnel Development Scheme.

MAURICE: And how was it?

BADER:       Really good - very worthwhile and informative. Id certainly recommend the company to keep on sending personnel on the course. Alternatively, they could perhaps approach the local university with a view to them setting up a similar program.

MAURICE: What was the course exactly?

BADER:       Well, the official title was Marketing Petroleum Products and it dealt with things like Marine Sales, Sales Promotion and Advertising and Computers in Marketing. I suppose the standard of lecturing could have been better but, on the other hand, we had some goods group discussions and practical work. We made a couple of visits to Marketing Divisions of other companies and they were particularly valuable. I got a lot of good ideas, and I feel as if Im really up-to date now.

MAURICE: But it wasnt all work was it? What did you do in your free time?

BADER:       Well, we had plenty of homework and private study to do, I did manage to fit in some sightseeing. I had a good look at baton rouge, but I thought that New Orleans was the most interesting city I visited.

MAURICE: And what about crime in America? Is it as bad as they say?

BADER:       Look, Maurice, Id like to stand here chatting to you, but my boss wants a memo on his desk with  my comments about the course by yesterday morning. I really must dash. See you around!

 

b) Now plan Baders report for him. The topics to be covered are given below to assist you. What details should you select for inclusion in the report, given that it is Baders boss who wants his comments on the course?

1. General Description              3. Evaluation

2. Content                                4. Recommendations

 

 

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