10 tips for improving report quality
1. Present the information in the report in a clearly structured manner and in logical order.
2. In the narrative part use clear short sentences. Let complex sentences stay in high-school grammar lessons.
3. Use the same terminology throughout the report.
4. Focus on material issues.
5. Use the same font size, format and colour throughout the report – it leaves a good visual impression and is easy to read.
6. Balance sheet and income statement should rather be shorter but more concise; disclose the detailed information in the Notes. Balance sheet should fit on one page.
7. Do not continue a Note on the next page. Rather leave empty space at the end of the page and start the Note from a new page.
8. All columns should be lined under each other throughout the report.
9. Order of numbers in tables – start with the biggest number.
10. To all numerical indicators add the same number from the previous year for comparison (including those in the text).
Before declaring the report to be final, have a “non-accountant” read it and ask for an honest opinion. And of course take good advice into account!