Financial reports are a necessary evil. They’re boring, they take time to make, and they often don’t get read all the way through. But you still need them in order to run your company well. How can you make them more appealing?
Here are 5 ways:
Think about the key message you want to get across before proceeding
Most people don’t read financial reports from start to finish – they only look at certain sections. By deciding on a key message, you can focus on making those sections as easy to access and readable as possible.
If you start by thinking about the key message, it’s also easier to come up with a title and summary.
To make the report more appealing, focus on things like how much profit you made compared to last year and what that means for your business.
For example, it’s important to show how your company compares with previous years. Put that comparison at the beginning of the report, and include a summary of how things are going right before the end.
Keep it short
No one wants to spend too much time reading financial reports so try not to go on for more than 2 pages at most. This is especially true if the report involves numbers that have been crunched which can be confusing or tedious for people who aren’t knowledgeable about finances or accounting. 2) Make it visually pleasing – this doesn’t just mean making sure there’s an attractive design on the page but also using
Use graphs and infographics
To make your financial report stand out, include information in the form of graphs and infographics.
Some people are visual learners. Avoid clutter by avoiding unnecessary details; instead, use colour contrast to make important points stand out.
Graphs and infographics are excellent ways to summarize data. They’re quick, easy to read and tell a story better than words. Use these sparingly – no one wants to have to sift through 3 pages of graphs for every single page they read about your financial results.
Write it in such a way that it’s appealing to a broad audience
Unless you’re a specialist in accounting, financial reports can be hard to understand. Use easy-to-read language and keep jargon to a minimum.
For instance, don’t make the numbers hard to understand. The numbers should help support your argument, but they should not be the main focus of the report. In most cases, nobody really cares if you sold 100 widgets at $20 each – what matters is whether that’s good or bad compared to last quarter (or last year).
Pay Attention to Your Financial Report Cover Page Design
The cover page is one of the most important parts of your financial report. It’s what first greets the eyes of those who read your report, and it sets the tone for what they can expect inside.
Cover pages should be visually appealing but also carry a powerful message – they’re not just an exercise in aesthetics.
Wrapping up: Use the right software
Using the right software can help you easily create financial reports that are more appealing
A tool like Query and Analysis (Q&A, formerly called Vision), a powerful reporting module for SunSystems, allows users to quickly and easily create financial reports.
Infor SunSystems Q&A is designed to be used by anyone without the need for advanced technical skills, thus ensuring that anyone can create appealing financial reports.
Need help with a tool that makes financial reports 10X more fun to create? Contact us now!