There are nine distinct sections in most Annual Reports. A good report will usually contain all nine.
The following are the sections, where they are located and who is typically responsible. Items 5, 6, 7, 8 are required. 4th is a requirement of the SEC and many lenders. Analysts insist on 9.
- Chairman of the Board Letter
Within first 5 pages. Should cover changing developments, goals achieved (or missed), actions taken and industry conditions. One or two pages maximum.
- Sales and Marketing
Closest to the front. Usually written by the marketing department. Where does the company sell and where does it make most of it's money. The scope of Lines, divisions and operations should be clear.
- 10 Year Summary of Financial Figures
Usually provided by CFO. Front of report is better.
- Management discussion and analysis
Before financial statements, written by CFO. Discussion of significant trends over past two years
- CPA Opinion Letter
Either before or after financial statements. Written by CPA firm.
- Financial Statements
Provided by CFO or CAO
- Subsidiaries, Brands and Addresses
Last few pages, usually provided by legal department
- List of Directors and Officers
Last or second to last pages - usually provided by corporate secretary.
- Stock Price
Analysis's want this. Best to have near front of report. Should contain where traded, stock symbol, High/Low history and price/dividend trends over time. Usually provided by corporate secretary
Some points to consider when preparing an Annual Report.
- The Budget
- Desired involvement of COB/CEO/CFO
- The production team? Committee or one person? Who calls the shots?
- Expierence of graphic designers/photographers/writers
- What to include? The major purpose of report
- How "innovative" should the report be? Die cut layout, inserts, response cards
- Paper, binding, size, print run
- Theme for report
- Items to avoid/explain
- Competators and competition - how much to include
- Corporate responsibility - how much to include?
- Testimonials for outsiders are especially effective when accompanied by photo
- Test final "galley" copy for readability, interest and comprehension
- Look at other reports. Critique
It is recommended that the cover contain the following information:
Annual Report for Year ____
The ____th Report
June 30, _____
Name of Firm
Send a copy of your printed Annual Report to:
Annual Reports Library
PO Box 2006
San Francisco, CA 94126-2006 USA
The Annual Reports Library offers personalized
consultation services to help with the creation of an Annual Reports.
Don't forget to
Tell a story,
Keep it simple and
Make it readable.