5 monthly reporting templates and must-know tips

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Monthly reports are an excellent tool for keeping team members and stakeholders updated on things like project statuses, company goals and milestones, department performance, and a broad range of other pertinent information. 

However, generating numerous reports each month can often be an overwhelming task. Today, most project managers rely on monthly report templates to streamline this process and ensure that all the most important details are covered.

To help you generate high-quality reports easily, let's take a look at everything you need to know about monthly reporting templates. Below, we'll cover what a monthly report is, the types of monthly reports companies should consider creating (along with free templates for each), and some actionable tips for writing better monthly reports.

What is a monthly report?

A monthly business report can take several forms and serve several purposes. The goal of these reports is to track monthly activities and progress across projects or departments. While annual reports or weekly reports make more sense in certain contexts, the monthly cadence is popular because it helps teams stay on top of happenings without getting bogged down in overwhelming weekly details.

The most common type of monthly report is an overview of the company's finances, including an expense report and a revenue report. As we'll discuss in the next section, though, numerous other types of monthly reports can also provide value to a company:

  • Monthly project reports to keep team members updated on project progress that was made the previous month

  • Monthly management report that covers goals and KPIs for the next month

  • Team member performance reports designed to provide personalized evaluations for individual team members

5 types of monthly business reports

As promised, here are the five types of monthly business reports that your company should consider creating. Along with covering each type of report format and why it’s useful, we've also provided a high-quality template for each one. These templates will serve as great starting points to help you generate your own reports more quickly and easily!

1) Monthly project status report

A monthly project status report serves as an activity report designed to keep team members and stakeholders updated on a project's status. These reports can include project milestones, a summary of the work that's already been completed, a summary of the work that still needs to be done, resource utilization, important upcoming goals, and potential issues and roadblocks. 

The primary purpose of monthly project status reports is to keep team members involved with the project informed and on the same page. However, you can also provide these reports to clients and investors who have a vested interest in the project's success to keep them updated.

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Monthly project status report template

If you would like to utilize a project report template to generate your monthly project status reports, check out Teamwork.com's project tracker template. This progress report template makes it easy to map your project workflow for streamlined reporting and a clearer understanding of how your project is progressing.

2) Monthly financial report

A monthly financial report is the most common type of monthly report that companies generate. It updates team members and investors regarding the company's financial standing. There is a broad range of metrics that a financial report can include, like cash flow data, an evaluation of your assets and liabilities, profitability measurements, and shareholder equity analysis. 

Whatever information you choose to cover, though, generating monthly financial reports ensures that everyone stays informed on the company's financial standing and how to make it more profitable.

Monthly financial report template

Creating monthly financial reports requires you to cover a lot of metrics and information, and using a financial analytics report template is a great way to speed up the process. Try this financial report template from Template.net to get started.

3) Department performance report

A department performance report is a type of monthly report provided to individual departments within your company — for example, creating separate performance reports for your sales, marketing, and customer support departments. These reports provide a broad overview of department performance by covering department goals and KPIs, performance issues to address, and department objectives for the next month.

Monthly department performance report template

Teamwork.com's business goals template and OKR template are both high-quality reporting templates that you can use to generate monthly department performance reports.

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4) Individual team member performance report

Personalized performance reports are an excellent tool for motivating individual team members, holding them accountable, and providing them with actionable advice on improving their performance. You can use these reports to point out performance issues, highlight examples of excellent performance, set performance goals, review past performance goals, and provide advice on how they can improve performance.

Monthly individual report template

If you are going to generate unique reports for each individual member of your team, streamlining the process via reporting templates becomes especially important. This performance appraisal template by Indeed is one great resource that you can easily modify to meet your needs.

5) Overall business monthly progress report

An overall monthly business progress report is designed to paint a broad picture of your company's current standing in the market. This type of report can include elements like financial information, objectives and key results, milestones and company goals, and updates on project progress

Much of this information will be covered more compressively in other monthly reports, such as your financial report and project status reports. However, an overall business monthly progress report is meant to provide an overview of these crucial updates, helping keep team members, clients/customers, and investors updated on your company's progress.

Monthly overall business report template

If you would like to utilize a template to create your overall business monthly progress reports, check out Continuous Improvement Toolkit's Monthly Performance Report Template. You can also use Teamwork.com's business goals template to map out your company's overall goals for the month.

Essential tips for writing a strong monthly report

Templates are an excellent tool for speeding up the process of creating monthly reports and ensuring that all essential details are covered. But even if you use templates to create your monthly reports, it's still important to make them as effective as possible. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when writing monthly reports:

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Write a solid executive summary

Your report's executive summary serves as your final opportunity to hammer home key messages and insights. Like it or not, it's also the section of your reports that people are most likely to actually read and absorb. This makes it essential to write a solid executive summary and capitalize on this final chance to make sure that you are getting the biggest points across. You can do this by identifying the most noteworthy points of your report and then creating a brief, well-organized summary that clearly highlights them.

Use a table of contents for quick reference

Along with using visual elements throughout your reports, another way to make your reports more accessible and digestible is to include a table of contents. This allows anyone reading the report to quickly find the specific information they're looking for. 

Always include monthly goals or OKRs

According to recent research from BI WORLDWIDE, employees with goals are 3.6 times more likely to be committed to their organization and 14.2 times more likely to be inspired at work. Regardless of what you are reporting on or the type of monthly report you're generating, monthly reports present a great opportunity to update your team members on key goals and objectives. Covering goals or objectives and key results (OKRs) in your monthly reports helps keep your team members aligned and working toward common objectives while also serving as a source of inspiration and motivation.

Collect data from multiple sources and keep it organized

No matter what type of monthly report you create, data and metrics are key components. This makes it critical to ensure that you source high-quality data and present it in a way that makes its insights clear. 

One tip to improve the quality of the data you include in your monthly reports is to source data from multiple sources. Utilizing multiple data sources helps eliminate the potential for errors while providing broader and more detailed insights. Once you have sourced the data for your reports, organize and present it properly, using visual elements (charts, images, and infographics) to make the information digestible and highlight key insights.

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Include visual elements wherever possible

Did you know that written information is 70% more memorable when a visual element accompanies it? If you want to ensure that the team members reading your reports can digest them, visuals are a great place to start. Presenting key metrics and information in graphs, charts, and infographics will make your reports easier to follow while simultaneously making them more pleasing to the eye. You can make your monthly reports even more visually appealing by utilizing photographs, different colors, and custom fonts.

Turn long sentences into short, meaningful statements

Research has shown that sentence length is the second-biggest predictor of readability, second only to word length and familiarity. If you want them to actually read and understand your reports, you need to make them as easily digestible as possible. Along with presenting data visually, breaking up long, confusing sentences into shorter, more meaningful statements is one effective way to make your reports more readable.

Create better monthly reports with Teamwork.com

Monthly reports are one key aspect of keeping teams organized and aligned. With Teamwork.com, you can leverage highly customized monthly reports to enable smarter decision making. To get started enjoying the many advantages of Teamwork.com's world-class project management platform built for client work, be sure to https://www.teamwork.com/signup/sign up for Teamwork.com today!

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