Creating Effective Business Reports for Investors: Expert Tips and Strategies

As a business owner or manager, one of your key responsibilities is to keep your stakeholders informed about the performance

Creating Effective Business Reports for Investors: Expert Tips and Strategies

What keeps you awake at night when you think about the end of the month? You're not alone if you say your investor board meeting! The best way to ensure you're ready when the meeting date approaches is to organize the information you want to discuss as far ahead as possible. So, let me introduce you to the art of the investor report.

Investor reports are most commonly used by publicly traded companies to report on quarterly performance so that shareholders can evaluate their stock equity and make decisions about how to manage their portfolio, such as keeping, trading, selling, or buying stocks.

These reports typically include information that is similar across all companies in terms of factors such as size, market, and type of business. Private companies, on the other hand, are only required to produce investor reports if their board of directors requests them. While this provides investors and board members with the transparency they require in their investments, it also allows these businesses to solicit buy-in on decisions and advice. Board members frequently have industry experience, insights into other companies, and specialties in various job functions of the business that can be useful.

How Frequently Investor Report to be prepared?

Before delving into what you should include in your investor or shareholder reports, you should have a strategy for when and, more specifically, how frequently you should produce reports for your investor board. Finally, each private company is unique, as are the investors who decide when to meet and discuss the state of the business. Instead of reporting to public shareholders on a quarterly basis, private companies can choose to report less frequently, annually or biannually, or even monthly.


Remember that your investors are not your employees. Even the most devoted investors in the least experienced companies are unlikely to require daily or weekly updates on all operational minutia. In fact, this can completely defeat the purpose of updating your investors on the state of the business. However, if your team is made up of less experienced employees and you have a highly experienced board willing to assist you, you and they may prefer to meet monthly. This is common in younger startup companies that take advantage of the opportunity to gain as much insight and mentorship from their more experienced board as possible.


Companies of all ages and sizes typically meet and report to investors on a quarterly basis. This is determined by the nature of your business and whether or not business activities vary on a quarterly basis. You should plan your quarterly reports and reviews around your fiscal year.


Every year, at the very least, you should report on business performance. This makes sense if you have enough internal resources and talent to get by without constant investor input. You'll also need a built-in trust model with investors who believe you're qualified to handle everything that arises on a regular basis throughout the year. This could work. After all, most board members have competing priorities and may not want to meet frequently—each investor is unique.

If you meet on a monthly or quarterly basis, it's best to have a board meeting later in the month to discuss your report so you have time to:

  • Close your books
  • Prepare the rough draft of your reporting packet
  • Perform your own review and analysis
  • Have your own questions answered
  • Prepare & send to them with enough time to have those ten days to review and digest

What information should your investor reports contain:

First, consider what your common goal is. That your company succeeds.

This should be your mantra throughout your presentation. Always prioritize actual performance indicators over useless vanity data that sounds nice. In other words, don't hide underperforming areas behind inflated numbers that have no bearing on your company's long-term viability.
These meetings and reports can have a significant impact on company decisions for the future. Using smoke and mirrors instead of transparency and solid data benefits neither you nor your investors. Instead, make certain that you include all of the necessary information in order to establish and maintain trust with your investor board:

How to Create Business Reports That Your Investors Will Use | Jordensky
Information should your investor reports contain

Basic Financial Package

While it varies depending on the type of business, this package typically includes your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
You can then include comparative analysis (year-over-year, month-over-month, etc.) as a basis for judging your company's financial condition and growth over the time period you're reporting on.

Key Performance Indicator

What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your company? These metrics are used to evaluate factors that are critical to the success of your business. This can be a judgement of anything that fits into the company's larger goals. For example, a service or subscription company's success may be measured by month-over-month sales and revenue, as well as customer retention. Instead, a viral news publication would prioritize website traffic/views, click-through rates, and subscriber growth.

Cost Drivers

Why and for what are you spending your money?
What areas of your company are driving spending?
Are you aggressively hiring to meet demand? Are you currently investing in marketing and advertising to generate demand and revenue?
Assume you're spending a lot of money on outsourced vendors to meet a surge in demand for a specific product or service. This could indicate that you're successfully marketing and selling this offering, but it might be worth investing in bringing production in-house at this point. That smells like a chance to grow!

Budget vs. Rolling Forecast

Simply put, your budget is where you begin, and your rolling forecast is how you adjust it based on actual performance and results. When costs rise, whether due to over performance or underperformance, you adjust your budget.
This allows businesses to prepare for the unexpected: Just because it's in the budget doesn't mean you can't spend it, or that you can't get more. In either case, changes to your rolling forecast must be made in response to actual justifiable activities (your KPIs) that must be managed.

Growth Opportunities

Board members will consider all of the previously mentioned information (KPIs, rolling forecast, and cost drivers) as you look for opportunities to grow parts of your business. This is where financial data and performance are combined to see what your audience/buyers are responding to and telling you they want more of. Patterns discovered in this direct or indirect feedback can lead to product development, co-branding/referral partnerships, and strategic hiring.
This is also where you should consider any risks to the company's value so that shareholders can discuss anything that requires a shareholder vote.

The Merits of Business Reports

If you are a sole proprietor, you may believe that you do not need to keep or develop reports on a regular basis because no one else is involved in running your business. Even if you have partners or a board of directors, reports may not be high on your priority list when there are so many other details to attend to. In fact, writing good business reports can save you time and money while also playing a significant role in your company's future.

How to Create Business Reports That Your Investors Will Use | Jordensky
The Merits of Business Reports

Tracks Development Over Time

Business reports document your progress and allow you to compare time periods, project details, and your growth history. While you may rely on your superior memory or the amount of profit you make each year to gauge your progress, the data collected in reports can serve a variety of important purposes.

Provides an Audit Trail

Reports that document sales, meetings, plans, initiatives, and annual budgets are essential components of your company's proprietary materials. If you ever approach a bank for a loan or decide to sell your business, you'll need more than just your personal tax returns to back up your requests or asking price. If you're a sole proprietor, make sure your heirs understand how to access your records and reports so they can carry on the business or sell it if necessary.

Duty to Stakeholders

As part of its legal fiduciary obligations to its stockholders and the government agencies that oversee corporate businesses, corporations are required to produce an annual report each year. Large corporations have learned about the numerous advantages of producing an annual report as a result of this process. If you create a summary and overview of your previous year in business, you can tap into those same resources as a small business.

Supports Purchasing Decisions

Even if you don't have to report to a corporate board or produce documentation for a group of investors, there may come a time when you want to expand or make a large purchase to increase business, and you'll need to produce a financial history of your company. As a sole proprietor, you may find that the best way to grow is to adopt a corporate identity, and you will be required to create those reports on a regular basis. Even if you don't rely on reports for decision making, incorporating them into your daily business practises will get you in the habit of writing them and will have honed your report writing skills to the point where it comes naturally.

FAQ on Investor Reports

Q: What is the purpose of a business report?

The purpose of a business report is to provide information about the performance, progress, or status of a business to its stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, and investors. A business report may include financial data, market analysis, operational updates, and strategic recommendations.

Q: What should be included in a business report?

A business report should include relevant and accurate information about the business, such as financial performance, market conditions, operational updates, and any other relevant data. The report should also include any relevant analysis or interpretation of the data, as well as any recommendations for future actions or decisions.

Q: How often should a business report be created?

The frequency of business reports will depend on the needs and expectations of the stakeholders. Some businesses may produce a report on a quarterly or annual basis, while others may produce them more frequently. It is important to consider the needs of the stakeholders and the availability of relevant data when determining the frequency of business reports.

Q: How can I make my business report more effective?

To make your business report more effective, consider the following tips:

  • Clearly communicate the purpose of the report and the intended audience
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Include relevant data and analysis
  • Use visual aids, such as charts and graphs, to help illustrate key points
  • Use headings and subheadings to help the reader navigate the report
  • Include actionable recommendations for future decisions or actions

Q: How can I present my business report to investors?

When presenting your business report to investors, consider the following tips:

  • Clearly outline the purpose and key takeaways of the report
  • Use visual aids to help illustrate key points
  • Practice your presentation and be prepared to answer any questions that may come up
  • Be transparent and honest about the performance and prospects of the business
  • Use a professional and confident tone
  • Leave time for questions and discussion at the end of the presentation

About Jordensky

At Jordensky, we are committed to providing an experience of the highest caliber while specializing in accounting, taxes, MIS, and CFO services for startups and expanding businesses.

When you work with Jordensky, you get a team of finance experts who take the finance work off your plate– ”so you can focus on your business.