How to write a Finance report that people read and leads to a “Yes”- guidelines, rules, and one page E-templates to get your report over the line


How to write a Finance report that people read and leads to a “Yes”- guidelines, rules, and one page E-templates to get your report over the line

USD $159.00 USD $119.00

This unique implementation toolkit comprise my latest thinking on the subject matter. The toolkit contains 80 pages designed to help readers implement best practice reporting. Reporting daily, weekly and monthly in a decision based way. This toolkit covers reporting: financial performance; performance measures; progress against projects and strategy; capital expenditure; board reporting; and the influence of Stephen Few’s work. Comprehensive  E-templates will help you move forward. Price in US Dollars. I have spent around US$20,000 developing and updating this toolkit. I guarantee, you will save many times the cost of the toolkit.

Table of Contents

  1. Background. 5

1.1.       Many finance reports are not a management tool 5

1.2.       Where was the training in report writing? 6

1.3.       A book you should devour 6

1.4.       Message from a frustrated CEO. 6

1.5.       Selling change –this is what many reports are trying to do. 7

  1. Basics of reporting. 9

2.1.       You first need to understand some time management techniques. 9

2.2.       Achieving a common understanding of the assignment 15

2.3.       Planning your research. 15

2.4.       Designing that Florence Nightingale graphic 16

2.5.       Interviewing techniques when doing research. 16

2.6.       Designing graphs by Stephen Few, an expert based in the USA. 20

2.7.       Planning what you want to say. 25

2.8.       Have a report style you keep to. 28

2.9.       Getting your presentations pursausive. 30

2.10.         Adopt these quality reporting processes 31

2.11.         Limiting the use of Excel in reporting. 33

2.12.         Avoid unnecessary detail 34

2.13.         Remember the decision maker is an alligator 34

  1. Better practice month-end reporting formats 35

3.1.       Issuing a flash report by close of play Day+1. 35

3.2.       Standard Month-end Reports 36

3.3.       Cashflow reports 42

3.5.       Capex reports 44

3.6.       Treasury graphs 46

  1. Modifications to month-end reporting. 47

4.1.       The impact of the lean methodology on traditional accounting. 47

4.2.       The Toyota A3 investment proposal 52

4.3.       Quarterly rolling forecasting / planning. 54

4.4.       Have one-page summary of the rolling forecast 54

4.5.       Reporting against a recent forecast rather than a budget 56

4.6.       Reporting the strategic objectives/ risks/ costs pressures 57

4.7.       Monthly reporting on HR so management become interested. 60

  1. Designing and Drafting one page dashboards 64

5.1.       Common dashboard pitfalls 64

5.2.       Three well designed dashboards 65

5.3.       Three poorly designed dashboards 65

  1. Board reporting better practices 72

6.1.       Scoping of the information requests 72

6.2.       More empowerment and no rewriting! 72

6.3.       Continually purging the Board papers 73

6.4.       More timely Board meetings 73

6.5.       A One-Page Board Dashboard. 73

6.6.       Reporting the rolling forecast to the Board. 77

  1. Reporting to improve performance. 80

7.1.       Getting your KPIs to work. 80

7.2.       The four types of performance measures 80

7.3.       Unintended behaviour – the dark side of measures 84

7.4.       Reporting the KPIs to management and staff 85

7.5.       Reporting RIs and PIs to Management 87

7.6.       Reporting team performance measures 90

7.7.       How the reporting of performance measures fits together 91

7.8.       Daily / weekly reporting formats 92

7.9.       Making your project reports decision based. 98

  1. Improving quality of your reporting. 101

8.1.       Getting your presentations persuasive. 101

8.2.       Planning what you want to say. 101

8.3.       Using tables in word. 102

8.4.       Quality reporting processes 102

8.5.       Limiting the use of Excel in reporting. 104

  1. Other reporting issues 107

9.1.       Better practice reporting stories 107

  1. Writer’s biography. 109

Appendix 2:  Examples of report formats from a reporting tool 110

Appendix 3 Delivering compelling PowerPoint presentations 113



Product Description

This toolkit (110 page PDF whitepaper and etemplates) is for all managers who, from time to time, need to prepare a report. It contains guidelines, rules, and E-templates to get your report over the line.  Enhancing your career and your job satisfaction. There are over 20 E-templates to help you get the rubber on the road.

It is based around the wisdom and better practices of many report writers, consultants and authors I have met.

This PDF whitepaper is updated at the time of purchase by David Parmenter ensuring that it contains his latest thinking.  The e-templates are emailed with the paper.

Reports should be designed to encourage action to take place, on a timely basis, in the right direction. They need to be:

Timely Be a combination of daily/weekly/monthly reporting
Be prompt – within 3 working days is better practice from month-end, next day for daily reports
Structured Be planned so they are structured with the reader’s decision in mind (especially written reports).
Utilise business writing best practice such as the guidelines in Mary Munter’s “Guide to Managerial Communication”.[i]
Avoid unnecessary detail Report meaningful numbers. Is it necessary to report Sales of $23,456,327? Surely $23.5 million is much easier to read and relate to.
Best practice graphics Follow the guidelines of Stephen Few, an expert on data visualization.
Contain a ‘Florence Nightingale graphic’ to wow them and to live on past the life of the report.
Consistent, concise and error free Have consistent formatting and  judgement calls.
Be presented in a true and fair view
Be concise – be a merging of numbers, graphs and comments on the one page where possible
Be free of inconsistent numbers within the report, spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

[i] Mary Munter, Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking

Please click here to look inside the toolkit.

Why you need this toolkit:

  • You haven’t received any formal training on report writing and do not the time to disseminate all the  better practices – I have spent the last 25 years doing this for you…
  • Easy to use templates – which can be in use immediately
  • Expose yourself to the latest thinking on report structure, research, selling change, the quality assurance processes that make it look good
  • Be introduced to Stephen Few’s brilliant work on graphics and dashboard design – the leading thought leaders on data visualization
  • Blow the CEO and the Board away with great report formats that are clear to the point and easy to understand

This toolkit will answer the following questions:

  1. What is the best structure for my report?
  2. What are the good design features of a one-page report?
  3. What are the rules for good graph design?
  4. What should a flash report look like?
  5. How does value stream accounting impact my reporting?
  6. How often should we report against strategy implementation?
  7. What should a board dashboard look like?
  8. What quality assurance steps should we take?

Thank you for your interest in the intellectual property I have developed. I will send you the electronic media you have purchased as soon as I have received confirmation from PayPal.