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Making a Risk Management Plan for Your Business

It’s impossible to eliminate all business risk. Therefore, it’s essential for having a plan for its management. You’ll be developing one covering compliance, environmental, financial, operational and reputation risk management. These guidelines are for making a risk management plan for your business.

Developing Your Executive Summary

When you start the risk management plan with an executive summary, you’re breaking apart what it will be compromised of into easy to understand chunks. Even though this summary is the project’s high-level overview, the goal is describing the risk management plan’s approach and scope. In doing so, you’re informing all stakeholders regarding what to expect when they’re reviewing these plans so that they can set their expectations appropriately.

Who Are the Stakeholders and What Potential Problems Need Identifying?

During this phase of making the risk management plan, you’re going to need to have a team meeting. Every member of the team must be vocal regarding what they believe could be potential problems or risks. Stakeholders should also be involved in this meeting as well to help you collect ideas regarding what could become a potential risk. All who are participating should look at past projects, what went wrong, what is going wrong in current projects and what everyone hopes to achieve from what they learned from these experiences. During this session, you’ll be creating a sample risk management plan that begins to outline risk management standards and risk management strategies.

Evaluate the Potential Risks Identified

A myriad of internal and external sources can pose as risks including commercial, management and technical, for example. When you’re identifying what these potential risks are and have your list complete, the next step is organizing it according to importance and likelihood. Categorize each risk according to how it could impact your project. For example, does the risk threaten to throw off timelines or budgets? Using a risk breakdown structure is an effective way to help ensure all potential risks are effectively categorized and considered. Use of this risk management plan template keeps everything organized and paints a clear picture of everything you’re identifying.

Assign Ownership and Create Responses

It’s essential to ensure a team member is overseeing each potential risk. That way, they can jump into action should an issue occur. Those who are assigned a risk, as well as the project manager, should work as a team to develop responses before problems arise. That way, if there are issues, the person overseeing the risk can refer to the response that was predetermined.

Have a System for Monitoring

Having effective risk management companies plans includes having a system for monitoring. It’s not wise to develop a security risk management or compliance risk management plan, for example, without having a system for monitoring. What this means is there’s a system for monitoring in place to ensure risk doesn’t occur until the project is finished. In doing so, you’re ensuring no new risks will potentially surface. If one does, like during the IT risk management process, for example, your team will know how to react.

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Life123.com

Writing a Business Plan

annual report business plan

While it may be tempting to put off, creating a business plan is an essential part of starting your own business. Plans and proposals should be put in a clear format making it easy for potential investors to understand. Because every company has a different goal and product or service to offer, there are business plan templates readily available to help you get on the right track. Many of these templates can be adapted for any company. In general, a business plan writing guide will recommend that the following sections be incorporated into your plan.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section that business plans open with, but is often the last section to actually be written as it’s the most difficult to write. The executive summary is a summary of the overall plan that highlights the key points and gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead in the document. It should include areas such as the business opportunity, target market, marketing and sales strategy, competition, the summary of the financial plan, staff members and a summary of how the plan will be implemented. This section needs to be extremely clear, concise and engaging as you don’t want the reader to push your hard work aside.

Company Description

The company description follows the executive summary and should cover all the details about the company itself. For example, if you are writing a business plan for an internet café, you would want to include the name of the company, where the café would be located, who the main team members involved are and why, how large the company is, who the target market for the internet cafe is, what type of business structure the café is, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, what the internet café business mission and vision statements are, and what the business’s short-term objectives are.

Services and Products

This is the exciting part of the plan where you get to explain what new and improved services or products you are offering. On top of describing the product or service itself, include in the plan what is currently in the market in this area, what problems there are in this area and how your product is the solution. For example, in a business plan for a food truck, perhaps there are numerous other food trucks in the area, but they are all fast –food style and unhealthy so, you want to introduce fast food that serves only organic and fresh ingredients every day. This is where you can also list your price points and future products or services you anticipate.

Market Analysis

The market analysis section will take time to write and research as a lot of effort and research need to go into it. Here is where you have the opportunity to describe what trends are showing up, what the growth rate in this sector looks like, what the current size of this industry is and who your target audience is. A cleaning business plan, for example, may include how this sector has been growing by 10% every year due to an increase in large businesses being built in the city.

Organization and Management

Marketing and sales are the part of the business plan where you explain how you will attract and retain clients. How are you reaching your target customers and what incentives do you offer that will keep them coming back? For a dry cleaner business plan, perhaps if they refer customers, they will get 10% off their next visit. In addition, you may want to explain what needs to be done in order for the business to be profitable. This is a great way of showing that you are conscious about what clear steps need to be taken to make a business successful.

Financial Projections & Appendix

The financial business plan section can be a tricky one to write as it is based on projections. Usually what is included is the short-term projection, which is a year broken down by month and should include start-up permits, equipment, and licenses that are required. This is followed by a three-year projection broken down by year and many often write a five-year projection, but this does not need to be included in the business plan.

The appendix is the last section and contains all the supporting documents and/or required material. This often includes resumes of those involved in the company, letters of reference, product pictures and credit histories. Keep in mind that your business plan is always in development and should be adjusted regularly as your business grows and changes.

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How to write an annual report: 4 tips for preparing annual reports.

How to Write an Annual Report: 4 Tips for Preparing Annual Reports

To write an annual report, the business operations and the financial position are listed, summarized and recorded. The annual report is a financial document that businesses provide to shareholders, potential investors and analysts. It is the best source of information about the business performance and financial well-being of a business.

Public companies are required to file comprehensive annual reports the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, small businesses and non-profit organizations also prepare the yearly reports to connect with customers and provide information about past performance and future goals.

What this article covers:

What Is Included in an Annual Report?

How do you write a good annual report, why is an annual report important.

The annual report is an integral part of corporate reporting. Since the annual reports are based on specific legal requirements, the items that are included in the report vary.

Most annual reports provide a fundamental overview of the business over the past year. The sections typically included in an annual report are an opening letter from the chairman, a business profile, analysis by management and financial information.

annual report business plan

Chairman’s Letter

The annual report usually starts with an introduction and a letter from the chairman, primary owner or the CEO of the company to the shareholders providing a snapshot of the significant developments in the past year, company initiatives and a brief summary of the financials. Key elements included in this section are the challenges that the business faced, its successes and insight into the growth of the company.

The section is followed by a table of contents.

Business Profile

This section includes the vision and mission statement of the company, details of directors, officers and registered and corporate office, investor profile, the products or services that are the main source of revenue for the business, competitor profile and risk factors of the business.

Management Discussion and Analysis

The section provides an overview of the business performance over the past three years and discusses profit margins, sales and income.

If the business has launched a new product or service or there are drastic shifts in sales and marketing efforts, they should be included in this section. The other topics of discussion include new hires, business acquisitions and other information that the management thinks would be beneficial for the stakeholders.

Financial Statements

The financial statements are the most important part of the annual report that allows current and future investors, shareholders, employees and other business stakeholders to determine how well the company has performed in past, its ability to pay off its debts and its plans for growth. The statements that are included are:

These statements show whether the company has made a profit or loss in the past year, how much earnings it has retained and the proportion of revenues to operational expenses. Apart from the financial statements, information about the market price of shares of the company and the dividends paid have to be provided.

Other elements included in the annual reports are:

Annual reports are important elements of a brand’s transparency and accountability. However, rather than writing a ponderous document that only a few can understand, businesses are creating annual reports that speak to a broad group of people.

These reports communicate the values and goals of the brand. Producing creative reports that are highly visual and narrative-driven can help businesses connect with shareholders, investors and customers.

Determine the Key Message

An annual report is a perfect opportunity to highlight your accomplishments and the impact of these accomplishments. The investors and employees want to know what you did and why you did it. By connecting your activities and your accomplishments to the final goals and mission statement, businesses can build trust and foster long-lasting connections.

Finalize Structure and Content

One of the most difficult parts about writing an annual report is deciding what to include and what to leave out. It’s important to map out the content and the structure of the report.

Apart from the basic elements such as introduction, chairman’s letter, business profile and financial statement, the annual report should have a storyline that defines the overall structure of the report and shapes the content around a narrative thread. This makes it easier to identify and cut out information that does not actively move the story forward.

Use clear, precise and unambiguous writing. Maintain a professional and unbiased position throughout the document. The content of the annual report should be transparent and honest. Don’t inflate accomplishments or disguise the losses that you faced.

annual report business plan

Use Compelling Design

A well-designed report that is engaging and professional can be used as a marketing tool by a business. Ideally, readers should be able to scan through the document and get the information they need. Here are some pointers for a good annual report design:

Plan in Advance

Creating an annual report is a long-term process that requires an organized system for recording and tracking data, media clipping, photographs and a list of business achievements. While a number of companies create the annual reports in-house, others may hire a design firm to compile, proofread and finalize the document.

Both public and private companies use annual reports to provide important business and financial information to customers, investors, employees and the media. Here are some reasons why an annual report is necessary for businesses:

The annual reports keep your critical business information up to date. A failure by public companies to update the investors and the state might result in late fees or even dissolution of your company.

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Business Insights

Harvard Business School Online's Business Insights Blog provides the career insights you need to achieve your goals and gain confidence in your business skills.

How to Prepare an Annual Report

Business team preparing an annual report

Investors must carefully analyze the financial health and performance of any business they consider funding. To do this, they turn to several financial statements that offer glimpses into the organization's inner workings.

Few financial statements are more highly anticipated each year than a company’s annual report, which not only summarizes its performance for the preceding year but charts a course for the one ahead.

With this in mind, knowing how to prepare an annual report is essential for anyone interested in a leadership position. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, functional lead, or member of your organization’s C-suite, learning how to prepare an annual report can help advance your career.

Here’s a look at what an annual report is, its key components, and steps you should follow to create one.

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What Is An Annual Report?

An annual report is a document that describes a company’s financial condition and business operations for the previous year.

Any publicly traded business is required by law to prepare and publish an annual report, which helps current and potential investors decide whether to provide funding.

Businesses not publicly traded can still prepare an annual report if they have private investors who must be apprised of their performance or are in the process of securing private funding.

Components of an Annual Report

An annual report typically consists of the following documents or sections:

Usually, an annual report is split into two halves. The first half contains the company’s narrative in the form of the letters to shareholders, management’s discussion and analysis, general corporate information, and operating highlights—all of which tell a story about how the company performed and worked toward its goals. The second half of the report strips out narrative components and presents data, which investors are encouraged to analyze to draw conclusions about the company.

1. Compile the Business Profile

The business profile is the section of the annual report where you summarize key information about your business. It typically includes information about:

This section is also sometimes referred to as the general business information section of the annual report.

When writing this section, remember your goals: to quickly provide new, current, or potential investors the information needed to understand your business and industry.

2. Generate Key Financial Statements

The purpose of the annual report is to provide data and analysis regarding your company’s operations and financial performance. As such, the financial statements it contains are essential.

Important financial statements include your company’s:

While you can compile the report’s other sections before generating financial statements, it’s best to avoid doing so because your letters to shareholders, management’s discussion and analysis, and other narrative elements should be backed by financial data. Not creating financial statements first makes it possible to tell an inaccurate or incomplete story you’ll later need to correct.

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3. Select Operational and Financial Highlights

After generating financial statements, select highlights for your report’s narrative elements. Incorporate a mix of operational and financial highlights. Some examples include:

4. Write the Management Discussion and Analysis

While the financial statements included in the annual report allow investors and analysts to analyze your business, the management discussion and analysis section offers you and your team the opportunity to present an internal analysis of financial performance and statements.

The MD&A section also typically contains information regarding key issues your company faces, such as compliance with laws or regulations, systems and controls recently put in place, and new or emerging risks.

While the MD&A section is more subjective than financial statements, it must meet the standards set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). This includes ensuring the MD&A is balanced, based on fact, and has both positive and negative information.

5. Write the Letter to Shareholders

The final step is to write the letter to shareholders. This letter is drafted by the CEO, chairperson, or company owner and offers a high-level overview of the business’s operating activities and finances for the previous year.

The letter to shareholders ultimately acts as the introduction to the entire annual report and is the first piece of information investors review. While each component of the annual report is essential, the letter to shareholders is one of the most important to get right.

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One of the Most Important Financial Documents

The annual report is one of the most crucial financial documents your company produces.

While doing so is typically a team effort spanning multiple departments, knowing what goes into preparing one is a vital skill for aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Do you want to take your career to the next level? Consider enrolling in Financial Accounting —one of three courses that comprise our Credential of Readiness (CORe) program —and discover how you can learn key financial topics that enable you to understand business performance and potential.

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Start » startup, business plan financials: 3 statements to include.

The finance section of your business plan is essential to securing investors and determining whether your idea is even viable. Here's what to include.

By: Danielle Fallon-O'Leary , Contributor

 Businessman reviews financial documents

If your business plan is the blueprint of how to run your company, the financials section is the key to making it happen. The finance section of your business plan is essential to determining whether your idea is even viable in the long term. It’s also necessary to convince investors of this viability and subsequently secure the type and amount of funding you need. Here’s what to include in your business plan financials.

[Read: How to Write a One-Page Business Plan ]

What are business plan financials?

Business plan financials is the section of your business plan that outlines your past, current and projected financial state. This section includes all the numbers and hard data you’ll need to plan for your business’s future, and to make your case to potential investors. You will need to include supporting financial documents and any funding requests in this part of your business plan.

Business plan financials are vital because they allow you to budget for existing or future expenses, as well as forecast your business’s future finances. A strongly written finance section also helps you obtain necessary funding from investors, allowing you to grow your business.

Sections to include in your business plan financials

Here are the three statements to include in the finance section of your business plan:

Profit and loss statement

A profit and loss statement , also known as an income statement, identifies your business’s revenue (profit) and expenses (loss). This document describes your company’s overall financial health in a given time period. While profit and loss statements are typically prepared quarterly, you will need to do so at least annually before filing your business tax return with the IRS.

Common items to include on a profit and loss statement :

Businesses that have not yet started should provide projected income statements in their financials section. Currently operational businesses should include past and present income statements, in addition to any future projections.

[Read: Top Small Business Planning Strategies ]

A strongly written finance section also helps you obtain necessary funding from investors, allowing you to grow your business.

Balance sheet.

A balance sheet provides a snapshot of your company’s finances, allowing you to keep track of earnings and expenses. It includes what your business owns (assets) versus what it owes (liabilities), as well as how much your business is currently worth (equity).

On the assets side of your balance sheet, you will have three subsections: current assets, fixed assets and other assets. Current assets include cash or its equivalent value, while fixed assets refer to long-term investments like equipment or buildings. Any assets that do not fall within these categories, such as patents and copyrights, can be classified as other assets.

On the liabilities side of your balance sheet, include a total of what your business owes. These can be broken down into two parts: current liabilities (amounts to be paid within a year) and long-term liabilities (amounts due for longer than a year, including mortgages and employee benefits).

Once you’ve calculated your assets and liabilities, you can determine your business’s net worth, also known as equity. This can be calculated by subtracting what you owe from what you own, or assets minus liabilities.

Cash flow statement

A cash flow statement shows the exact amount of money coming into your business (inflow) and going out of it (outflow). Each cost incurred or amount earned should be documented on its own line, and categorized into one of the following three categories: operating activities, investment activities and financing activities. These three categories can all have inflow and outflow activities.

Operating activities involve any ongoing expenses necessary for day-to-day operations; these are likely to make up the majority of your cash flow statement. Investment activities, on the other hand, cover any long-term payments that are needed to start and run your business. Finally, financing activities include the money you’ve used to fund your business venture, including transactions with creditors or funders.

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Women & wealth, 3 financial statements your business plan must include.

Team building a business plan

One of the most common reasons that businesses fold is that they run out of money. This doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't have enough customers – many do – but rather that their expenses exceeded their revenue: They couldn't sell enough to cover their costs.

In fact, according to U.S. Bank data, 82 percent of businesses have poor cash flow management processes and/or a poor understanding of cash flow management and, according to a CB Insights study, 29 percent run out of cash altogether.

While financial statements can help business owners spot upcoming financial challenges, such as running low on inventory or raw materials, sometimes the problem is that they're using their financial statements incorrectly or ineffectively. This can lead entrepreneurs to overlook important warning signs specific to cash flow or operations, or to miss upcoming opportunities.

Financial statements are a critical section of any business plan, whether the company is pursuing outside financing or creating more of an internal operating manual. There are three primary financial statements a business needs to generate and regularly monitor:

Each statement provides insights into how the business is doing that can help owners and managers recognize how to improve operations. But because each statement serves a different purpose, it's important to know how to best use each one.

Profit and Loss Statement

Your P&L, or income statement, is an overview of your company's operations over a specific period of time – usually one year. It is a reflection of the business's financial performance or health. It's also generally used as a look back, although you can certainly use it when creating projections as well.

Your P&L summarizes how much revenue you generated, what your total expenses were, and what your resulting profit (or loss) was once those expenses were subtracted from your revenue.

The P&L is a useful tool for comparing performance and assessing growth. You can compare past years' P&L figures to your current and future years to see if your business is growing or shrinking.

Profits generated can then be used to buy more assets, reinvested in the business, applied to reduce liabilities, or paid out to owners as a dividend or bonus, all of which will be reflected on the balance sheet. That's how the two documents are related.

Balance Sheet

While your P&L reflects how much money came in and how much went out over the course of a year, a quarter, or a month, your balance sheet is a statement of what your business owns and what it owes at a particular point in time (the most common date used is 12/31).

At the top of the statement are all of your business assets – the things you own. This includes your property, plant and equipment – your long-term assets. Any real estate, computer equipment, raw materials, inventory and machinery would be included in this list. Short-term assets, such as accounts receivable (what your customers owe you), also fall into this category. Anything you use to generate income should be listed under assets.

Your liabilities and shareholders' equity goes on the bottom half of your balance sheet. Liabilities are what you owe. This includes expenses like building or equipment leases, loans, taxes owed and unpaid invoices.

Your shareholders' (or owners') equity is the value the business has created, which is shared by your shareholders – all your partners or owners in the business.

Shareholders' equity plus liabilities always equals your assets. The higher the shareholders' equity, the more value the business is creating.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement is a look at all the money the business has earned and paid out over a period of time. Cash flow statements are frequently used for projections – for looking ahead to try and anticipate when the company might need an infusion of cash or be able to afford a major investment. For that reason, cash flow statements often break down cash inflow and outflow on a monthly basis.

Cash coming into the business can be generated by operations (what you sell to customers), investments (such as stocks or real estate), and/or financing (such as when you receive a loan or take on an investor).

When cash is paid to buy more assets or to pay back a loan or credit extended, those amounts fall under cash outflow.

Analyzing changes in cash flow over several periods, such as months or quarters, gives you, lenders or investors a sense of how cash-healthy the company is.

Putting It All Together

Where P&L statements provide an overview of how a business is doing, a cash flow statement can shine a spotlight on the peaks and valleys many companies experience during a typical year. For example, if you're a swimming pool retailer, your projections for the spring and summer months will likely go way up with demand, while cash flow in the winter months – at least in the north – may plummet. It's important to be prepared to sustain the business during November, December and January when you may have little in the way of cash coming in.

Your balance sheet is a reflection of how well you're using your company's assets. Over time, your assets and shareholders' equity should steadily rise, while your liabilities should decline. If they're headed in the other direction, you may be headed for a cash crunch.

These three financial statements are important business tools that can help you recognize where your attention needs to be directed in order for your business to grow. Update and look at them regularly to keep cash steadily flowing in, in order to bulk up your P&L and your balance sheet – and to help ensure your business survives and thrives.

Looking for additional guidance? Connect with a First Horizon  banker  to learn more.

annual report business plan

Annual Report

Jump to section, need help with an annual report, what is an annual report.

An annual report is a formal document that public corporations create to tell the story of their business operations and financial situation. It can be used by shareholders, employees, and even customers to make decisions about whether or not to do business with a company. These reports contain several pieces of pertinent information about a business’s story, financial conditions, and future goals.

Public corporations are required to create and publish accurate annual reports by the Securities Exchange Commission. This is because they have a financial, or fiduciary duty, to do what’s best for their shareholders and employees.

What’s Included in an Annual Report?

An annual report includes vital information about public corporations. This document plays a key role in lifting the corporate veil that conceals business operations from the general public. Corporate lawyers help public corporations to construct annual reports to ensure they completely accurate.

Readability is another important aspect of a successful annual report. Companies want to encourage interested parties to read the entire document. To accomplish this, companies make sure to include plenty of graphics and pictures throughout the report, which makes it easier to read.

An annual report consists of several key pieces of information about a company’s operations.

Letter from the CEO or President

Annual reports start with a letter from the CEO or president of a corporation. This letter is addressed to the shareholders of the company since they are the main ones that read the report. Since a successful annual report letter sets corporations apart from their competitors, it’s important that executives spend plenty of thoughtful time constructing it.

This letter highlights a few major pieces of information, including:

Information about Financial Conditions

An annual report is a key piece of documentation that shareholders use to determine where to invest their money. Because of this, it’s important for companies to detail their financial conditions within the report. Here are some examples of financial conditions that an annual reports highlight:

This portion of an annual report often contains plenty of charts and graphs. This helps contribute to making the report easier to read and understand.

Overview of Future Business Goals

A key objective that companies have when publishing annual reports is to attract investors and customers. One effective way they accomplish this is by detailing future business goals in their report. This explains to the public the company’s plan to expand and grow.

Here are a few examples of business goals that might be outlined in an annual report:

annual report business plan

Special Achievements

Corporate officers are offered a great tool to share company achievements through their annual report. The special achievements section of an annual report is helpful in making sure that current investors are satisfied with their investment. It also aims to encourage new investors to come on board with the company. Companies can decide which achievements to include by taking notes during a meeting, called meeting minutes , and ranking them by importance.

Here are some examples of special achievements that might be included in an annual report:

Learn more about the key aspects of an annual report here .

How to Find Annual Reports

Annual reports provide vital financial and operational information to people with a financial interest in a company. When an investor or customer wants to find a company’s annual report, they can often locate it in a few different places.

The web is a great place to get easy access to annual reports. They provide for instant access of current and previous reports. Annual reports can be easily downloaded for future reference from these websites, as well.

Here are a few examples of where annual reports can be found online:

Company Websites

The reporting is most commonly found on portions of company websites that are dedicated to investors. This is because the reporting is most often to determine whether to invest in a public corporation. Company websites provide the perfect space to share this information with the public.

Financial Websites

There are a number of websites dedicated to providing companies’ financial information to the public. These websites are helpful because they often index several years of annual reports. Having access to previous years’ reports gives a more complete financial picture of a company, which helps to further pierce the corporate shield.

Search Engine

The best way to use search engines to find annual reports is to search for the company’s name followed by annual report. This web search should return a direct link to the company’s annual report either on their website or at some other public domain.

Learn more about where to find annual reports here .

ContractsCounsel Annual Report Image

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Who Reads Annual Reports?

Annual reports are corporate documents that make private company information available to the public. They tell the company story and include details such as financial conditions and initiatives. Access to private information helps interested parties make important decisions, such as whether to invest or to do business with a corporation.

Annual reports are read by a few different entities for unique reasons:

For more details on who reads annual reports, check out this article .

What Happens if a Company Doesn’t File an Annual Report?

After the stock market crash of 1929, United States lawmakers made filing an annual report a requirement for all public companies in the U.S. This initiative was set into motion to allow the American people the opportunity to fully review a company’s financial standing before becoming involved monetarily with them.

If a company doesn’t file an annual report, there are a few consequences:

For a more in-depth look at what happens when a company doesn’t file an annual report, read this article .

Get Help with an Annual Report

Is your corporation in need of some expert guidance on how to put together an annual report? Post your project today on ContractsCounsel to get connected with corporate lawyers who focus on annual reports and can bring you through the entire process down to the signing authority.

Meet some of our Annual Report Lawyers

Ayelet F. on ContractsCounsel

Ayelet G. Faerman knows what influencers mean to brands today. With experience as legal counsel for a beauty brand for over 5 years, and overseeing multiple collaborations, Ayelet has experienced the rise of influencer marketing. As the founder and managing partner of Faerman Law, PA her practice focuses on influencer relations including a specialization in contract negotiations.

Benjamin E. on ContractsCounsel

Benjamin E.

Benjamin is an attorney specializing in Business, Intellectual Property, Employment and Real Estate.

Richard G. on ContractsCounsel

Attorney Gaudet has worked in the healthcare and property management business sectors for many years. As an attorney, contract drafting, review, and negotiation has always been an area of great focus and interest. Attorney Gaudet currently works in Massachusetts real estate law, business and corporate law, and bankruptcy law.

Samantha B. on ContractsCounsel

Samantha B.

Samantha has focused her career on developing and implementing customized compliance programs for SEC, CFTC, and FINRA regulated organizations. She has worked with over 100 investment advisers, alternative asset managers (private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds, venture capital funds, etc.), and broker-dealers, with assets under management ranging from several hundred million to several billion dollars. Samantha has held roles such as Chief Compliance Officer and Interim Chief Compliance Officer for SEC-registered investment advisory firms, “Of Counsel” for law firms, and has worked for various securities compliance consulting firms. Samantha founded Coast to Coast Compliance to make a meaningful impact on clients’ businesses overall, by enhancing or otherwise creating an exceptional and customized compliance program and cultivating a strong culture of compliance. Coast to Coast Compliance provides proactive, comprehensive, and independent compliance solutions, focusing primarily on project-based deliverables and various ongoing compliance pain points for investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other financial services firms.

Pritesh P. on ContractsCounsel

Experienced General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer

Jonathan R. on ContractsCounsel

Jonathan R.

I am a graduate of Cornell University and Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and have been admitted to the state and federal bars for New Jersey, and have been engaged in the full- or part-time practice of law since my admission to the bar in 1991. My practice centers on civil litigation; wills, trusts, and estates; and ediscovery review and management. I have extensive experience in regulatory compliance in the financial services industry, as well as privacy laws in the U.S. and E.U.

Robert D. on ContractsCounsel

I am a general practice lawyer with 21 years of experience handling a wide variety of cases, both civil and criminal

Find the best lawyer for your project

Annual report lawyers by city.

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C-Corporation. Business Formation Documentation, Bylaws, describing our percentage of ownership.

Location: new york, turnaround: less than a week, service: prepare & file, doc type: annual report, number of bids: 4, bid range: $850 - $5000, power of attorney, location: michigan, number of bids: 1, bid range: $1499, related contracts.

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Fundamental Analysis

How to Efficiently Read an Annual Report

annual report business plan

A company's annual report is the single most important way for potential investors to understand the financial state of a company. A company annual report is also a marketing tool designed to attract investors, and a company will attempt to present themselves in the best light possible without violating any Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.

Key Takeaways

Unfortunately, while many investors read annual reports, they fail to read them effectively. In other words, while annual reports do not deceive or reflect false information about the business, investors should always read them with a sense of skepticism. Learn how to read between the lines and decipher the actual condition of the company.

Annual Report vs. 10-K Filing

Typically, a company will file both an annual report and a 10-K report to the SEC. An annual report is the shorter version that often comes with illustrations, glossy pages, a letter from the chair or CEO, and an overview of the financials. The 10-K is a longer, more thorough "black and white" document that a company is required to submit to the SEC.

Companies may merge the annual report and 10-K into one document with the annual report at the beginning to provide an overview of the year's results. Sometimes, a business will file the 10-K as its annual report since that document is mandatory for every public company . If a company does file both reports, the annual report should be examined before the 10-K filing.

How To Efficiently Read An Annual Report

Components of an annual report.

Investors should always read the 10-K filing if they're interested in investing in a public company. The report begins with a detailed description of the business, followed by risk factors, a summary of any legal issues, and the numbers.

Often, the most essential components of the annual 10-K filing include:

Where to Start Looking

There is an efficient way to tackle annual 10-K reports. Read Item 1 first, which is the business description. Item 1 explains what the company does, who its customers are, and the primary industry in which it operates.  

Next, Items 6 and 7 explain the financial data.   A potential investor should assess how the company has performed over a period. Also, the financial statements should indicate whether the balance sheet has become stronger or weaker over time.

The cash flow statement should show whether the business has been a generator of cash or a user of cash. It is possible for firms to report net income while, at the same time, having negative cash flow. Compare the income statement with the cash flow statement for any red flags.

For example, steady cash flows are indicative of a healthy and thriving company, whereas large fluctuations in cash flows could signal that a company is experiencing trouble. Large amounts of cash on hand could indicate that more accounts are being settled than work received.  

Look for Unusual Risk Factors

Potential investors should also consider any risk factors associated with the company. One risk factor is legal proceedings that the company might be facing. Litigation activities should be disclosed in the company information in a section called Legal Proceedings. The U.S. has regulations that require companies to report any litigation, especially if it affects income.  

Risk factors are filed with the SEC, where company reports might include such statements as, and "our industry is highly fragmented with many competitors" or "our stock price may experience periods of volatility ."

While these are important risks to consider, they are common and should not significantly reduce the desirability of the business. Unusual risk factors that require greater attention are, for example, if the company generates a substantial portion of its revenue from just one or two customers.

In addition, the Legal Proceedings section will reveal any significant lawsuits affecting the company.   While legal issues should be assessed, they may not be as severe as they seem. For a billion-dollar company, a pending lawsuit for damages of $10 million is often an unavoidable part of doing business.

For example, Pfizer, one of the largest drug companies in the world, may have pending patent lawsuits and drug liability claims that may exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. But that's par for the course for any major pharmaceutical company and a drop in the bucket for Pfizer, which had almost $19 billion in cash and short-term investments on the balance sheet at the end of Dec. 2018.  

Focus on What You Know

There are different ways of interpreting financial information. Read the annual report in a way that works for you, but learn to concentrate on the most important aspects of a company's 10-K filing.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. " Exchange Act Reporting and Registration ."

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. " Form 10-K General Instructions ," Pages 8-11.

Code of Federal Regulations. " 17 CFR §229.103 (Item 103) Legal Proceedings ."

Pfizer. " 2018 Financial Report ," Page 72.

Financial Statements

Securities Registration Forms

Investing Basics

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Blog Business

90+ Annual Report Design Templates, Inspirational Examples & Design Tips [2023]

By Sara McGuire , Oct 24, 2022

annual report design template Venngage blog header

Annual reports may sound boring, but they don’t have to be. With an appealing design, annual reports can be a powerful promotional tool by drumming up enthusiasm for your company or organization./

You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create a compelling annual report design that will impress your stakeholders. All it takes is the right report maker tools — and the right annual report design templates.

Keep reading for our 55+ top annual report templates and examples (free and paid included), plus some design secrets you can apply right away.

Click to jump ahead:

FAQs about annual report design

Short on time? Here’s our video cheat sheet on how to create an annual report:

Return to Table of Contents

Corporate annual report templates and design tips

Corporate annual report cover design.

What overarching theme would you use to describe the past year?

When creating an annual report cover page, ensure that it reflects the theme. Right off the bat, readers will get a sense of the story you’re about to tell.

The cover page design will prime them for the rest of the information to come.

You should also make sure your annual report cover page reflects your business brand. For example, this free annual report template uses different icons of people and pets as it’s for an animal rescue organization:

free annual report template designed for animal rescue organizations

Pro-Tip:   Venngage’s Brand Kit feature makes it easy to import your logo, brand colors, and fonts with a single click! Upgrade to Business to test it out.

Geometric annual finance report template

You don’t need to exclusively rely on images to set a visual tone, however. You can also use color!

In the free annual report example below, a vibrant color scheme is introduced on the cover page. Each of the following pages then features a single color from the original palette, maintaining a cohesive look unexpectedly.

free Colorful Annual Report Design Template

Here’s another good example of a creative annual report template:

creative annual report design template

Fresh and creative annual report design templates stand out from traditional alternatives.

Modern financial report

The budget season can be a confusing time for businesses. How much has been spent in the past year? How much should one predict for the upcoming year?

A modern annual report, like this example, simplifies the process for the finance department. By using pie charts  and  bar charts , the report shares a wealth of information at a glance.

modern report template

For financial projections for the following year, you can use this free annual report template:

free annual report template financial projections

Your annual financial reports don’t have to be one pagers like the report infographics above. They can stretch into two or more pages like this financial statement analysis template — with the first page being the cover page, perfect if you want to export and use it in a presentation:

annual financial report template financial statement analysis

Notice we said you could use this in a presentation? With a Venngage Business plan, you can download your annual reports in PPTX format — and use them with your desired presentation platforms like PowerPoint or Google Slides.

If you want to test us out before upgrading, a free Venngage plan also allows you to present your design — with the Preview function:

Venngage PowerPoint download function

Pro tip:  Use the real-time collaboration  feature to make your annual report with teammates. Get instant feedback and share comments in real time. Learn more about how to use the feature here.

Bright corporate annual report template

You don’t have to use neutral colors or corporate blue just because everyone else is. Show how unique your business is by using a bright, bold color scheme in your annual report.

Annual report design templates, like this example, make no apologies for their bright colors.

FREE annual report template

A financial report, like this template, would be a great fit for a bright report design. Though packed with numbers, the clean layout makes it easy to read and understand.

Budget Report

Detailed highlights annual report

You may have sections that include a lot of text or a lot of data visualizations . That’s okay as long you organize it well.

This detailed highlights annual report example uses a portrait layout and dynamic text formats for all the content.

The sections in these  annual report templates  consist of multiple data points but remain easy to read.

Job Consulting Agency Annual Report Template

Colorful year-in-review report template

Many companies hold a year-end meeting to go over key metrics, achievements, and goals. Create a slick  presentation  of an annual report infographic that will hold your team’s attention.

Bright colors, gradients, bold  fonts ,  charts , and  images  are all elements of a successful  presentation design  or data infographic :

Yearly Performance annual Report Template

Simple year in review annual report

Icons  are the perfect way to visualize ideas and highlight points. You can use icons to emphasize specific points on a chart or to draw attention to important text.

Take a look at how icons are used in creative annual report design templates, like this example:

Simple One Page Annual Report Template

Annual shareholder business report

This simple annual report design uses simple icons to differentiate between different types of shareholder returns:

Annual report design

Related :  50+ Business Report Templates Every Business Needs

Financial budgeting annual report infographic template

Flow charts are perfect for visualizing processes, timelines , and connections between information. Simple flow charts can be used in a presentation slide, while more complex ones can take up one (or even several!) pages.

Our flowchart maker can help get you started with creating handy flowcharts. 

Take this report template that uses icons to make the points in the flow chart more memorable:

One Page Budget annual Report infographic Template

Corporate company report infographic template

If your charts require some added context, be sure to include a brief description.

For example, take this report presentation slide that uses a description box with the same blue as the bars on the chart to indicate that the audience should read the paragraph to fully understand the chart:

Simple Quarterly Report Template

Marketing analysis and business strategy report template

Pair dark colors with bright colors for a bold design. Not only do contrasting colors look good, but they can also help you highlight important information.

For example, showing an important statistic in a bolder font than the other text on the page will help it to immediately jump out at readers.

Take a look at how contrasting dark shades and light shades are used in this free annual report template:

Creative Monthly Business Marketing Report Template

Basic company growth infographic report template

Part of creating an effective slide for your simple  annual report presentation is finding the right balance between text and imagery.

Drawing an invisible “line” down the middle of your slide is an easy way to guide your design.

Put your chart or photo on one side of the slide and text on the other, and voila:

Green modern annual report tempalte

Quirky illustrated annual report design

Images and icons are perfect for helping to tell the story of your business’ past year. You can use icons to create a quirky graphic illustration!

For example, this report design template uses icons to create a little city scene in the page header:

Solar-Energy-Annual-Report-Infographic-Template

Infographics are great for turning data into engaging visuals that anyone can understand. Plus, there are a ton of ways that you can integrate them into your reports, especially if you mix them with well-designed icons.

Check out our  beginner’s guide to creating infographics  for more tips.

Bold annual report charts template

Grab readers’ attention with a big, bold header  font . While you will probably want to keep the rest of the text in your report relatively simple, your headers are places where you can get more creative.

Take this simple annual report template that uses a slightly funkier font in its title:

Blue One Page Business Annual Report Template

Corporate performance annual report design

Often enough, what an annual report design is missing most is some color.

Pick a bright color. It could be your brand colors  or a color that reflects the theme or “mood” of your annual report. And use that as the page background.

This green annual report template with a green background similarly uses white boxes to help the text stand out from the background:

Green Modern Corporate Annual Report Template

Pro-Tip:  Use the Venngage chart maker  to create comprehensive charts for your annual report. Import data from an XLSX or CSV file and start editing your chart.

Customer service annual report example

Annual reports have a bunch of different topics to cover. A small thing that you can do to help the reader navigate through the labyrinth of info is to use an intro page or section.

A bit of context will give readers a clearer understanding of what the section covers. It could be as simple as a single sentence, or a short paragraph.

Creative annual report templates, like this example, give you plenty of wiggle room:

Monthly Customer Service Report

Corporate customer activity report template

If you want to separate your page into sections, using colored headers is an easy way to do this. Just draw a block line across the page to help your header pop. You could even color-code your headers to make a simple annual report page more readable.

This report design template uses a simple white background with bold blue headers:

Monthly Consumer Activity Report Template

Bold one-pager industry report template

While your full annual report may be pages and pages long, a one-pager that summarizes key information is a great accompaniment to create. Pull the most important or noteworthy information and make that the focus of your one-pager.

You could, for example, choose to hone in on our key metric and visualize it in a chart, like in this free annual report design template:

Simple One Page Annual Report Template

Small business annual report templates and design tips

Retail year-end annual report template.

In each section of your annual report, you’re introducing a new topic. To help introduce the new section, use a decorative section header that illustrates the topic of the section.

For example, this free annual report template for a retail business uses images in the headers that reflect key pieces of information from each given section:

Creative Business Annual Report Template

Branded year-end annual report template

Since your annual report tells the story of your company, make sure that the design reflects your brand’s personality . That can mean more than just incorporating your brand colors. Use font styles and images that reflect your brand’s personality.

For example, this annual report design has a light and playful look. The style is appropriate for a family-friendly burger joint, with rounded fonts and plenty of icons:

Orange Creative Business Annual Report Template

Bring color back into your annual report

In case you hadn’t noticed the recent graphic design trends , but bold colors are making a comeback. This isn’t something only hipsters are using. Massive companies like Salesforce and Zendesk are embracing the trend too.

This annual report design uniquely embraces colors through the use of images and icons. The three main colors (blue, yellow, hot pink) repeat throughout the report design, making it pop:

free annual report design template

Vibrant engineering report template

Ditch the dull office color grays for an engineering report that’s bright and attractive. Vibrant colors draw much more attention than something that looks formal and plain.

The key to using vibrant colors is to leverage contrast to make your text pop. You don’t want to lose your content in the bright colors of the background. This vibrant engineering report template uses grey and black backgrounds wherever there is text, to offset the bright teal throughout the design. However, for charts and other data, the vibrant color works just fine.

Engineering Consultant Annual Report Template

Business executive report template

When it comes to design, repetitiveness and consistency are two different things.

When your report design is repetitive it means each page or slide looks like the one before. That’s boring . 

When there is design consistency, it means certain design elements appear throughout your report. It provides a sense of order as the content continues to change. That’s fun . 

Take a look at the executive annual report template, for example. Every page looks different and shares distinct information. However, the icon tile pattern appears throughout. It’s a neat design touch that’s engaging and looks professional, without getting boring.

Year-End Executive Business Report Template

Modern annual report overview infographic template

It can be hard to keep readers engaged in a long, multi-page document like an annual report. But you don’t have to keep it that long — your report can be a one-page infographic too. Just like this template:

annual report infographic template

Visual infographic annual report design

Use icons and illustrations to draw the readers’ eyes to certain parts of the page. That could mean including an icon in the page header, using a row of icons to divide off a section of the page, or using illustrations to make concepts easier to understand.

This report template incorporates the peach theme into both the visuals and color scheme:

Peach Weekly Report Infographic Template

Small business budget report template

If one of the pillars of your business is creativity, reflect that in your annual report design. Play around with unusual page layouts and surprising design elements. Our post on presentation layout ideas should help spark your creativity.

Take this annual report template that follows a zig-zag path and uses circles to present data in a quirky way.

Simple Creative Monthly Budget Report Template

Yearly company performance report templates

For a more minimalist annual report design, use a neutral background and use bright accent colors to highlight important information. For example, you could use color to highlight keywords, key data points, and header text.

Take a look at how different shades of red and orange are used in this free year-end report template:

free annual report design template

This template also uses colors to create a harmonious design — the colors used in the table coordinate with the ones used in the top photo:

annual report infographic

Nonprofit annual report templates and design tips

Here we’re going to show you loads of examples for nonprofit annual reports , church annual reports, nonprofit annual report infographics, nonprofit treasurer reports, and more. Let’s dive right in!

Colorful gradient nonprofit annual report template

Your  nonprofit has a compelling story to tell , but overloading your annual report with images can cause it to get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, consider adopting a more minimalistic design approach and letting your text shine.

This nonprofit annual report template below puts the text front and center with bold, modern typography.

A vibrant gradient overlay prevents the design from looking stale, especially when paired with images. The overall effect is fresh and modern.

Children Community Nonprofit Annual Report Template

Illustrative nonprofit annual report template

When designing a nonprofit annual report, be sure to put what matters to your brand front and center.

This example dedicates a whole page to the people it has helped, and how. Plus it makes use of charts to highlight its financial success.

Hunger Nonprofit Annual Report Template

Simple nonprofit annual report template

One of the most essential inclusions in your nonprofit annual report is the impact of your work. Whether your organization is dedicated to helping people, animals, or the environment, look for opportunities to showcase the difference you’ve made over the past year.

You can always use charts and infographics for data visualization , but your annual report will have a bigger emotional impact by featuring the real people or communities behind the statistics.

The nonprofit annual report template below puts a face to the organization by featuring one of the individuals they’ve supported right on the cover page.

Modern nonprofit annual report design

Illustrative church annual report template

When you create your church’s annual report design, ditch the business-y look for something fun and playful.

Aim to reflect your community and space. You can do that with the diverse set of icons from our icon library. Illustrated icons of people and buildings add a playful touch to your design. You can also use icons as labels or headings for different sections.

Don’t forget to add charts and graphs where you need them to visualize your data.

Illustrative Church Annual Report Template

Vibrant church annual report template

You can also take a modern design approach with your church’s annual report. Bold color overlays paired with stock photos are a current trend. That simple touch elevates your report design to that of a professional designer.

This church annual report template stands out through the use of color, stock photos throughout, and icons. The use of purple for overlay, headings, and icon colors helps to tie everything into a cohesive design.

Vibrant Church Annual Report Template

Church engagement annual report template

Infographic reports are a great way to summarize your church’s annual report. These types of infographics highlight the most important takeaways about your church’s performance over the year. An infographic report can be sent out to your email list, included in presentations, or even printed out and shared in meetings.

Here’s an easy-to-edit church infographic annual report, pairing icons with financials to make data jump off the page. One quick scan and your readers have a good idea of how productive the past year was.

Church Engagement Annual Report Template

Modern nonprofit infographic report template

A nonprofit infographic report helps you summarize your nonprofit annual report. You end up with a neat, captivating visual that can be shared with board members, donors, and your social media followers.

To reflect the nonprofit’s entire impact that year, this nonprofit infographic report crunches the numbers and visualizes them.

A great stock photo, high-contrast colors, and a few choice icons help the data jump off the page. Even with a quick scan, readers of the nonprofit infographic report can tell that the past year was a winner.

Modern Nonprofit Infographic Report Template

Nonprofit annual report infographic template

At the heart of every business and organization are the people who built it. Help tell the story of these people by using emotionally evocative photos.

This nonprofit infographic annual report combines the image of a woman holding a child with actual statistics behind their work. A white semi-transparent overlay ensures that both the image and text are visible, while the icons provide visual interest.

Modern Yellow Nonprofit Annual Report Template

Equality nonprofit treasurer report template

Your nonprofit treasurer report design should be anything but boring. You’re sharing important financial information, and want to make sure the information is clear and easy to understand. That’s why the design quality of your treasurer report matters.

A high-quality stock photo makes for a great report cover when it’s the right one. Consider your nonprofit’s mission, and try to tap into the human element, when choosing your cover photo.

This nonprofit treasurer report template uses a photo that shows a sense of togetherness and unity. If your report’s cover photo is generic and unrelated to your organization, it’ll be less likely to engage your audience.

Equality Nonprofit Treasurer Report Template

Purple nonprofit treasurer report template

You can think outside of the box, even with your nonprofit treasurer report design. You can use stock photos and color to create something eye-catching and interesting.

This nonprofit treasurer report template uses stock photos throughout the design and applies a purple overlay on each page to pull the design together. This way, while the content, layout, and visuals change, a single color helps unify the design.

Purple Nonprofit Treasurer Report Template

Simple nonprofit treasurer report template

If toying around with bold and creative designs is outside of your comfort zone (for now), you have nothing to worry about. You can still come up with impressive designs for your reports.

This simple treasurer report template just uses bold colors for each page and flat icons. It’s straightforward, but still eye-catching. The conservative use of text on each page, along with the large fonts and negative space make the report easy to read.

Simple Nonprofit Treasurer Report Template

Simple nonprofit budget report template

Your organization’s operating budget is crucial information. It impacts the entire planning of all your activities for the coming year. So it has to be very clear, simple to understand and accessible to your staff.

You could just share a boring spreadsheet, but that won’t impress anyone. This nonprofit budget report template has an official, on-brand design. It incorporates the organization’s logo, flat colors, and bold fonts for a document that’s super clear. It also highlights important values to make them easier to distinguish from other figures that are listed.

Nonprofit Budget Annual Report Template

Purple nonprofit annual report template

You don’t have to use super complex data visualizations to make the information engaging. If you’re not a data visualization expert, you run the risk of confusing your readers.

But a simple data visualization can be engaging, and helpful in communicating more clearly , like how this nonprofit template uses half pie charts to show its funding sources and expenses:

Purple Nonprofit Annual Report Template

Nonprofit impact report template

Make use of contrasting colors and bold text to highlight the impact of your nonprofit organization:

Nonprofit Impact Report Template

Marketing annual report template examples and tips

Year-end marketing report template.

This annual review design template uses different style charts. Because the colors are repeated, however, the charts look consistent and professional.

Blue Annual Marketing Report

For a more in-depth guide to picking the best charts for your data, click here.

Corporate advertising annual report template

If you want to emphasize certain pieces of information or break up an expanse of text on your page, color blocks are an easy fix. Pick a neutral color that will allow text to stand out, like grey or a light shade.

This annual report template uses red and grey color blocks to create various page layouts:

Red Corporate Annual Report Template

Fun corporate marketing report template

Have fun with your marketing report design.

You can draw creative inspiration from your brand. Consider your brand’s voice or your brand’s visual collateral.

Does your brand use professional stock photos, sophisticated icon art, or playful, illustrated icons? Are the colors in your branded content vibrant, subdued or neutral?

These are all factors that should influence your marketing report design. This corporate marketing report template presents highly relevant information in a way that is aligned with the brand.

Fun Corporate Report Template

Real estate market report template

When you create a detailed, in-depth marketing report , organizing information simply is a challenge. You want to avoid creating a report that is dense and difficult to scan.

This real estate marketing report template is a great example of balancing a lot of content through design. It uses a layout that alternates between text-heavy sections, and sections reserved for data. This helps you create a report that is predictable and manageable for your readers.

Real Estate Marketing Report Template

Social media marketing report template

In the Venngage editor, you can access massive high-quality stock photo libraries from Pixabay and Unsplash. Whatever you’re looking for, expect to find the perfect stock photo for your design.

Just check out this marketing report template below. This social media marketing report template looks sharp and professional because of the color palette consistency throughout the design – both in the content and the stock photos.

It makes for a very cohesive, finished look that appears less DIY, and more, “professional designer”. Don’t take my word for it, either. Try it out yourself and ask your team what they think of the final product.

Bold Social Media Report Template

Trendy social media campaign report template

This modern annual report template is another great example of choosing a color palette based on your stock photos. The hues of brown and teal tie into the stock photography used in the design.

Plus, since it’s a coffee brand, the warm brown tones make for a very fitting color palette choice.

Trendy Social Media Report Template

Dark social media trends report template

Here’s one last, great example of how to use stock photography to inform your design.

This dark social media report template uses a crisp, high-quality photo of a smartphone screen. The title slide doesn’t even use an overlay to subdue existing colors.

The rest of the slide design incorporates black, and other bold colors throughout. This makes for a very commanding, attention-grabbing look. Plus, it’s easier to decide on a color palette once you’ve got the perfect stock photo lined up.

Dark Social Media Report Template

Social media marketing report template

Was your team’s main goal this year to reach for the stars? Did you turn your small team into a village? You can use images in your design to symbolically reflect those themes.

For example, this annual report template uses an engaging cloud background:

Simple Monthly Social Media Report Template

To learn more about marketing strategies for nonprofits and setting goals, check out our Complete Nonprofit Marketing Guide .

Digital marketing report template

Typically, you’re trying to pack a lot of information into your annual report. The readability of your annual report will have a lot to do with the design.

Color coding your information is a simple way to offer visual cues for readers to follow. Pick colors that have a logical association with the information.

For example, this annual report template uses colors to represent each social media channel. The colors reflect the brand colors of each social media channel, making the meaning easily recognizable for readers:

Monthly Digital Marketing Report Template

SAAS email marketing report template

Even with the right use of colors and icons, your page may feel a little blank. It may seem like it’s missing something because there’s so much space.

In those instances, incorporate a border design to create a sense of movement, dynamism, and texture. You can apply a border through the use of the icon library, or you can choose abstract stock photos to create background borders. That’s exactly what this SAAS email marketing report template does.

Saas Email Marketing Report Template

HR annual report template examples and tips

Employee progress annual report design.

Bright and vibrant colors add a lot of energy and pizzaz to designs, but on a white background don’t stand out well. Rather than switch your color palette of choice, try a light background color. Not only is it a nice change from traditional black and white reports, your colors easily pop from the page.

This annual review template a variety of colors to distinguish multiple categories for employee evaluation . It also uses handy  pie charts  to visualize key performance metrics.

Colorful Annual Performance Review Template

Year-end human resources report template

Check out this year-end HR report template. The playful icons and tiles are a sharp contrast to the background and grab your attention. The bright accent colors throughout the report design allow individual sections to stand out.

Executive HR report Template

Bright employee annual performance review template

For your employee reviews to be consistent and fair across the board, you need to follow a structure. That’s why it’s a good idea to use an employee review template (check out our blog post with 12 performance review examples for ideas).

A simple table layout works well for this. This annual performance review template below, for example, has a clean and clutter-free design, with clearly labeled spaces to provide feedback to employees.

Red Annual Performance Review Template

You can even color-code the sections to make them easier to read and understand. For example, look at this simple employee review template:

Colorful Monthly Digital Marketing Report Template

Government annual report template examples and tips

Modern national agency annual report template.

Consistent branding across all of your government communications is important.

One way that you can ensure this is by using not only your company colors but also colors that communicate the “feel” of your company or organization.

This annual report template divides the sections in half and uses the brand color to highlight key information.

National Agency Annual Report Template

Year in review infographic annual report template

Sure, this year may have been a lot of work, but there was some fun to be had too, right? An annual report is the perfect place to highlight how your business has grown, financially and culturally.

This simple one-page annual report template highlights both work and the “fun stuff”:

Red Year in Review Annual Report Template

More annual report design examples + tips

Want to see how visualized reports fare in real life? Here are the top examples of visually appealing and engaging annual reports you can draw inspiration from.

OzHarvest is a nonprofit that redistributes food to charities from restaurants and the like. They wanted to make sure their shareholders saw key numbers like how many meals were saved, their core message, and their mission.

By using big fonts and creative visuals like word clouds and charts, they can bring that key information forward. This is a good lesson in not being afraid to take up lots of space on a page.

Creative Non Profit Annual Report Templates

In another example, a handful of families supported by the St. Louis Children’s Hospital were featured in their annual report. This helps put faces to the names and show that their donors and stakeholders are helping real people with real struggles.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Non Profit Annual Report Example

This annual report example from Maine Tourism uses a ton of colors you would see in nature. If you haven’t been to Maine, the outdoors is a pretty big part of their identity.

All over this annual report, you can see natural colors in the greens and browns, but also the orange in lifejackets and fires, or the blues in lakes and the Maine sky.

Colorful Creative Business Annual Report Template

Also, please note: there is no rule out there that says you have to use lots of colors. As we can see in this annual report example for a real estate company.

The designers used a bold red to bring attention to important charts or trends:

Click here for 35+ simple background images to add impact to your report.

If you want to create a memorable annual report you may need to change the way people look at things. Or in this case, they did it by physically changing the way the annual report was laid out.

Environment Waikato Nonprofit Annual Report Template

As you can see in the example from Environment Waikato, they start this by creating a landscape-oriented report. Then, they take it to the next level by switching the way the text is printed on multiple pages. This causes the reader to change their perspective on the content.

Some annual reports take one of their most important values or mission statement and hide it at the bottom of the page. That means most people will skip over it without even noticing!

That isn’t the case with this annual report example from  PEN Canada . They make sure you can’t miss what they stand for.

Each of these pages celebrates a different part of their vision. By using a large bold font they can illustrate that they aren’t messing around at all. The  contrasting colors  make it jump off the page as well.

You can also add an interactive or tactile component to your annual report design to make it stand out.

In this annual report example from Craft Victoria, they use their cover to add an extra little surprise for the readers. The cover can be transformed into a tactile experience with small triangular tabs.

Creative Craft Victoria Annual Report Example

The triangle motif also carries throughout the rest of their report, making for a cohesive design.

Now, onto some concrete annual report design tips:

Infuse your company or organization’s culture into your annual report design

Everyone probably knows what U-Haul is (if you don’t, they’re a moving company). The designer incorporated their business’ service into this creative annual report design.

Innovative Uhaul Annual Report Example

First, it’s delivered like a package to the reader and it looks exactly like a moving box you would find at one of their stores. Plus, there’s bubble wrap! Then the table of contents is modeled after a packing sheet, using the same icons and visuals throughout.

Each page uses images and visuals that remind people that at the heart of everything, they are a moving company.

Create custom illustrations using icons

Creative Government Annual Report Template

When you’re working within a tight budget, commissioning custom illustrations can be pricey. But you can use icons to create custom illustrations.

Pick icons to make up the pieces of your illustration, then arrange them into a little scene. You can use this same tactic when it comes to creating an effective annual report template.  Keolis  has done this in their annual report design to illustrate statistics.

Our post on icon stories will show you exactly when and how to create them.

Make each page stand on its own with unique designs

Modern Business Annual Report Example

I know I just said that you should pick a singular theme and stick to it like a few points ago. But for every rule, there are a few exceptions.

In this annual report example from the STW Group, the theme changed from one page to the next.

This can work in an annual report because you’re covering multiple different topics in one document. That being said, you should still maintain some consistency throughout your annual report design, like the same color scheme or basic page layouts.

Organize your information into sections using borders

Fun Creative Non Profit Annual Report Templates1

If you have multiple topics or components that you want to fit together on one page, using borders or block backgrounds in your annual report templates can help keep your design organized.

For example, take a look at how  RLI Corp  uses blocks of bold colors to help each section stand out on the page. This makes it easier for readers to scan the page for different topics.

Pick a design motif and use it throughout your entire annual report

Bold Modern Annual Report Example

This annual report example from Brunel shows how much impact a confident design motif can have on your design. In this case, they used big, red fonts for all of the headers, with the header text overlapping onto the body text.

It’s an unconventional design choice but it works because it’s consistent. If you’re going to use an unusual design motif, commit to it and use it throughout your entire report.

Another creative annual report example is this one from Grupo Bimbo. They use think lines to direct your eye. These direct readers from point to point on the page, which is another way to tell stories visually.

Creative Infographic Annual Report Example

Visual cues like lines and arrows can improve the flow of your page design immensely. They’re useful for any design project you are working on. Whether it be an  infographic  or an annual report template, these subtle lines are a must-have.

Give your annual report template a thematic motif

Was the year marked by a lot of progress? Did you overcome some major obstacles? Design an annual report that reflects the year’s overarching theme.

If you’re struggling to create your own nonprofit annual report template, try looking at some of the themes that run throughout your company’s mission, product and culture.

The designers at the Hall Family Foundation used their volunteers as inspiration. Most of these people are the lifeblood of any non-profit so it made a lot of sense to start there!

They focused on a handful of action words that helped describe what these volunteers do. As you can see, a visual theme was created from those words that are featured on nearly every page.

Minimalist Hall Family Foundation Non Profit Annual Report

Additionally, the annual report has these words printed on the cover, so the reader notices the theme from the beginning. This is a great way to introduce readers to your company or organization’s values.

Label your graphs, charts, and other data visualizations

Creative Blue Infographic Annual Report Template

Forgetting to label your charts is a common mistake that many writers make. But forgetting to label your charts can  make your information confusing or misleading .

The designers at Capaccio Paestum avoided this trap by labeling all of their bubble charts and bar graphs. Additionally, when you use labels as they did, it helps even the newest stakeholder understand them in seconds.

Or take this annual report from Orgalime, which uses very straightforward but beautiful pie charts and bar graphs. Each example tells you what you need to know and makes it easy to compare between data sets. Simple but effective!

Colorful Infographic Annual Report Example

Include full-page data visualizations

Black Modern Annual Report Template1

Using the same annual report example from the  Croatian Post , you can see how big data visualizations can make your annual report just that much more engaging.

If you have a particularly important set of data, like your company’s financial growth over the past year, you can feature that in a creative data visualization. This is an opportunity to incorporate engaging design elements like icons, pictograms, image frames, and bold color schemes.

Mix up your font sizes and weights

Solar-Powered Business Annual Report Example

Consistency is a basic tenet of good design. But you can find ways to add variety to your designs while still maintaining consistency.

The people at  Austria Solar  mix up their font sizes and weights in this annual report example. But they still maintain consistency by using the same color scheme throughout the report.

Check this guide out if you want to  learn more about selecting and using fonts .

Optimize your annual report for digital viewing

Colorful Digital Mailchimp Annual Report Example

While tangible reports are nice, more and more people are opting to publish them and read them online.

The people over at  Mailchimp  have been doing this for a few years. Seeing as they’re a SaaS company, it fits their brand well and allows their report to reach a wider audience.

Plus, when creating an annual report virtually, you can include things like  GIFs, videos, and other moving parts !

Take a look too at what The Warehouse did on a few pages of their annual report. They use an introductory page to lead readers into each new section.

Simple Warehouse Community Annual Report

Like the designer behind this real annual report for the fake company, Ace Airlines did on multiple pages.

Fun Business Infographic Annual Report Example

Seamlessly incorporate photos into your design by making them grayscale

Minimalist Business Annual Report Template

While photos certainly add to your annual report’s story, they can also distract from the text on the page. But if you use grayscale images or images with a color overlay, they can integrate much more seamlessly into the design of the page.

Take a look at how the Associated British Foods’ annual report integrates images into their pages.

Set a visual tone from cover to cover

Creative Target Annual Report Example

In this annual report from Target, they set the tone the first time you look at it. On the cover page, they show exactly what the report is going to be all about: freshness.

The designers use pictures of fresh fruit and veggies throughout the report to give it a feeling of abundance. This puts the reader in that frame of mind from the beginning, showing them what to expect from the business.

Here’s another example. The designers from BHA took some of their important stats and combined them with icons. Combined with the primary color backgrounds, the design looks modern and in line with current design trends.

British Hospitality Association Nonprofit Annual Report Example

Additionally, because of the icons they selected, they can prep the reader for what the info is going to be about. For example, using the microphone icon to show that there were 2.7 million voices behind this annual report.

Let your company’s history influence your design

NASA Visual Nonprofit Annual Report Example

Everything about this annual report from Kennedy Space Center looks like it would be at home in the 1970s.

The annual report was published in 2010, but the design calls back to the center’s history, from the color scheme to the retro photos.

It all comes together to create a fantastic annual report example that NASA enthusiasts will love.

Go big or go home with your annual report

HUGE Creative Business Infographic Annual Report Example

This year is all about taking big risks with your design projects. But I wasn’t thinking that would lead to something like Ablynx created for their annual report!

They decided to go big with their data visualizations, literally. Instead of designing them in a design tool like Venngage, they created them in the real world.

Using sticks, yarn, and earth they build the graphs and charts that will adorn their annual report. This is one of those things that their readers won’t forget anytime soon.

Colorful Multipage Infographic Annual Report Example

Another creative way to organize your annual report is to differentiate the sections by using different-sized paper. In this annual report example from GIA, they do just that.

When a reader moves from one section to the next they physically have to change the size of paper they are reading. It’s an unexpected and engaging way to frame your different sections.

Annual report design takeaways

Annual report design isn’t going anywhere. Even if you don’t have any design experience, you can create an appealing annual report by starting with an  annual report template  and applying some of the following design elements:

How do you create an annual report?

The best way to get started is to use an annual report template . This will serve as a handy framework and drastically reduce the amount of time spent creating your report.

Modern Purple Annual Report Template

If you’re concerned that a template won’t make your annual report design look unique, don’t be! Once you incorporate your information, visuals, color schemes, and fonts, your annual report will look like a custom design.

All of these elements can be customized in the one-page annual report templates above. Plus it’s easy to change the charts and graphs to reflect your data

Read on for annual report design tips and 55+ templates. Click any of our templates to enter our online report maker tool to customize it. No design know-how is required.

What is included in an annual report?

Annual reports typically contain information like:

The below annual report includes a summary of success stories from the chief, impact on specific communities, and a look to the future:

annual report design template

A lot of that may sound like dry information…but it doesn’t have to be.

If your annual report is visually engaging, it will grab the attention of your readers. You can visualize data, incorporate your branding principles , and express your team’s personality throughout the design.

For a more detailed look at what to include in an annual report, check out our  annual report guide.

What is an annual report?

An  annual report  is an in-depth, comprehensive report that provides an overview of a business’s achievements and key metrics from the preceding year.

Think of it this way: an annual report is a perfect opportunity to tell your business’s story. Your annual report design can help you tell that story.

In some cases annual reports are mandatory, in other instances, they are marketing tools used to generate interest in your brand. Not only are they meant to generate interest among shareholders or investors, but they also present an attractive brand to employees, clients, and broader audiences. Your business is on a journey, and your annual report design helps you tell that story effectively. 

For an in-depth guide on what an annual report is, and all the different types, check out our explainer post: What is an Annual Report? .

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How to Create a Business Plan to Inspire Confidence in Investors (+ Business Plan Templates)

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Access our collection of user-friendly templates for business planning, finance, sales, marketing, and management, designed to assist you in developing strategies for either launching a new business venture or expanding an existing one.

You can use the templates below as a starting point to create your startup business plan or map out how you will expand your existing business. Then meet with a  SCORE mentor to get expert business planning advice and feedback on your business plan.

From creating a startup budget to managing cash flow for a growing business, keeping tabs on your business’s finances is essential to success. The templates below will help you monitor and manage your business’s financial situation, create financial projections and seek financing to start or grow your business.

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Whether you are starting your business or established and looking to grow, our Business Healthcheck Tool will provide practical information and guidance.

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SCORE offers free business mentoring to anyone that wants to start, currently owns, or is planning to close or sell a small business. To initiate the process, input your zip code in the designated area below. Then, complete the mentoring request form on the following page, including as much information as possible about your business. This information is used to match you with a mentor in your area. After submitting the request, you will receive an email from your mentor to arrange your first mentoring session.

Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

TICO - Travel Industry Council of Ontario

TICO's Annual Report

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario prepares an Annual Report outlining its activities and performance, and provides a financial report for each fiscal year. Learn more about TICO's progress by reviewing its Annual Reports.

TICO's Business Plan

Each year the Travel Industry Council of Ontario develops a Business Plan setting out its accomplishments and business objectives. Stay informed about TICO's future goals and objectives by reviewing its Business Plans.

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Annual Business Plan

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    Annual Report / Business Plan. TICO's Annual Report. The Travel Industry Council of Ontario prepares an Annual Report outlining its activities and performance

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