What is a Business Performance Report?

A business performance report is a document that a company creates to measure and define the company’s overall success. Performance reports monitor and analyze the business’ financial data to determine how well they are performing overall.

A performance report is a vital tool that businesses can use to help manage its main objectives and improve its routine processes and day-to-day operations.

Here’s how performance reporting can improve your small business.

Back: The 5 Ws of Financial Reporting

Next: How to Read Financial Statements

What Does A Business Performance Report Cover?

A performance report’s fundamental purpose is to measure a business’ overall performance: from their management strategies to their inventory processing and daily operation systems. Therefore, performance reporting typically includes:

  • Executive Summary: This document represents an overview of the business’ performance in all aspects of its operations. It is a snapshot of the most important information that the full report will discuss in detail.
  • Business Goals and Objectives: Determining what those are and whether or not the business is sticking to them and successfully implementing the core mission statement of the company.
  • Efficiency: How well the company is running- costs associated with operations and the systems and processes in place to cover daily responsibilities.
  • The Financial Status of the Company: The state of its cash flow and revenue generation
  • Industry Comparisons: Illustrates how well the company is doing compared to its competitors and the related industry and market.
  • Analysis: Taking what has been learned about the company to create future goals and objectives to improve processes, streamline operations, and manage finances, workflow, and overall performance.

By measuring a business’ output and analyzing the way it is run, owners and managers can determine where they can improve their processes and systems for greater success. To do this, business owners will first need to implement processes and measurements of performance into their business to collect the required data.

This performance management is a variation of project management that many businesses will use these management techniques to run their company. One of the many ways to improve this performance management, and collect the information needed for the report, is to use accounting software. Such software can automatically track financial information and generate reports for analysis.

Learn more about the best project management software for small businesses currently on the market.

How Do you Measure A Company’s Performance?

So how exactly does one analyze their business’ performance and how do these reports help with such metrics? What key processes, features, operations, and metrics are required to create this report? Here are some methods and tools you can use in your reporting to measure and assess your business’ performance accurately.

Key performance indicators

One of the most essential business performance reporting measurements is known as key performance indicators or KPIs. KPIs are used to measure the most vital components of a business, assessed by this report.

Each KPI will need to have a corresponding target or goal attached to it; it is the objective that your business is trying to achieve. Use key performance indicators to measure and monitor performance by setting targets and working towards them.


A performance report will use benchmarking as a means to set and measure these targets. Benchmarking is akin to competitor analysis, as it compares your business’ performance against other companies within the industry. Use benchmarking to determine where you sit within the industry and where you outperform or underperform the competition.

Financial snapshot analysis

Performance management also means the management of your business’ finances. Your company’s finances depict how well it’s doing. It is the accounting documents and figures that illustrate how profitable and successful it is.

Therefore, a business’ financial statements should be analyzed as part of the business report format. Examine your company’s revenue generation and profit using past income statements and cash flow with previous cash flow statements to help in future business decision making.

Workforce monitoring

These performance reports can help employees of a business just as much as the management. The management team can use KPIs and targets to set and measure against the workforce to determine how well they perform and where improvements can be made surrounding daily processes and sales output. Such reports can also help measure the customer satisfaction surrounding your team.

Having the owner or managers work alongside their employees can also build a cohesive team dynamic, improving communication and strengthening the working relationship between everyone.

How To Write A Business Performance Report

If you require a performance reporting example, your business can use this list to help create a report covering all aspects of the company’s performance. When creating your business report format, include these critical elements to your document:

  • Clearly stated objectives and goals of the company
  • A mission statement that sets a vision for the next five years
  • Key performance indicators and corresponding targets
  • Timing of KPIs, when they should be re-assessed and improved upon next
  • All corresponding data and information needed to back up analysis and goal setting

Too much information without enough insight is one of the biggest performance reporting mistakes that a business will make when creating this document.

Consider using graphs or charts in your business report format to illustrate the needed information clearly and concisely. But don’t get too heavy-handed with the infographics. The analysis of this data is what will help your company improve its weakest parts and reinforce the strongest.

When Should Performance Reporting Take Place?

Should your small business create a performance report monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly?

Performance management is an open-ended task, which means these reports are an ongoing endeavour that your business will need to go over routinely.

Typically, these performance reports are created in the business’ planning stage of operations. Once goals have been set and the company takes off, they will periodically analyze their processes against the set goals and KPIs, updating targets accordingly.

Realistically, these reports’ timing will depend upon you, as the business owner, or management. Consider how you want to measure your company’s performance and ensure all systems are in place to do. Then, decide how often you would like to return to these measurements and assess the targets.

A business can always benefit from performance reporting. There is no set time when a report must be created, so create a schedule that works for you and your business’ operations.

Once completed and you and your employees have gone over the business performance report, now is the time to reevaluate your processes. What works and what does not? Choose to improve on the things that don’t. Reassess previous targets and set new goals for the future performance report. Implementing new strategies can help you with your time management and project management too!

Use QuickBooks Online For Your Performance Reporting

As a small business owner, you can decide when best to assess your company’s processes and performance when it comes to your business performance reporting. By doing so, you can improve your performance management and business’ overall success with these business performance reports.

QuickBooks Online helps small business owners keep track of all transactions, financial information, and other inventory and management processes, all in one place. Using quality software to track and record your business’ operations will make it easier to create financial reports and assess your company’s performance. Try it free today.

Back: The 5 Ws of Financial Reporting

Next: How to Read Financial Statements

Related Articles

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Firm of the Future

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.