Whether you’re an independent contractor providing a report as part of an assigned project or a company employee drafting an internal report for staff review, an attached cover letter will serve as a brief overview of the report’s contents, and can help provide clarity about the report. Report cover letters summarize the details in the report, and provide an overview of why the report was requested, and what its contents are intended to do.
Business Cover Letter Contents
Much like a cover letter you would draft to accompany a resume when applying for a job, a report cover letter in business serves a similar purpose: It provides a snapshot and states that details will follow. It should not be confused with an executive summary, which is the narrative usually found at the beginning of a report, which indicates key findings and recommendations. In other words, the cover letter tells you what’s in the report, and the executive summary at the beginning of the report tells you why the information is important.
Introduction — who the report is aimed toward, and the purpose it serves. Example:
To the Board of Directors:
Attached please find the 2018 Annual Report that the board requested at the start of the new fiscal year.
Brief summary of rationale — why the report was requested. Example:
As requested, the report provides an in-depth overview of corporate profits broken down into six-month increments. It also provides a market summary which details cost projections and anticipated revenues moving forward, in 12-month increments.
Bullet-point overview — a detailed list of other elements included: Example:
Additional report contents include the following:
- Breakdown of costs, revenue and earning projections per department
- Market share analysis
- New product performance metrics
Performance Report Contents
When drafting something such as performance reports that will be delivered to human resources or to a department director, the cover letter can be brief and to-the-point. Example:
Attached please find six performance evaluations of marketing department staff members. The evaluations were conduced the week of January 5, 2018. Each has been reviewed and signed by the individual employee and also by that employee’s immediate supervisor. As you will read, the majority of the reports are quite positive, and several exceed expectations. Please let me know if you require additional information or documentation.
Project Report Contents
Well-written project reports are usually all-inclusive, but a cover letter to accompany the report can be helpful, when it includes details, such as a summary of purpose and next steps. Example:
Attached please find an update on the re-branding campaign project the graphic arts department is conducting. Once approved by the marketing committee, the project can move into phase two, in which we will have a focus group that will help assess overall perception and name recognition.
Take care to proof read your report cover letter carefully before attaching. The letter serves as a first impression for the report’s contents, and as such, should be professional and free of errors.