Running your business requires many things, effective management reports are part of that list.

One of your goals may be to solve your clients’ problems, have a motivated team and make money.  But, just like any organisation, you need to keep an eye on the business and financial side of things to ensure smooth sailing.

Enter management reports, that package and range of information to help you and your team understand the past and understand the future.

Did you know that your management reports play a vital role in providing insights and critical information to your arts organisation?

These reports serve as a valuable tool for decision-making, assessing performance, and communicating with stakeholders.

Having come across several issues in management reports I want to flag them up so you can avoid those pitfalls.

Management report objectives

Firstly, not considering the purpose and objectives of the report. When you don’t have clear objectives, the report’s content and structure can suffer.  Furthermore, it’s important to understand the specific needs of your organisation, for example financial analysis, operational efficiency, audience engagement, or strategic planning.

Management reports target audience

Secondly, not considering the intended audience for your management reports.   Your management team have different responsibilities interests and require specific information. That’s why, tailoring the report to meet their needs is key. Moreover, it enhances its relevance and impact.

I’d advise involving stakeholders throughout the process because it fosters transparency, trust, and collaboration. Seek input and feedback from stakeholders during the report’s design phase to ensure their needs and concerns are addressed. Additionally, share the draft report for their review and provide opportunities for discussion and clarification.

Relevant information for management reports 

Thirdly, a third common flaw is not including relevant information in the report.  Collected reliable, accurate, relevant, up to date and comprehensive data should be turned into useful information.

Don’t just focus on the financial results.  Cash in the bank, profits and debt are important but so is other stuff.  Your success depends on your business achieving its mission and objectives.

Therefore, your management report should reflect your mission and objectives. Identify and establish key performance indicators that align with it. These metrics will help measure progress and success in areas such as financial sustainability, artistic excellence, audience growth, community impact, and operational efficiency.

The fourth and last problem is presentation.  But I will be looking at how to present your management reports in next month’s newsletter.

To wrap it up, your management report needs to be relevant to your audience’s needs. It also needs to be easy to use, comprehensible and fit for purpose.

To design and produce an effective management report, always think about:

What is the report trying to achieve?

Who is your target audience for the report?

What information is useful for your reader to help understand and make decisions?

How should you present the information?

Remember, a well-crafted management report can drive positive change and contribute to your sustainability, growth, and success.

If you want to talk about how I can help you develop your non-financially trained managers develop their financial skills and capabilities, hit reply to this email and we can book a free consultation to help identify areas that your non-financial managers can improve.

Plan it. Do it. Profit.


In summary, knowing how to produce effective management reports has many benefits.  Furthermore, this vlog has looked at when to do it, how to do it and things to consider.  I Hate Numbers and our sister company Numbers Knowhow will help you reduce that overwhelm.  .

Furthermore, are you a small business owner, social enterprise or organisation passionate about change? In fact, managing your finances can be a lot of work, trust me.  Finally, there’s software that makes keeping track of your cash flow and financial planning easier: Numbers Know How. It helps you stay organised so you can focus on what matters to you; the creative work and the impactful change. Take a step away from the chaos with fast setup & easy navigation – numbers just got real…for the better! Get organised & make sense of it all with Numbers Know How today!