Free annual report templates are a simple way to create financial reports for your small business or charity. Many businesses, charities, and corporations struggle to come up with nice looking, informative financial reports every year. Creating these reports can be time consuming, especially if you are creating the reports for an organization that has numerous members or employees. In addition to time, it can also be expensive. If you have the time and resources to write an annual report, you could try using one of the many free annual report templates that are available on the internet. These templates make it easy to quickly create high quality, informational financial reports for any organization, charity, or business.
One of the biggest problems when creating your free annual report template is coming up with a good cover page layout. It’s important that the cover page gives your report a good appearance and appeal. Often times, businesses use their annual report covers as a “living room” where they can show off their various accomplishments, aspirations, and goals for the future year. A nice looking cover page along with clean, well-positioned fonts will help make this easier. Don’t forget the secondary functions that your cover page may perform such as editing, saving, and printing.
Another big decision you’ll have to make when selecting a free annual report template is whether to use Microsoft Word or Publisher. Personally, I prefer to use Microsoft Word because it allows me to easily customize colors and add additional functionality such as insertion of tables and footers. Using the built in Microsoft Office applications for creating reports is also a good choice. However, if you want to have access to certain Microsoft Office tools, such as the Excel ribbon, it may be a better choice to select a free report template that uses the open source Open Office software.
While you’re planning your free annual report template, another thing to consider is the choice of the cover page and other design elements. One decision you’ll need to make is whether to use traditional printer-friendly fonts or modern, more casual serif fonts. Your choice will also impact the look and feel of your report.
Another big decision you’ll need to make is the content of your text and graphics. Are you going to focus on the highlights and takeaways or would you like to provide additional information about your products? It’s a good idea to focus on one idea for each section, then break down that idea into sub-sections. Doing so will make it easier to create a cohesive look and feel throughout your free annual report template. You could also include charts and graphs, depending on the nature of your report. Again, it’s a good idea to customize colors depending on the nature of your report and your target audience.
In terms of layout and visual elements, most people choose to include a centered introductory page with Company Overview, a few subtopics, a couple of sidebars, and a main body page for their report. Other people prefer to use a pre-designed premade pages template as their starting point, then customize colors, sizes, and other elements to fit their company annual reports and their needs. This option gives them flexibility without spending hours on layout and graphic designs. However, it can also limit their creativity because the premade pages they can find aren’t the only options available. In fact, they may already have too many templates on hand for their current needs!
Most people, however, prefer minimalistic design styles that give them room to move and experiment without having to learn another language or template. While it’s true that there are dozens of ready-made templates available today, the truly creative ones provide an opportunity for real ingenuity and originality. One popular approach is to utilize a clean design approach and create a single, clean page layout using just a few graphics and text to provide a focal point for the report. This is usually achieved with minimal background colors, box shadows, basic gradients, and lines.
Another approach used in minimalist template designs is to focus on one or two unique element features and integrate those into the rest of the template. For example, some companies choose to use a specialized background color for their annual success stories. They might also use a special font color for their Company Overview or other information. Some choose to use a cleaner, lighter version of their template for their brochures. Whatever your style preferences, be sure to consider your design elements and how they will impact your readers’ ability to understand your information.