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Formal Report

Sample

This sample is a model for your own writing.


DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!

Important Notice:

• Do NOT copy this sample (or any samples you find online or in other
resources) and then claim credit for doing them. To receive credit, you
must do your own work for this class.

• Additional titles and samples are added every semester. Ms Hurley will
provide you with an updated list, if she has one.

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
Op 2.9 The Formal Report - Sample 1 (Annotated)

Cover Page

A Guide to Careers in Accounting

Title a little above the halfway


point on the page

The report writer’s – your – name, business


title, and business address
Saravati Singh
Director
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC
First Hawaiian Center Suite 811
999 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96818

So that pages don’t flow one into the other,


insert a page break between each page

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
A Guide to Careers in Accounting

your client’s name, title and business

Prepared for:

Roland Kamisato
Advisor
Manoa College of Business

Prepared by:
Saravati Singh
Director
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC
First Hawaiian Center Suite 811
999 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96818

December 4, 20XX

Pagination begins here with small


Roman numerals for all prefatory
parts

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
Letter of Authorization: from the
letterhead client to you, the report writer

Manoa College of Business___________________ _


2444 Dole Street Honolulu, HI 96822 (808) 123-4567 www.mcb.edu

letter format: block

October 10, 20XX


inside address

Saravati Singh, Director


PricewaterhouseCoopersLLC
First Hawaiian Center Suite 811
999 Bishop Street paragraph 1: friendly you-attitude intro says
Honolulu, HI 96818 how the client heard of you (the report writer)

paragraph 2: asks for the report and gives


reasons for authorizing the report. Fees and
Dear Ms. Singh, deadlines are usually discussed here, too

On February 3, 20XX, your accounting firm was the featured as a booth in Hawaii’s Career Fair.
I attended the occasion and was very impressed with all of the brochures and information you
were offering to prospective accountants.

Here at the Manoa College of Business, we are trying to expand our majors to offer to include
accounting to better prepare the students for successful careers in this field. Will you prepare a
report presenting essential information on your recommendations on the types of degrees we
should offer in accounting? This report is needed by the first week of December. I understand
your customary fee is $3,000.

Please call me at 123-1234 if you have any questions or anticipate any delays in the completion
of the materials.
paragraph 3: end encourages the reader to
respond to the request and gives a phone number
(if it’s not in the letterhead)
Sincerely,

signature block with complementary close


and typed name and title
Roland Kamisato
Advisor

ii

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
Letter of Acceptance
(from you to the client)

PricewaterhouseCoopersLLC
First Hawaiian Center Suite 811
999 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96818

letter format: full block

October 20, 20XX

paragraph 1: you-attitude opening that builds rapport with


the client. Notice the letter doesn’t start with “I” or “We”
Roland Kamisato, Advisor (which is NOT you-attitude)
Manoa College of Business
2444 Dole Street paragraph 2: accepts the assignment and discusses
Honolulu, HI 96822 deadlines and fees. The report is worth something to
the client. You may offer a reduced price if you wish,
but realize the report costs you money to prepare (staff,
research time, computer inputting, plus fixed costs like
Dear Mr. Kamisato, office rent)

Thank you for your letter and your interest in our accounting firm. It was a pleasure being at
Hawaii’s Career Fair and informing potential accountants the available careers in accounting.

PricewatersCoopersLLC will be pleased to present you with information and recommendations


on degrees that should be available for accounting majors. As stated, the fee for this report is
$3,000. Your report will be delivered to you by the first week of December and the payment in
full is due upon delivery.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 888-0000. Please call me before
November 25, 20XX if any further information is needed to be incorporated in the report.
paragraph 3: ending tells the client to call
for any additions and changes. This is also
a good place to seek future business
Sincerely,

Saravati Singh, Director

iii

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
Letter of Transmittal
(from you the client)
PricewaterhouseCoopersLLC
First Hawaiian Center Suite 811
999 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96818

letter format: modified block


December 4, 2001
paragraph 1: opens with the reason for sending (“As you
requested…”)
Roland Kamisato, Advisor
Manoa College of Business paragraph 2: gives the topic of the report and its scope
2444 Dole Street (the parts covered)
Honolulu, HI 96822
paragraph 3: discusses the sources and assures the client
s/he is getting the latest info available (and, therefore, the
Dear Mr. Kamisato, best value for the dollar)

As you requested on October 10, 20XX, enclosed is the information and


recommendations on the degrees for accounting majors.

The report explains the different components of accounting -- managerial accounting,


public accounting, and governmental accounting – as well as requirements, working conditions
and job outlook.

While I drew mainly on the expertise of my staff in the preparation of this report, we used
this as an opportunity to review current employment practices in the field (a list of the best
references is at the end of the report.) Therefore, you can be certain that you are getting the latest
information possible.

This report is as complete as possible given the time constrains for its preparation. You
will find the information sufficient to meet your needs in rebuilding the accounting degrees. If
you need any additional information, please call me at 888-0000. It was a pleasure preparing
these materials for you, and we look forward to working with you again.
paragraph 4: states (1) the report is as complete as possible for the time allowed to complete it (you
have Ms. Hurley’s permission to copy that sentence in your report, if you wish) , (2) the client should
call for additional info or questions. This is also a good place to seek future business (see the last
sentence. Another possibility: If we may serve you again, please call us.
Sincerely,

Saravati Singh
Director

iv

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
The abstract is the next to the last thing to write. It’s a report in
miniature. A busy executive should be able to read just the abstract
and understand all the major points made in the report
ABSTRACT

Introduction. Accounting is the principles and methods involved to identify, record, and
communicate the economic events of an organization. Accountants prepare and examine the
financial reports that provide current and recent information for businesses, government agencies,
and other organizations.

Level 1 headings Level 2 headings are underlined

Public Accounting. In public accounting, accountants work for themselves or for an accounting
firm. Public accountants perform audits by inspecting the client’s internal operations, records,
documents, and company employees. A complete and precise evaluation of the client’s company
financial standing is done. Helping management in decision making and preparing tax returns are
additional tasks the accountants perform. Certified public accountants hold a certificate by
passing an exam prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The salary
for public accountants ranges from $38,600-62,400. Certified public accountants earn about 10
percent more than those short of a certificate.

Managerial Accounting. In managerial accounting, accountants work for a single company.


Managerial accountants report the financial activities and operations internally for planning,
controlling, and decision making. Preparing financial reports and performing internal audits are
also completed. Managerial accountants’ salaries range from $36,000-55,000 depending on years
of experience.

Governmental Accounting. In governmental accounting, accountants are employed by


governmental agencies. They maintain and examine financial records of government agencies.
Audits are performed on records of businesses and persons whose financial activities are subject
to government regulations. The salary for governmental accountants ranges from $20,600-
62,500, depending on standard pay scales.
paragraphs may be single spaced w/double space between paragraphs (as you see here) or double spaced

Working Conditions. Accountants generally work 35-40 hours a week. During tax season,
December to May, the number of hours and workload is increased. Accounting is normally a
desk job in an office setting and/or at client’s offices. Many accounting professionals have travel
opportunities.

Job Outlook. The growing complex tax laws tackling the business society is creating a greater
than before demand for tax accountants. Therefore, job openings for accountants will grow faster
than average, although competition for jobs is keen. Certified public accountants ought to be the
continuous widest range of job opportunities, also making it more difficult to become a CPA.

v
Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC
Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
The amount of business establishments will increase as the economy grows, needing more
accountants to assist these businesses.

Conclusion. Public, managerial, and governmental accounting is three different subdivisions


apart of a broad field known as accounting. Public accountants perform audits, assist in
management planning, and prepare tax returns. Managerial accountants
prepare reports of financial activities and business operations, aid in business decision
making, and perform internal audits. Government accountants maintain and inspect financial
records.

Recommendations. Rebuilding and providing specific degrees for accounting majors enhance
the students’ opportunities for a secure knowledge in accounting. The Manoa College of
Business should initiate programs concentrating on specific branches of accounting bachelor
degrees. Employers will not have to spend time training the future employees in the different
tasks that will be involved in their job description. Providing guest speakers regularly can be
helpful in allowing students to recognize the importance on concentrating in one area of
accounting.

vi

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
not seen here: a Table of Figures, required for reports with 3 or more
visuals

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The table of contents is typed last

Letter of Authorization…………………………………………………………………..ii

Letter of Acceptance……………………………………………………………………..iii

Letter of Transmittal……………………………………………………………………..iv

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………..v
Prefatory parts and level 1 headings are
1.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………...1
blocked at the left margin
1.1 Purpose…………………………………………………………………...1

1.2 Definition………………………………………………………………....1

1.3 Sources of Data...........................................................................................1

2.0 Public Accounting...................................................................................................2

2.1 Functions………………………………………………………………….2

2.2 Certified Public Accountants……………………………………………...3

2.3 These headings are organized numerically: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0


Income……………………………………………………………………..3
(Headings may also be in outline style (I, II, III)
3.0 Managerial Accounting……………………………………………………………3

3.1 Functions…………………………………………………………………..3

3.2 Income……………………………………………………………………..4

4.0 Governmental Accounting…………………………………………………….......4


Level 2 and 3 headings are indented
4.1 Functions…………………………………………………………………..4

4.2 Income……………………………………………………………………..4

5.0 Working Conditions……………………………………………………………….5

vii

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
5.1 Hours………………………………………………………………………5

5.2 Environment……………………………………………………………….5

5.3 Workstyle………………………………………………………………….5

5.4 Travel……………………………………………………………………...6

6.0 Job Outlook………………………………………………………………………..6

7.0 Conclusions………………………………………………………………………..7

8.0 Recommendations…………………………………………………………………7

Appendix A: Abbreviations ..……………………………………………………………..8

Appendix B: Addresses .…………………………………………………………………. 9

Works Cited .…………………………………………………………………………….10

viii

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
The body begins here, with page 1 Title in all caps about 1½”
from the top of the page

A GUIDE TO CAREERS IN ACCOUNTING


Level 1 heading
lead paragraph – general
Level 2 heading 1.0 INTRODUCTION statement that states the topic is
important, popular or growing
Accounting is a vast field with many specialized areas. Its main purpose is to provide

financial information about an economic entity or business enterprise.

1.1 Purpose The purpose names the client’s business


and lists the report’s main parts
This completed report is written for the University of Hawaii at Manoa-College of

Business in restructuring their Accounting degrees available for students. It explains the different

types of accounting that should have their own degrees.


report is double spaced with double or
triple space between sections
The definition defines the main terms used in
1.2 Definition the report. Remember that the client is not the
expert and may not know the vocab
Accounting is the process of identifying, recording, and communicating the economic

events of an organization to interested users of the information. The financial information

provided by an accounting system is used by managerial decision makers to help them plan and

control the activities of the company. Accounting extends beyond the process of creating records

and reports. Financial information is also needed by owners, creditors, potential investors, and

government agencies as well as by the public, who have supplied money to the business or who

have some other interest in the business that will be served by information about its financial

position.

The sources mentions the main references used


1.3 Sources of Data to write the report and refers the reader to the
list of sources at the end of the report
Information enclosed in this report has been prepared from two types sources:

books for accountants and websites. A list of sources is at the end of the report.

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
refer the reader to the visual
at the exact point you want
him/her to look at it

2.0 PUBLIC ACCOUNTING

Approximately 25 percent of all accountants are public accountants (see figure 1 below.)

In public accounting, accountants work for themselves or for an accounting firm.

An easy to read, informational, professional-looking visual

Certified
Statistics
Public
Accountants
Public
10% 4%
Accountants
25%
Management
Accountants

61% Government
Accountants

Figure 1: Percentage of Accounting Jobs in the United States, 2005


(source: VGM Handbook of Business and Management Careers, p. 43)

The visual is labeled w/ a title and source


2.1 Functions

In public accounting, accountants perform audits. They inspect the client’s internal

operations, records, documents, and company employees. Inspections on the procedures for bill

paying, inventory, and other financial operations and create the balances of their income, debts,

assets, and investments. Also, a complete and precise evaluation of their financial standing is

given by the accountant. They help management in planning and protect investors and

stockholders. In addition, public accountants may prepare tax returns.

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
2.2 Certified Public Accountants (CPA)

Certified public accountants hold a certificate given out by the state board of

accountancy. An examination prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public

Accountants must be passed to obtain certification

Notice the absence of the pronoun “you.” The report uses words like
accountants and employees – not “you”
2.3 Income

The salary for public accountants varies according to years of experience and the level

the accountant is at. The salary ranges from $38, 600-$62,400. Certified public accountants earn

about 10 percent more than those who are short of certification (Occupational Outlook Handbook,

36).

Parenthetical citations give credit to


quoted material and info that’s not
common knowledge. You learned this in
Eng 100
3.0 MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING

Approximately 60 percent of all accountants are managements (Norbak 12).

Management accountants are employed by a single company to handle and operate the

company’s financial records.

a lead-in sentence introduces upcoming subparts


3.1 Functions

In managerial accounting, accountants are reporting the financial activities and operations

internally to managers and parties within the accounting firm. This information and reports are

used for planning, controlling and decision making. Financial reports are prepared for non-

management groups, stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities. They

analyze and translate the financial information executives need to make thorough business

decisions. Internal auditing, appraisals within the organization are done by analyzing and

recommending improvements to internal financial exercises, is done by management accountants.

3
Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC
Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
3.2 Income

The salary for managerial accountants differs depending on years of experience. The

salary ranges from $36,000-$55,000 (Salary Guide).

4.0 GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTING

In governmental accounting, accountants are employed by governmental agencies.

About 10 percent of all accountants are governmental accountants (Occupational Outlook

Handbook, 97).

4.1 Functions

Government accountants maintain and examine the financial records of government

agencies and audit the records of businesses and persons whose financial activities are subject to

government regulations.

4.2 Income

The salary for governmental accountants varies according to the standard pay

scales. The salary ranges from $20,600-$62,500 (Salary Guide).

5.0 Working Conditions

All different aspects are taken in to consideration when choosing a career as an

accountant. The number of hours that will be required to work, the environment situation, the

working styles, and travel are all factors in the decision making process.

5.1 Hours

Accountants generally work 35-40 hours a week. During tax season, December to

4
Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC
Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
May, the number of hours a week is increased with the heavy workload, especially for public

accountants and those accountants employed by accounting firms. Also, weekend hours and no

time off are anticipated.

5.2 Environment

Accounting is normally a desk job in an office setting. Surroundings may vary from

employer to employer. At the entry level, sharing offices or working in general work areas is

expected. Large business and public accounting firms offer the luxury of private offices. With

advancement comes the greater likelihood of being comfortable. Accountants for the Department

of Defense may work as civilians on military bases.

5.3 Workstyle

Most accountants work at their own desks. Management and government accountants

have fewer possibilities to work out of the office. Public accountants

often work at clients’ offices.

5.4 Travel

Many accounting professionals have travel opportunities. Not only accountants

employed by large public accounting firms are given opportunities, but accountants from small

public accounting firms are offered overnight travel that is required to service and visit clients.

Moreover, large accounting firms may offer days or weeks away on a single project. Accountants

employed by national firms may travel at length to carry out audits and complete other services

for clients or employers. Management accountants almost certainly travel. Some federal

5
Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC
Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
departments entail extensive national and international travel.

6.0 Job Outlook

Job openings for accountants will grow faster than average, although competition for jobs

is keen. The growing complex tax laws that dictate business today create a greater than before

demand for tax accountants. Certified public accountants should enjoy the continuous widest

range of job opportunities; these opportunities, in turn, increase competition for CPA jobs.

Accountants with master’s degrees in business administration with a focus in accounting are more

and more valued, especially among large firms. Having experience with computers is

advantageous for job opportunities as increasingly complex accounting functions are performed

through computers. The number of business establishments increases as the economy grows,

resulting in the need for needing more accountants to provide management advice, to set up

books, and to prepare taxes.

Recommendations are for the client who paid for the report – in this case the school administrators, not
the students – and list the actions to take, based on the needs stated in the letter of authorization and the
info of the report. Multiple recommendations are best presented in a bulleted or numbered list.

7.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Public, managerial, and governmental accounting are three categories of a broad career

field of accounting. Public accountants operate audits, assist in management planning, look after

investors and stockholders, and prepare tax returns. Certified public accountants are authorized a

certificate by passing an examination arranged by the American Institute of Certified Public

Accountants. Managerial accountants prepare reports of financial activities and business

operations to internal staff, aid executives in making business decisions, and perform internal

audits. Government accountants sustain and inspect financial records of agencies employed by

the government and perform audits of businesses and persons with prospect regulations.

Providing specific degrees for accounting majors will enhance the students’ career

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
opportunities. Since accounting is a broad major, the Manoa College of Business should initiate

programs concentrating on specific branches of accounting bachelor degrees. This action will

better prepare future accountants according to the type of job desired. Employers will not have to

spend time training the future employees in the different tasks involved in job descriptions. Also,

adding guest speakers to the College’s current career program regularly can be helpful in

allowing students to recognize the importance on concentrating in one area of accounting. It is an

excellent way in serving as a counseling tool for the students to get first-hand opinions from their

possible future employers.

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
Appendix is optional (note: plural of
appendix is appendices=

APPENDIX A: ABBREVIATIONS Appendices are labeled with a


letter (A, B, C) and a title

AAA American Association of Accountancy

AICPA American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

CFA Chartered Financial Analyst

SMA Certified Management Accountant

CPA Certified Public Accountant

GAO General Accounting Office

GS General Scheduled

HEW Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

IFCA Institute of Chartered financial Analysts

IRS Internal Revenue Service

NAA National Association of Accountants

NASBA National Association of State Board of Accounting

The appendix contains supplementary material germane to the topic but


not critical. If the material were critical, it would be part of the body.
Glossaries, forms, and photographs are other items often found in
appendices. The appendix is not required in option 2.9.

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
APPENDIX B: ADDRESSES

‰ For the latest requirements for the CPA exam, write to:

National Association of State Board of Accounting


666 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

‰ Most states have professional associations of accounting professionals, including the state
of Hawaii. Visit The Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants at
http://www.hscpa.org/

‰ Information about the CMA exam, including upcoming dates and locations, can be
obtained from:
Institute of Management Accounting
570 City center Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

‰ Additional information on the CFA exam, candidate study program, and enrollment can
be obtained from:
The Registrar
The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 3668
Charlottesville, VA 22903

‰ Recent exams and unofficial answers are available in a booklet for a nominal fee from:
Special Order Department
National Association of accountant
919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm
The Works Cited page is in correct MLA format

WORKS CITED

Hildebrandt, George, and Martin Burt. Career Choices for the 2000’s For Students of
Business. New York: Walker Publishing Company, 2002.

Norback, Craig. VGM’s Handbook of Business and Management Careers. Chicago: Publishing
Group, 2003.

Salary Guide. 2001. Creative Financial Staffing. 23 Oct. 2002.


<http://www.cfstaffing.com/salary/index.html>.

Salary Survey. Aug 2002. Texas A&M University Career Center. 1 Nov 2002.
<http://aggienet.tamu.edu/cctr/SalS01.html>.

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington:


U.S. Department of Labor, 2003.

For electronic sources, give the exact web page you


took information from, not the general homepage

10

Prepared by Pat Kamalani Hurley, Professor CC


Leeward CC (University of Hawai'i)
http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/hurley/default.htm