Annual Reports -€“ Crunching numbers can be beautiful

17 April 2013
Annual Report

Annual Report sounds boring right? But it shouldn‘€™t be!

Annual reports are important for presenting information to a company’s investors and having a professionally designed annual report will increase the likelihood of it being read and taken seriously.

A well designed report will clearly and evocatively communicate business performance, trust, stability and innovation. It will re-inforce your company’s image and provide readers with confidence in your brand.

According to researchers from the School of Business Administration at the University of Miami a beautifully designed annual has a profound effect on how viewers rate the value of the company – placing a higher value on firms with attractive reports, even though the respondents said that they thought the design of a companies’ report would be of little importance in their valuation.

The researchers conducted three studies; one with financial students, one with the general public and one with experienced investors. In the study with the experienced investors respondents were asked to rank organisations based on how likely they would be to want to invest in these firms. Interestingly the addition of an extra colour in the annual report seems to have the same impact on the companies ranking as a 20% improvement in revenue from the previous year!

“€œBetter-looking documents produce increased pride of ownership for a company, and this pride increases valuation. People are not aware of the effect of aesthetics on their financial decisions and we found that when their attention was drawn to this issue they were able to overcome the bias and make wiser investments.“€ said Claudia Townsend, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, who conducted the research with Suzanne Shu of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

So, if you‘€™re about to produce an annual report you could benefit next year‘€™s bottom line by ditching the usual lacklustre print-out of your sales figures and finding a designer who can make your statements sing!

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