Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is an administrative report?

An administrative report is a document that presents the status and progress of certain work within a team or a company.

Who does administrative reports?

An administrative report is usually done by a person with an administrative function. Common examples are office secretaries and administrative delegates. Those with higher position such as managers and supervisors are also eligible to create an administrative report.

Why do people write administrative reports?

Administrative reports are prepared to give the current status and progress of a certain project within a team or a company. The report aims to note all aspects of the project within the team, including the assessment details, planning, intervention, and evaluation of outcomes.

Administrative reports also serve as the documentation of team or company activities such as meetings, where issues or matters that have been discussed are included. The reports are written on a timely basis and submitted to team members from time to time so that they know what transpired in a specific period of time.

Overall, administrative reports act as reference of team members on the past and current status of the team and the project.

How to write an administrative report

Generally, an assessment or collated data within a previous specific timeframe, the strategies and activities that were implemented to meet the previous goals, as well as the evaluation of outcome whether the goal was met or not.

Aside from presenting data from the previous plan, administrative reports also present data that can be used in the future. Such information is based from the previous outcome and can include the plans or goals in the future. The goal should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound.

In addition to assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation, an administrative report can also include the strong and weak points of the team, the opportunities that are seen, as well as the threats or conflicts. Problems should be identified and noted, whether existing or potential, for the team to devise a plan to prevent them.

Advantages of administrative reports

Administrative reports act as a newspaper since it updates the team members on the status of the team and the project. It includes the information from all aspects of the project. It lets the members know what the plans or the goals are and whether these plans or goals have been met or not.

The strong and weak points of the team can be also reflected in the administrative report. With the team knowing such areas, team members may work on boosting the strengths and improving the weaknesses.

Opportunities that arise are also covered by administrative reports. The team or the company can grab the right opportunity at the right time, especially if it will be a lot of help to the team or the company.

Threats, in the form of potential problems or conflicts that may impede the team’s progress, are also included in administrative reports. Since the reports inform team members about these existing or rising issues, they will be able to strategize and develop a plan to counter and resolve such issues.

Disadvantages of administrative reports

While administrative reports help in the workflow of a team’s project, it also presents some flaws.

Some administrative reports have inaccurate or incomplete information, which may adversely affect the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of data. For instance, inaccuracy of the numbers in an inventory report in an administrative report may affect the succeeding shipment of products. Another example is a list of cases in an administrative report in a hospital. Failure to list all kinds of cases may change the results when data are analyzed.

The other negative point in administrative reports is that some readers only read the end part – the summary, conclusion, and recommendation. It may sometimes end up the reader asking questions, instead of reading the whole paper.

Best practices for doing administrative reports

An administrative report follows a certain format – title, summary, introduction, body, conclusion, recommendation, and appendices.

The title section may be the front cover. Some reports include terms or reference or table of contents as guide for the readers.

Some administrative reports include an overview or an abstract. It is a clear, concise, and summative account of the main points, conclusions, and recommendations. Senior managers may not read the other parts of the document so it is best written as if it were a solo document. Briefness is important as well as the avoidance of jargons for other people to understand the main points. Usually it is the last part that is written so salient points must be included without copying from the report itself.

The introduction is the first part of the paper and it includes the background or the problem. This presents the importance of the report and suggests to the reader why the report should be read. It may also include how the succeeding details are arranged.

The main body serves as the heart of the report. It includes the facts, which are presented in sections or sub-sections, each having its own title. It describes the discovery about the problem. This section of the administrative report may include appropriate jargons, since this is the part that is usually read by experts. Information should be arranged in logical order, starting from the most important idea. The main body also includes the significance of the findings.

The conclusion contains the salient points of the report. It presents the logical conclusion of the problem. Though the section is short, it is read by many people. A short discussion may also be included in this section.

The recommendation part contains the things that should be done either to improve or correct something. This part should also begin with the item with the highest priority.

Some administrative reports have appendices, where heavy details are included. Most information in this part is seen by specialists. In addition, the data in this section may serve as a guide or support to the details in the report body.

Overall, a good administrative report is presented with accurate and complete details, starting with the most significant ideas.

How Teamreporter helps with administrative reports

Teamreporter is a web based e-mail application that enables team members to send and obtain reports in addition to the existing team meetings. The app primarily obtains information on the achievement within the day, the plans for the next day, and the issues that impede the work progress.

Members are notified via e-mail and are requested to submit information regarding work progress, conflicts, and other significant milestones. After collating data, Teamreporter will generate a summary of the team status, which will be sent the following day. With Teamreporter, team members will receive information on the work progress while identifying actual and potential problems.

What are alternatives to administrative reports?

While administrative reports are vital in the flow of businesses, the birth of technology lessens the number of reports to be prepared. Aside from phone contact, communication has been made possible by social media such as Facebook and Twitter. More than that, the rise of smart devices along with the existence of smart applications has facilitated a more effective communication and productivity within the team.

Learn more about Teamreporter

Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)