A practical guide to creating financial reports

17.02.2023 by Anete Ezera

Creating financial reports can be a challenging task for any business, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and approach, you can easily create accurate, informative, and visually appealing financial reports that can help you make better business decisions. In your financial report, you want to draw people’s attention to the most significant numbers and place your information carefully, not to confuse or overwhelm others with the number of insights and data you want to share. In this guide, we’ll go over some practical steps for creating financial reports, including using financial report templates, examples of different types of financial reports, and tips to help you get started.

Click to jump forward:
What is a financial report?
How to create a financial report
Financial report templates
Tips on creating a financial report

Creating a financial report

What is a financial report?

A financial report is a document that provides information about the financial performance and position of a company. The most common types of financial reports are the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. The balance sheet shows a company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity at a specific point in time. The income statement shows a company’s revenues and expenses over a certain period of time and is used to calculate net income. The cash flow statement shows a company’s cash inflows and outflows over a certain period of time and is used to determine whether a company is generating cash or using it up. Financial reports are typically prepared on a regular basis, such as annually or quarterly, and are used by investors, creditors, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions about a company.

How to create a financial report

Creating a financial report takes time. To speed up the process and make sure you create a report that communicates your data successfully, follow the step-by-step process we listed below.

creating financial report

Step 1: Choose the right financial report template

Creating a financial report from scratch can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. One way to make the process easier is to use a financial report template. On Infogram, you can find different types of financial reports and dashboard templates. Use a template to ensure your financial report is formatted correctly and contains all the necessary information.

Step 2: Gather the necessary data

Before you can start creating your financial report, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary data. This will include information on your income and expenses, as well as your assets and liabilities. It’s important to make sure that your data is accurate and up-to-date, as this will ensure that your financial report is factual and useful. You may use software or internal tools to keep the data in the correct format to feed into the financial report template.

Step 3: Create your financial report

Once you have your data and financial report template, you can start creating your financial report. This will involve entering your data into the template and making any necessary calculations. It is important to double-check that the data is entered correctly and also to review the template instruction to ensure you are following the right format.

Step 4: Review and analyze your financial report

Once you’ve created your financial report, it’s important to review and analyze it. This will help you identify any trends or issues that you need to address. For example, if you notice that your expenses are higher than your income, you may need to make adjustments to your business operations.

Step 5: Communicate and share with stakeholders

After reviewing the report, it is important to share it with the relevant stakeholders. This can include investors, board members, or executives. You can also share the financial report with your employees to help them understand the financial health of the company. It is good practice to always be open and transparent while communicating the report. 

On Infogram, you can choose to download and share your report in many different ways. If you use interactive data visualizations, it’s best to share them online as people can hover over the data points and interact with the content. You can choose to share the report privately with the team or download it as a PDF, PNG, HTML, or other format. With the Team or Enterprise plan, you can move or copy projects between accounts controlling who has access rights.

someone using a smart phone to view data visualizations

Financial report templates

Creating a financial report from scratch isn’t easy. It’s much better to start with a template that’s already pre-designed to match your report style. The following templates can be used as a starting point for creating a financial report and customized to include specific information and figures relevant to your organization or business. Ultimately, using a financial report template saves time and ensures that all the necessary information is included in the report. 

Annual report template

Annual reports provide detailed information about the financial performance and operations of the organization over the past year. These types of reports can include financial statements, management discussion and analysis, and information about the organization’s governance and social responsibility practices. On Infogram, you can find several annual report templates to choose from. In the example below, you can see one of our templates that showcase various interactive charts you can use and modify. The interactive tooltips make the viewing experience much more engaging. 

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Q1 report templates

A Q1 financial report, also known as a first-quarter financial report, provides an overview of a company’s financial performance for the first quarter of the fiscal year. This report usually includes financial statements such as an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. It’s typically released by publicly traded companies, but can also be used by private companies as well. The following dashboard serves as a simple yet impactful starting point for creating your Q1 report. Of course, you can also use it to create Q2, Q3, and Q4 reports. You can customize the template and charts to match your needs, as well as change the background and add other visual elements.

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Financial dashboard templates

The financial dashboards allow you to share important financial data in an easy-to-read format. Some examples of financial statements that you can share in a similar dashboard include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Additionally, you can include key performance indicators such as revenue growth, gross margin, and net income to provide a more comprehensive view of the overall financial performance. Discover these and other dashboards you can use in Infogram’s template library.

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Financial report template

The following report is great for sharing financial statements that need immediate attention. If you want to highlight specific data or insights and provide more context for them, use this financial report template. The bold, huge numbers will attract attention and make a statement.

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Business report template

For a business report with financial insights, choose the following template. The clean and simple design is perfect for sharing business and financial insights and drawing attention to important data. You can modify the template to your needs, adding or removing certain charts or elements, and of course, edit the data itself. 

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Tips on creating a financial report

With the right tools and knowledge, you can create engaging, informative, and visually appealing financial reports. By following the tips listed below, you’ll have an easier time creating a report that scores in all aspects. 

  1. Determine the purpose of the financial report. This will help guide the content and format of the report.

  2. Gather all necessary financial data and ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date.

  3. Use a template as a starting point for the report’s layout and design. At the same time, make sure to customize it to fit the specific needs of your organization or business.

  4. Keep the report organized and easy to read, using clear headings, bullet points, and other formatting tools.

  5. Include all relevant financial information, such as revenue, expenses, and profits.

  6. Use interactive charts and graphs you can find on Infogram to make the data easier to understand and analyze.

  7. Highlight important financial metrics, such as return on investment and net income.

  8. Include a summary or executive summary at the beginning of the report to provide a quick overview of the financial performance.

  9. Include an explanation of any unusual or significant changes in financial performance. However, try to keep it short and easy to read.

  10. Proofread the report various times to ensure that there are no errors or mistakes in the data and the way it’s represented.


Creating financial reports doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. By using financial report templates, gathering the necessary data, and following the tips outlined in this guide, you can create accurate and informative financial reports that can help you make better business decisions. Remember to always make use of examples of different types of financial reports and seek advice if needed.