The direct order is usually best, especially for an assigned problem-solving report, but if you will be proposing
something that readers may not be immediately ready for, the indirect order (with an opening like the “common
ground” opening described in Chapter 6) would probably be wiser.
Audit reports are wri,en to hold organizations accountable to standards that they are required to meet.
While audit reports can assess an organization’s finance, operations (for example, do they comply with safety or
environmental-protection standards?), or compliance with a contract (is the new assembly line being built to
specifications?), the most common type is that wri,en by an accounting firm to verify the truthfulness of a
company’s financial reports.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has exponentially increased the number of audit reports that companies must
prepare and submit to various regulatory parties.
Audit reports can be short or long in form. In accounting, short forms are a statement of the auditor’s opinion. Long
forms vary greatly, defying any typical form.
Meeting minutes are an example of reports in business that do not recommend or even conclude anything—they
simply describe what happened. Trip reports and incident reports also fall into this category, and you and your
students may think of others.
Minutes provide a wri,en record of a group’s activities and decisions during a meeting.
Announcements, reports, signiticant discussions, and decisions are usually included in summary form.
Minutes should be recorded in objective language, and only resolutions should be recorded word for word. The
writer has to use his or her judgment when recording and preparing the minutes since there is a danger of
furthering some participants’ political interests and not others.