What’s the process for designing an annual report?

If you’re looking for help designing your company’s annual report, we’ve answered some of the questions we’re commonly asked about the process.

Do I need an annual report?

Many Australian companies are required to produce annual financial reports to inform shareholders and other interested parties about the financial performance of their business. Companies who must lodge reports with ASIC include those dealing with substantial sums of money, publicly listed companies and not-for-profit organisations. Some companies are also required to report on a more regular basis, for example quarterly or half-yearly. Click here for more information on who needs to report, and how often.

When do I have to produce my annual report?

Your annual report must be lodged with ASIC or the ASX within three or four months after the end of the financial year, depending on what type of company you are. Public companies are also required to hold an Annual General Meeting within five months after the end of the financial year, so many companies send out their annual reports with their Notice of Annual General Meeting, which must be mailed to shareholders at least 28 calendar days before the meeting.

Why do I need to hire a professional graphic designer to produce my annual report? Can’t I just lodge a Word document?

Yes, you can. But many companies rightly view their annual report as a marketing tool as well as a regulatory requirement. A well-designed report that includes information about the company’s operational activity and achievements as well as the financial report instils confidence in your stakeholders, demonstrating your professionalism, commitment and credibility as a company.

Do I have to print copies of my annual report, or can I just make it available on my website?

Most companies do make their annual report available online, but current Australian legislation also requires all companies to provide a hard copy of their annual report to any shareholder who requests it. For some companies, this may mean only a handful of printed copies are required. For others, it might mean hundreds or even thousands, so professional printing becomes more cost-effective than other means of production. And some companies choose to send printed copies to all their shareholders, especially if the report is being used as a marketing tool.

How long does it take to design and print an annual report?

Lead times for design and production will vary depending on the complexity and size of your report, and how many hard copies you’re producing. We have been known to move mountains when required, but when you’re planning your report the following timeframes will help to ensure that everything is delivered on time with minimal stress:

Quoting: 2 working days
Design: 3 working days
Typesetting and layout: 5 working days
Internal review and amendments: 7 working days
Proofs: 2-3 working days
Printing: 7-10 working days
Mailhouse: 3 working days

Who organises the printing and distribution?

Some companies handle this internally, and others get their share registry to do it, but for most of our clients we manage the whole process. Our suppliers can print your report, prepare your mailout and lodge it with Australia Post, so the process is as streamlined and efficient as possible.

How much does it cost?

How much it costs will depend on how much work is involved. If you want us to design a report with all the bells and whistles to send to all your shareholders, you’ll need a bigger budget than you would for a simple report and a short print run. We are happy to look at solutions to fit your budget. Our quotes are based on an estimate of the time we will need to spend, and we pay trade prices to our suppliers, so you may be surprised at how cost-effective it can be to get a polished, professional annual report delivered stress-free and without the headaches of managing the process in-house!

Contact us for more information or a quote on your upcoming annual report.