How Is A Business Report Different From Academic Report

How Is A Business Report Different From Academic Report

Regardless of its type, writing has always been challenging for students. But making a comparison between different types of writing is necessary. The comparison lets you structure the business report and academic report effectively. You can also adjust the style and target the right audience by knowing their difference.

The fundamental problem is that many students cannot differentiate between business and academic reports. They think that academic reports are business reports. However, in reality, both are different from each other. Before moving towards differences among the two, let us start with their definition to establish a basic level of understanding.

What Is An Academic And Business Report?

Academic report is much more formal in academic writing and backed with evidence from previous research. Basically, students are assigned to write assignments and dissertations by teachers. This writing type is academic and requires students to pass their university semester. Research papers written by professors and researchers are also examples of academic reports.

On the other hand, a business report includes more professional content than academic. This type of report contains writing based on primary data and talks only about the company’s goals, objectives and finances. The ongoing and previous projects are mentioned in the report. Thus, a business report is more business-centric, including promotional content.

How Do They Differ?

You must have developed a broader understanding of the two reports from the introduction. A more detailed discussion on the differences is mentioned below. Thus, do not go anywhere and give this complete article a fine read. I assure you that after reading this article, you will have a detailed understanding of business and academic reports and be able to create both reports in an effective way.


Before starting, knowing the prompt or cause of the writing is the most crucial aspect. Most students write their academic reports because their teachers prompt them. The academic reports are primarily designed on the requirements of the instructor. On the other hand, business reports are a little different in their cause. Most business reports are promotional that contain the promotion of a product or service. The prompt of a business report is a personal initiative or organisation need.


Both academic and business reports differ in their purpose. An academic report mainly aims to get good grades or share knowledge. The researchers publish their reports to get promoted to higher positions and share the new knowledge of their particular field. At the same time, students prepare these reports to fulfil the course requirements. The purpose of a business report is very different from an academic one. These reports are written to attract new customers, report the company’s sales, and share the long term goals of company with the general audience.


The audience plays an important role in the success of any report. After all, it is the people who read every published report. An academic report always targets the academic audience. For example, the students or other researchers read publications of other authors. However, the business person will not be interested in scientific discoveries. Therefore, it is necessary to analyse the audience before writing your report. For example, stakeholders, customers, and employees are the audience of a business report, so you must write your business report accordingly.

Structure and Genre

Every genre of writing follows a unique structure. Academic reports like term papers, oral reports and journals follow a standard structure. On the other hand, a business report includes memos, audit reports or business plans. All these reports have a proper structure. For instance, a memo consists of only 2 to 3 pages and serve as a business report. Thus, the structure of any report must base on its genre or type of writing.


The constraints also dictate the report writing. In academic reports, the constraints are less, and the writers can include their opinion too. It is very much flexible in most cases. Exceptions also exist in academic reports, e.g., expository reports do not include the writer’s opinion. On the other hand, a business report has many constraints like business environment, industry jargon etc. The writer of such a report cannot include his opinions or thoughts.


Content is also a significant difference in academic and business reports. The academic reports contain purely academic content. The author of a report takes help from the available knowledge to support his point or research. He can add any point relevant to the context of the report. In contrast, the business reports have content purely related to the company. For instance, an audit business report contains content related to the company’s finances. There will be numbers and long equations related to company finances.


One significant difference lies in the length of both reports. Academic reports are generally longer, up to several hundred pages. You may take a dissertation as an example whose average page count is around 100 pages. On the other hand, the business reports are shorter. They may be up to 20 to 30 pages or even less than that. The longest business reports are the audit reports. An ordinary report takes about three months to complete. Now, you can imagine the length of a report that takes three months to complete. Thus, the length is also a governing factor in an academic and business report.

Design and Format

The last difference lies in the design and format. Academic reports follow designs suggested by the instructors. Many countries differ in the rules of formatting. However, the standard format of an academic report includes the text of 12 font sizes, headers and footers. On the contrary, a business report does not follow a standard design pattern. Most business reports are full of images, logos and bar charts. Therefore, designing a standard format is difficult. The headings and subheadings are always prominent in this report. Information is mainly presented in the form of bullet designs.


These are some of the significant differences between an academic and business report. These differences are essential to know when developing such reports. The differences mentioned here are only the major ones. You can look for other differences on the internet.