What is a MIS Report? Meaning, Types & Examples

MIS Report stands for Management Information Systems, it's an encompassing term for a set of reports that allow the business functions to be analyzed.

Ron Pearson

What is a MIS Report? Meaning, Types & Examples

As a small business owner, you may have come across the concept of an MIS report. Referring to key business reports that help you analyze your business function, MIS reports are an essential concept to understand. That's why we have compiled this short guide on what an MIS report is, how it works, what its components are, the different types of MIS reports, and why they are essential.

What is MIS Reporting?

MIS Report stands for Management Information System and is an umbrella term to describe a set of reports that give a view of the day-to-day activities of a business which allows your business's functions to be analyzed. They are required by the management of a company to assess its performance and optimize decision-making. Business operations can entail hundreds of e.g., transactions per day and those will be documented. So, an example of an MIS report is a sales summary report. Crucial business dealings are recorded in those reports which is why small business owners must understand these management control reports.

MIS reports are typically prepared for the management of a business based on (automatically-)collected data on the company. MIS Reports consider different data from various sources - both digital and human. They consist of several different reports, covering various departments of a business and provide a useful tool for evaluating a company's performance and making well-informed decisions. They can help you identify problems, pressure points, bottlenecks, and opportunities within your company. MIS reports are likely to change from business to business depending on what needs to be viewed and why.

How Does MIS Reporting Work?

Of course, the exact process of MIS reporting depends on the company in question. Some businesses might, for instance, take trending data, automated digital data, or data supplied by staff members. Some MIS reports are prepared periodically (e.g., monthly or quarterly). These reports are prepared by different departments in a company and presented to the company’s management team.

When properly formatted, they can tell you how profitable a product or business area is, if you are considering expansion, how your business operations are doing, or highlight any problem areas or parts of the business that need resource attention.

Some companies are using automatic management information systems (MIS) - in this case, raw data is of the essence. The database will likely be connected to all the core parts of a business's operations to pull data. The system then manipulates the data to create specific reports where required. This requires a system of complete, error-free, timely, reliable, and relevant data.

The results of these reports can be highly informative. For example, if you analyze the variance between your business's estimated target compared with the achieved results demonstrated in your MIS report, your business may be able to identify and adopt new practices that would result in higher performance.

What Are The Components Of A Mis Report?

MIS Reports will vary between different organizations and be dependent on their end need - but most MIS reports will be made up of: 

  • Data: This can be sourced digitally, or collected automatically or manually
  • People: Those feeding into the end report and those reading and utilizing the results
  • Business Procedures: System of recording, storing, and analyzing the data in question
  • Hardware: The physical elements of your business whether that’s the office photocopier or a set of servers
  • Software: Programs that can be used to analyze and present data (alternatively, you can use e.g., Microsoft Excel)

What Are The Different Types of MIS Reports?

There are several different types of MIS reports. Which ones apply to you depends on several factors.

  1. Summary MIS report: Summary reports aggregate all information and data to showcase a clear holistic picture of your business's finances.
  2. Trend MIS report: Trend reports are used to compare your business's past performance with the present. This can help you understand how well your business, or parts of it, are performing.
  3. Sales MIS report: Sales reports typically include an overview/ visual of products sold during a specific period (e.g., month or quarter). This helps you understand the sales variance in your company (i.e. the difference between budgeted and actual sales) as well as other factors, such as the geographical distribution of products sold.
  4. Profit MIS report: Profit reports showcase the difference between actual and estimated profit generated by your company. This could also look at factors that led to profit or less in a specific period.
  5. Inventory MIS report: Inventory reports help you understand and manage the products in your business's inventory. This should include the number of items in stock, best-selling products, top-selling categories of products, etc. This can help inform business decisions considerably.
  6. Cashflow MIS report: Cash flow reports identify and show the exact amount of cash inflow and cash outflow in your company. The report will typically include cash flows from your company’s operations (the core business), and any investments and financing, such as external investors. This provides you with an insightful overview of the financial state of your company.
  7. Accounting MIS report: Accounting reports refers to several different financial documents. This describes all reports concerned with a company's financial position, operational performance, and economic activities of the business.
  8. Exception MIS report: Exception reports present all "exceptions", i.e. any abnormal or unusual circumstances within your business. This can help you identify problems and potential issues in your business early to react in time.

Why Are MIS Reports Important?

There are several reasons why MIS reports are important. They can help highlight problems areas in your company which can help when making resource and investment decisions. If you are looking to expand or seeking investment, an MIS report can help answer the more important initial questions. But even if you are not looking to change the status quo, regular MIS reports help track the financial health and productivity of a business. They also facilitate communication, both internally and externally. Employees can have an easy overview of how the business is performing and where improvements are needed, while external communication with e.g., investors can be helped by a well-informed overview of your company's performance.

MIS Report FAQs 

  • Who uses MIS Reports?

MIS reports are typically used by the management of a business to understand how the company is performing and inform decision-making.

  • How do I make an MIS Report in Excel?

You can make an MIS report in Excel by using functions such as formulas, pivot tables, graphs, and charts. There are several free guides and tutorials available online.

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