An effective format for a sales report reflects the nature of the sales date and the company from which it comes, often featuring a series of columns that display the total values over a set period of time along with an accompanying graph or chart of the information. The format should also allow for fluid changes to date ranges or data amounts at any time.
Many companies create sales reports in a spreadsheet program because it allows users to organize date in a uniform and consistent manner, insert formulas to automatically complete calculations and utilize charts to add an accurate visual element. The specific formatting for the report should consider the nature of the data and what factors the company finds most important. For example, a retail business may place the highest significance in the total number of units each of its products sells, and thus call for a formatting that places this information in clear view.
Spreadsheet programs also allow customized cells at headers or titles, housing text that explains the numbers appearing beneath. It is also important to include a date range in the report, both in the title and as part of the actual data. This allows the correlation of specific data points to an exact date range and makes the reports more specific and actionable. It also allows easy modification of the data to cover an exact date through the programs filtering options.