If you have ever been curious about how your independent bookstore shapes up compared to others — whether in terms of key expense categories or sales performance — each year, the American Booksellers Association offers you an opportunity to find out.
ABACUS is a free annual report that provides detailed information about where your store falls across a range of areas, including profitability, productivity, and financial management. Having access to the ABACUS report is like adding a financial officer to your staff; it can inform you of areas that need improvement, areas in which your store is succeeding, and everything in between.
The annual survey that informs the report opens in early May, and booksellers who fill it out will receive in return a customized report in September. The more stores that fill out the survey, the more robust the reports will be.
Much of the information needed to fill out the survey will come from a store’s income statement and balance sheet, and all data shared through the ABACUS survey is confidential. Booksellers have several weeks in which to complete the survey, and the survey can be saved in progress and returned to at any time.
Questions about the ABACUS survey and report can be addressed to ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen.
For more information about ABACUS, check out the members-only materials on the ABA Education Resources page.