The deadline for submitting to ABACUS-18, the American Booksellers Association’s annual financial benchmarking survey, is Wednesday, June 12.
ABACUS is a free, exclusive member benefit for participating bookstores. The customized reports and online tools that reporting stores receive in return for filling out the survey provide a full picture of a bookstore’s financial performance, presented with benchmarking information across a number of categories, including sales volume, profitability, and market size. In addition to the detailed overall and store-specific reports, ABACUS’ online tools allow participating stores to generate additional dynamic reports.
By becoming part of the ABACUS community of participating bookstores, booksellers will receive:
- a full ABACUS benchmarking report (including comparative financial ratios, operations data, and company profile information),
- a customized bookstore performance report, and
- a range of online reporting tools that provide a wide variety of specific analyses, allowing stores to evaluate performance versus similar companies and track their company’s performance over time against the industry results, among other criteria.
“ABACUS is essential to validating our store’s performance to those outside our business, from the landlord and banker to business consultants and community investors. ABACUS is a convincing industry standard that proves our model works,” said Nicole Magistro of The Bookworm of Edwards in Edwards, Colorado.
“I’ve been completing the ABACUS survey and using the results every year since I bought Red Balloon in 2011. It is such an important planning tool for me, and now that the results are coming back earlier, it is even more helpful,” said Holly Weinkauf of the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minnesota. “These numbers give me more perspective on how our bookstore is doing and helps our bookstore set financial goals for the coming year. Thank you ABA for doing this survey every year!”
This year, ABA will again be working to compile and create the ABACUS report with Industry Insights, of Dublin, Ohio, a company that has worked with associations for more than 35 years in preparing studies of business demographics, operations information, and financial ratios. In compiling the data and preparing individual reports, no one from ABA ever sees any store’s individual data, which is only available to select staff at Industry Insights and kept strictly confidential.
ABA member bookstores received an e-mail from Michael Becher of Industry Insights on May 6 with instructions on how to access this year’s survey. The subject line of the e-mail, which was sent to the primary contact at all main store locations, was “ABACUS-18 Benchmarking Survey.” (Booksellers are encouraged to check with their colleagues or in their spam folder if they did not receive the e-mail.)