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Mid-April, 2020
Bizminer has posted calendar year-end 2019 data in its flagship financial reports. This is the earliest year-end posting ever of Bizminer financial updates and marks a company milestone in efficient product turnaround that we intend to maintain and improve. (Note that these are year-end numbers, not to be confused with older fiscal year data labeled as 2019 by some competitors.) Year-end 2019 values are now displayed in our Industry Financial series for all 5000 IF industries, local and US versions in all sales class breakouts.

Also included in the 2019 data release: the SWOT-XPRESS and the Micro-Firm Profit-Loss series which has transitioned to the new Sole Proprietorship Industry Financial series with substantial formatting and content improvements. Note that CSV transition mapping from the Micro-Firm series to the Sole Proprietorship Industry Financial series can be found here. Improvements over the now sunset Micro-Firm series include:

Format Enhancements:
• The html report format is presented in an updated tabular framework similar to the current Industry Financial series.
• Optional branding tools have been added for developers and subject firms.
• Charting design and features have been enhanced, including dynamic text and optional editable comments.
• PDF and CSV design presentations have been improved.
• For clients who upload csv content, re-mapping files are presented on your report storage page (myreports).

Content Enhancements:
• An Owner Earnings line similar to the Discretionary Owner Earnings presented in our Industry Financial series, has been added.
• Two ratios have been added: Owner Earnings per Employee and Owner Earnings/Net Profit. Problematic individual ratio scores are red-flagged on the same tab.
• If optional inputs are populated, a new Summary Scores section displays benchmark scores for various ratios on a scale of 1-5 by ratio category. Individual ratio benchmark scores are displayed in the three Ratios tabs (Cash Flow-Solvency; Profitability; Efficiency).
• Redundant Average Monthly Cash Tables have been eliminated.

Cost of Sales-Labor line item revisions: Due to improved protocols for the analysis of the Cost of Sales-Labor line item in both the Industry Financial and Sole Proprietorship Financial series, we have made the unusual decision to restate that stand-alone line item for legacy years in a large number of industries. This is decision was based in part on the understanding that COS-L is an independent line item which is not applied to the calculation of any summary line items, bottom line metrics or financial ratios.

The LOOK UP! Crisis Period Public Service Initiative
In mid-April, Bizminer also released its LOOK UP! public service initiative
, which provides any business owner with free updates of our customizable Monthly Small Business Monitor. The Monitor bundle was developed in response to the current medical, social and economic coronavirus crisis, and includes industry financial and market intelligence that lets small business owners assess and plan their re-entry into their local or national market. Content includes monthly SWOT-XPRESS updates and a special summary version of our Industry Financial reports. Business that sign on to LOOK UP! will continue to receive the free, refreshed content bundle for the duration of the crisis.

February-March, 2020
Bizminer has released its complete electronic valuation report tool, the Vestimate-Pro. Each 35 page report integrates a convenient set of firm inputs with industry size-specific valuation multiples with financial ratio and industry market KPIs, critical subjective assessment scores and optional narrative to produce the market's most complete, transparent and holistic business value report. The Vestimate-Pro is available as a stand-alone report, or as part of Bizminer's Gold Suite, Valuation Toolkit and Trusted Advisor license options. Co-publishing opportunities are available. Note: The Vestimate-Pro report does not constitute a certified valuation.

December, 2019
The 2019q2 trailing twelve months industry financial update has been released, covering both the US Industry Financial and Local Industry financial series. The new update includes the five calendar years 2014-2018 and an add for 2019q2 TTM. Bizminer is the only credible publisher of online industry financial benchmarks to produce this interim release.

As of this release, we've revised our definition of the informal Discretionary Owner Earnings metric to apply Pre-Tax Net Profit rather than After Tax Net Profit to the complete DOE calculations (Officers' Compensation+Depreciation+Net Profit). The revised definition brings our DOE more in line with common usage. The change does not affect any other Profit-Loss line items or traditional KPIs, but will affect the Owner Earnings/Per Employee ratio included in Industry Financial reports. For consistency, the change in definition has been applied to current and legacy years in this and future releases.

During the update process, we identified and corrected errors in two legacy year balance sheet line items: Gross Fixed Assets and Accumulated Depreciation. Where needed, these have been corrected. Neither line item impinges on any other values in the report; it does not affect other balance sheet lines or ratios.

November, 2019
More New Content: Bizminer released its fast and easy SWOT-XPRESS product, a simple yet comprehensive benchmark and analytical tool for use with prospects and clients. The SWOT-XPRESS integrates Bizminer analytics with firm inputs create financial, market and value insights. Each SWOT-XPRESS includes quantified strengths, weaknesses and SWOT scores for virtually any US business operation.

Correction: Because we were able to expand the available sales class selection in the General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance-Truckload industry (NAICS-484121) in June 2018, we re-ran a dump of the data (a practice for US Industry Financials to accelerate customer load times). Some wires were apparently crossed during the dump, and 2015 percentages for both the Profit-Loss and Balance Sheet somehow over-wrote the correct 2014 data in the June 2019 update, resulting in duped data displays for 2014-15 in both sales classes. The correct data has been retrieved and reapplied to the two affected reports (sales class $1m-$2.5m and $2.5m-$5m). We have also re-run any related roll up reports (e.g., industry-wide) to incorporate the revised 2014 values.

August, 2019
New Content: Bizminer released the Company Insight series with financial, market and value insights and projections for almost 10 million US business establishments. Enrich your CRM or prospect lists with search-by-name or batch to create formatted Insight reports or CRM-ready files.

Some Micro-Firm Sole Proprietorship reports were adjusted by removing legacy year displays for which data was not available, and in some cases, re-calibrating Net Profit values in 2014-15 data.

July, 2019
Due to an electronic glitch, Cost of Sales metrics in the Industry Financial series, which had displayed duplicate year-to-year values (2016-18) for 5241xx and 813xxx classifications, have been corrected. In no case did the multi-year change from the incorrectly displayed duplicates sum to more than 0.46%.

June, 2019
Year-end 2018 Financial Series Posted: Bizminer has added year-end 2018 content to all Industry Financial series. Updated reports include three new ratios: Net Profit per Employee and Owner Earnings per Employee (both found on the Profitability ratios report tabs); and our Efficiency Index (Sales per Employee/Average Annual Wage) which is categorized with related ratios on the Efficiency tab.

March, 2019
Bizminer's new tools for fast, easy business market value projections have been updated to include business transactional content through year-end 2018. Review the entire three-tool package or focus on our new Valuation Multiples tool with over 1000 industry options and four sales groups.

February, 2019
The 2019 update of our Sales per Square Foot report was released on February 25. Read more about this report here.

A reclassification review indicated the need to revise primary NAICS categories for several thousand specialized long-distance trucking operations (NAICS 484121) into the general trucking operation code (NAICS 484230). This revision was activated on February 27 and is reflected throughout our reporting series.

January, 2019
Phase one of the refreshed Industry Market 2.1 series has been launched. Industry Market reports now display the same streamlined format as our recently posted Industry Financial 2.0 reports. Industry Market 2.1 has added new metrics and charts. We are also working hard to consolidate the robust industry analytical content of 2.1 with the dynamic narrative of our Competitive Market Narrative series; we expect to deliver the final integrated result during the first quarter of 2019.

December, 2018
Bizminer has posted it's winter Industry Financial 2.0 series update. As always, this update retains five calendar years of reporting and adds an additional Trailing Twelve Months metrics through the end of June of the current (2018) calendar year. To our knowledge, we remain the only analytics firm to post industry financial updates on a bi-annual basis.

November, 2018
Bizminer launched the Industry Financial 2.0 series in early November. THE IF 2.0 consolidates and enhances two sunset products: the Industry Financial 1.0 and Bizbenchmarker series, adding an impressive list of visual and content improvements including:

  • Easy-to-digest benchmark graphics
  • Total control over content display
  • Co-branded reports
  • Benchmark KPI scoring
  • Default smart text scoring comments
  • Edit and Custom comment options
  • Easy tab navigation
  • Additional ratio and variance metrics

  • September, 2018
    Incorrectly displayed firm counts were corrected in eight NAICS-6 classifications. Changes in the Firms Analyzed tables did not affect either percentage or dollar values in related reports. These NAICS-6 experienced revisions in the count of displayed firms in one or more sales classes: 221118; 524113; 524126; 525990; 532112; 561499; 621493; 722310; 813920. Corresponding changes were also made to firm counts in a larger number of specialty (NAICS 6+2 and 6+4) classifications.

    Outlier data was identified and removed in the Industry Financial and Bizbenchmarker series for NAICS 321920, resulting in slight changes to small business P&L calculations.

    August, 2018
    Incorrect roll-up calculations were identified and rectified in some Local Industry Financial reports. Roll-up errors were discovered in selected industries and markets. Revised roll-up calculations were posted, affecting firm counts and in some cases, financial data in those reports.

    No individual sales class reports were affected or revised, and issues affected only the Local Industry Financial series.

    In addition, erroneous 2015 employment and sales values were identified in NAICS 713940 Market Analysis reports and corrected on August 28. The error was due to a failure of our filters to flag an unusual spike in the 2015 data.

    July, 2018
    Along with a complete refresh of the Bizminer site front-end, we're excited to announce the launch of our new Vestimate™ Business Value report series. The Vestimate™ series provides business value estimates for over 12 million US business operations updated monthly. 5000 industry options, any market radius, quartile values, ranges and unlimited "what if?" analyses. Available as single reports or with a Vestimate™ Business Value series license.

    June, 2018
    Bizminer has released year-end 2017 financial content in the Industry Financial, Bizbenchmarker and Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series. Due to Cost of Sales-Labor recalculations in NAICS 2-3-4-5 rollups, that line item varies slightly from legacy year values in the newly posted reports.

    Industry Financial reports have added a Modified Z-Score for all years, located in the Efficiency-Debt-Risk ratios section of every reports. The original Z-Score calculations have been modified to use Discretionary Owner Earnings instead of Net Profit; and Net Worth in place of Retained Earnings in order to create scores that maximize the relevance to small and private operations.

    February, 2018
    BizMiner has released an expanded and reformatted version of the customizable Competitive Market Narrative series (formerly Competitive Market Analyzer). The refreshed report series deepens the narrative story of any client firm in any local US market. Select from more than 9000 available industries.

    Also just released: The 2018 Sales per Square Foot report analyzing 87 companies and over 129,000 storefronts. Get it here.

    January, 2018
    Because outlier data was not properly excluded from our originally posted reports, we have re-calculated Industry Financial and Bizbenchmarker content for NAICS-4411xx industries and re-posted the reports with correctly filtered values. The impact in general increases industry returns for most segments in all currently posted reporting years. There is no impact in any Market Analysis content series.

    December, 2017
    Just Posted: Updated Financial Content
    Industry financial analysis content has been updated to include data for the 12 running months ending June 30, 2017. There is no more recent industry financial content on the market.

    In both the Industry Financial and BizBenchmarker series: We've added three new sales class rollup options for small ($1-$5m); medium ($5m-$25m) and large firms (>$25m). The new rollups will be especially helpful to those looking for specialty industry segment financials in small metro areas that previously may not have included a large enough data pool to display reports. Of course, our standard 12-sales class breakouts are still available as well.

    Updated report series include:
    • Industry Financial Profiles: Best for valuation, business plans and corporate benchmarking: Rock-solid industry financial ratios, balance sheet and detailed Profit & Loss statements. US, state and metro level reports.
    • BizBenchmarker Reports: Best for use with clients. Easy to understand comparative financial scores, trends, and vivid, customizable color graphics. US, State and Metro versions with 23 financial ratios, detailed profit & loss and balance sheet.
    • Micro-Firm Profit-Loss Reports: Best for sole proprietorships: 1040C format startup or sole proprietorship profit-loss with benchmarks with eight ratios.

    August, 2017
    We recently developed and integrated an additional set of data filters designed to catch more duplicate industry establishment-level values in our industry market content. These deduping filters reduce duplicate counts of industry operations and other metrics. The overall impact will be most easily seen in our contact lists, but will also cause (usually slight) changes in our Industry Market Report and Competitive Market Narrative metrics for 2014-2015-2016. The changes before and after applying our new filters to each annual data is:

    2014: -0.6%
    2015: -0.7%
    2016: -0.7%

    June, 2017
    Industry Market Series:
    • Time series updates to 2014-2015-2016-February 2017 with refreshed final data each month
    • The all-new Industry Market reports are significantly expanded to a 32-page report with many added metrics, clearer formatting, inputs and customization options, radius market analysis capability and intelligent industry maps
    • Spreadsheet files have been revised to accommodate new IMR metrics; a file-map from the legacy to current CSV metrics is provided at
    • The competitive Market Analyzer series is in the process of a major format and metric overall that matches the IMR; publication is expected in August under the new reporting series name Competitive Market Narrative
    • The Competitive Market Narrative series was updated to year-end 2016 in July 2017.

    • Industry Financial Series:
    • Industry Financial series content has been updated to 2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
    • BizBenchmarker series content has been updated to 2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
    • Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series content has been updated to 2012-2013-2014-2015-2016
    • Industry Financial spreadsheet files have been revised to rationalize additions to previous IF CSV releases; a file-map from the legacy to current CSV metrics is provided at
    • We anticipate adding a full set of variance metrics to both the If and MF series by the end of the summer; variances are already displayed in the BizBenchmarker series.
    • Both the IF and MF series will also be reformatted for clarity and easier browsing in August.

    • December 2016
      Updated reports have been released for the Industry Financial, BizBenchmarker and Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series. These financial series now display data through the end of the second quarter of 2016 in addition to five full years of calendar data (2011-2015). Industry Market and Competitive Market Narrative reports as well as the BizMarkets2Go series, continue to be updated monthly.

      Due to a processing error, some local industry financial rollups (NAICS-3-4-5) previously displayed incorrect firm counts for the 2011 reporting year. This issue has now been corrected in all cases.

      November 2016
      BizMiner has updated its Industry Market and Competitive Market Narrative series with the publication of 2016q2 data. Both the IMR and CMA continue to publish summary monthly updates until the following full release in the Spring. BizMarkets2Go likewise continues to publish entirely new industry data sets each month.

      Some legacy year values in the IMR series have changed slightly due to improvements in our business record de-duping procedures. Text regarding household income data in the CMA series has also been revised to more clearly reflect the use of American Community Survey data published by the US Census Bureau.

      Due to an electronic linkage error, some 2014 Industry Financial series values for NAICS 722511 and 722513 have been revised. The data had displayed static Asset:Sales values for 2014, resulting in incorrect displays of balance sheet and selected ratio information. All reports have now been updated to display the correct 2014 Asset:Sales and other value.

      June-July 2016
      BizMiner has posted the remaining content updates for year-end 2015, including these series: Industry Financial; Micro-Firm Profit and Loss; BizBenchmarker; Competitive Market Narrative. Like BizMarkets2Go Industry Radius Profiles and the Industry Market Report series, the Competitive Market Narrative now includes monthly updates of key metrics including business count, industry market volume and average site sales for the selected industry and market area.

      More Industry Market Report Data in June 2016:
      Monthly data updates with each report: The Industry Market Report series now includes monthly update of critical information specific to the selected industry and market area, including an updated establishment count, total industry market volume and average industry market site sales. This data will change dynamically in reports month-by-month, usually with a 2-month real-time lag. (For example, real-time April 2016 data will appear in the June release report, which includes base report information for year-end 2013-14-15.) The monthly update appears on P1 of each IMR below the time Series table in the upper right hand side. Data updates will discontinue with the issuance of each new base report release (twice a year).
      Market Area Population Demographics now in every IMR: All Industry Market reports now include a detailed set of population demographics for the selected market area, including population breakouts by sex and race; by educational attainment; by employment and income; and housing detail.
      Taxonomy: Several taxonomy changes have been developed to more closely align our classification with official NAICS descriptions. Most of these changes affect relatively small numbers of establishments and have nominal impact on their old and new classifications. However, others involved the transfer of several thousand operations between classifications. The most significant,  including some which have a large impact on NAICS-6 parents metrics, are these:

      Industry Segment

      OLD CODE

      NEW CODE

      Gutter Specialists



      Septic System Contractors



      Swimming Pool Construction



      Logs and Timber Wholesale



      Bail Bondsmen



      Web Site Design Services



      Bill Reviewing Service






      Auto Machine Shops






      Both current and legacy year values have been adjusted to align with the taxonomy revisions.

      Other: All base report industry market data, including the Industry Market Report and Competitive Market Narrative, have been updated to year-end 2015 content. BizMarkets2Go reports are updated monthly and market performance metrics for those reports. This release marks a distinct acceleration in real-time BizMiner market data, which has previously been posted about 6 months after the actual time series point. (Financial metrics in the CMA and B2Go series will be updated with the release of new BizMiner financial benchmarking content in late June). Industry performance data in BizMarkets2Go Market Radius Profiles and the update data in the Industry Market series will now be synched.
      The June 2016 update also includes revised sales per employee and related sales data, based on upgraded industry price and productivity projections.

      March 2016
      A correction has been made to establishment counts and related sales metrics in 7225xx (Eating Places) classifications due to previous double counting of some establishments in the Full-Serve (722511) and Limited Serve (722513) categories. Data in those NAICS-6 classifications has been revised, eliminating duplications found in the prior release. In order to differentiate these revised results, Industry Market and Competitive Market Analysis reports with a December 2015 release date have been re-posted with a March 2016 release date in the header of the report, although only 7225xx reports have been revised. Customers with 7225xx reports in their accounts from the December 2015 release will find that those reports have been updated to the revised March 2015 release. Any customer who accessed a December 7225xx report release can obtain a copy of the original by contacting the BizMiner office by email or phone.

      As a result of the above, firm counts may be altered in some corresponding financial reports, although the P&L, Balance sheet and ratio analyses will not be affected.

      With this interim posting, we've also slightly changed the format of the Industry Market reports. In the Average Annual Sales table, local reports now display the full times series of average annual startup sales (instead of one). This change was due to distortions which tended to occur in the average local Firm sales calculations for industries with high proportions of branches. The Firms metric is retained in the US reports. Growth indices which compared industry to national all-industry patterns have been eliminated from the US reports, although the indices comparing local and national industry trends are retained in the local reports.

      In both US and local Industry Market Report series, we are making way for additional new metrics which will be posted in the June 2016 release, including five-year growth projections for most industries.

      We have also posted a number of taxonomy revisions that at some level affect 95 NAICS-6 codes. The volume and impact of these sub-industry realignments on most NAICS-6 industries is quite small: Of the 15,415 reporting and feeder classifications in our proprietary industry taxonomy, changes these category re-alignments affected less than 2% of our industry segments, and still fewer actual reporting classifications. The most significant impacts are found in transfers to the Education sector (NAICS-61) from a number of other service-specific classifications; and in NAICS 541511 (Custom Computer Programming Services), which now incorporates what had been classified as 519130.0203 (Web Site Design Services). These are among the few sector-to-sector transfers involved in the process. In general, while the partial realignment of highly detailed industry segments was necessary to align with current NAICS definitions, the proportional impact on most industry segment metrics was quite small. No legacy year financial data was affected by this process.

      February 2016
      After conversations with several practitioners pursuant to the allocation changes we made to NAICS 5613xx financial reports in August 2015 (see below), it is clear that there are multiple legitimate approaches to allocating client compensation costs in NAICS 5613xx Profit and Loss tables. Approaches include allocating to Cost of Sales, to Sales General and Administrative, and in some cases, to Benefits or Wages-Salary line items—or to combinations of the above. Although there is no possible resolution which will satisfy all current approaches, we have recast our 5613xx reports to consolidate all identifiable client compensation costs to Cost of Sales.

      Additionally, stand-alone ATM locations previously classified as "establishments" have been deleted from NAICS 522110 reports.

      January, 2015
      Sales per Employee Enhancement: We have completed the integration of the final NAICS sector (Agriculture-Forestry-Fishing-Hunting sector: NAICS 11) with the Economic Census. Those values are now reflected in the current release in both the IMR and CMA series, superseding our posting last month. As a result, Industry Market and Competitive Market Narrative series reports will display limited comparability with prior releases in some industries and market areas.

      December, 2015
      Taxonomy Review: In the course of a data review, it was discovered that several thousand establishments (of over 15 million) that had been classified in various sectors were government entities (which we do not normally include in our taxonomy). As a result, we have purged these records from our databases. This has caused changes, mostly minor, in industry market reports for about a dozen NAICS classifications. The changes affected more than 3% of the industry population for industry market reporting purposes in six classifications: NAICS 115310; 237310; 531311; 622310; 624310; and 712190. Firm counts in financial reports (but not reporting values) were affected in only two industries: 237310 and 712190 and related rollups (e.g., NAICS-2373-237-23).

      Sales per Employee Enhancement: In this release, we have continued to incorporate newly released portions of the Economic Census into our methodology, and integrated those values into business operations in the current time series reporting years in both the IMR and CMA series. This local data was previously incorporated into the Mining (NAICS 21), Construction (NAICS 23) and Manufacturing (NAICS 31) sectors. Newly incorporated data will be evident in local Industry Market and Competitive Market Narrative series reports in the NAICS sectors: Wholesale (42); Transport (48); Information (51); Finance (52); Real Estate-Rental (53); Professional-Technical Services (54); Administration-Waste Management (56); Education (61); Health (62); Amusement-Entertainment (71); Accommodation-Food Services (72); Other Services (81). As a result of these improvements, Industry Market and Competitive Market Narrative series reports in will display limited comparability with prior releases in some industries and market areas.

      Financial Report Firm Counts: Our data review found display errors in the firm counts throughout the local financial report series. All P&L and Balance Sheet metrics were correct as displayed in all specific industry sales classes.
      These percentage and dollar metrics and ratios in the all local financial sales class reports remain unchanged; only the firm count display, not the underlying data, has been revised. However, the previous firm displays were incorrectly linked to rollup calculations and do affect local financial rollup reports (industry-wide and NAICS-2-3-4-5), where a different balance of rolled up sales classes impact final dollar and percentage results. Similar firm count issues were also found in all (US and local) financial reports for 7225xx; again, aside from related rollups, no percentages, dollar values or ratios have changed as a result of the revised firm display.

      Cessation Rates: We’ve altered our cessation rate methodology slightly to exclude business establishments that change classification but continue to operate in the same sectors from the “failed” category. This means that in some cases, even though we have not advanced the Cessation time series for this release, rates may differ slightly from the June 2015 release.

      November, 2015
      A review of calculations for the Cost of Sales-Labor line in the Industry Financial series revealed errors affecting a significant number of industries. These have been corrected and revised values are now displayed. No other line items or ratios are affected.

      August, 2015
      In mid-August we separated Competitive Market Narrative reports into two files. Values for the Economic Sector Concentrations table on P2 now appear in a separate file (CMA-2) which resides directly underneath the main CMA file on the user’s My Reports (report access and storage) page. A reference to the CMA-2 file can be found in the text at the original table location in the main CMA file of each report. We instituted this measure to accelerate load times for the CMA reports, which had been in many cases bogged down by the calculations required for the Economic Sector Concentrations table.

      We have revised our financial calculations for industry groups within NAICS 5613xx Employment Services. Prior versions did not accomodate the fact firms in the affected industries utilize two very different accounting methods for Cost of Sales: one in which COS reflects payments to workers contracted to other firms, and one which does not reflect those payments at all in the P&L. We have now normalized all base data for these industries to exclude payments to these workers so that Cost of Sales now displays as a zero value throughout. This change in approach alters other calculations in industry reports in the Industry Financial, BizBenchmarker and Micro-Firm series.

      July, 2015
      Due to a database error, we miscounted the number of firms in legacy years in some of our Industry Financial reports. The counts have been corrected. The error affected the NAICS-6 industries listed below as well as parent classification rollups and some offspring industry segments. This error and revision did not affect any of the financial data displayed in the reports with the exception of weighted rollups in higher level NAICS which are affected by firm counts.
      522292; 523930; 524128; 524210; 541110; 541199; 541211; 541219; 541310; 541330; 541380; 541611; 541711; 541940; 621111; 621112; 621210; 621320; 621330; 621340; 621391; 621399; 621498; 624190; 812199; 812210; 812910

      June, 2015
      Our year-end 2014 data was released a few days late, on July 6. Although we have posted millions of updated reports, we postponed the release of some financial and industry market reports for attorney, accountant, physician, dentist and several professional industry classifications. These reports will be posted later in July. Delayed financial reports include sales classes and industry-wide reports, which are also delayed due to the absence of final data for the populous small sales classes. Industry market Reports for the same industries are also delayed.

      Industry Financial and BizBenchmarker Series:
      Beginning with this release, the Industry Financial and BizBenchmarker series incorporate Cost of Sales-Labor Portion data in all reports. This new line item is found below Cost of Sales in the Profit and Loss tables. Cost of Sales-Labor is displayed as a percentage of Business Revenue; however, since it is a subset of Cost of Sales, Cost of Sales-Labor is not deducted as a separate expense in the EBITDA, Operating Expense-Income, Net Profit or Discretionary Owner Earnings lines. In CSV versions of Industry Financial and BizBenchmarker reports, this additional line item is placed on the bottom row of the spreadsheet to avoid interference with customers who have established their own import protocols for BizMiner csv reports.

      Revisions have been made to legacy years in these reports and their more detailed segment offspring: 327110 (sales classes $2.5m-4.9m; $5m-9.9m; $10m-24.9m); 531210 (sales class $250m-499m); 561422 (sales class >$500m); 331511 (sales classes $500k-999k; $2.50-4.9m); 334416 (sales class $2.50-4.9m); 423740 (sales class $1-499k); 562212 (temporarily filtered out for review). A number of NAICS 722xxx 2013 firm counts which were incorrectly calculated in the prior release have also been corrected, along with dollar values that were affected in some cases.

      In our largest sales class (>$500m), the addition of significant numbers of firms to our databases has resulted in the re-calculation of some legacy year data in order to enhance more robust reporting.

      As is always the case, changes in industrywide rollups may be displayed due to an increase in sales classes and the proportion of firms of various sizes in the data pool.

      One design change: The long standing average sales chart on P1 in the Industry Financial reports has been changed to display a Discretionary Owner Earnings chart for smaller classes up to $25m sales, and a net profit chart for larger sales classes over $25m

      Finally, customers are reminded that average sales data in Industry Financial, BizBenchmarker and Micro-Firm reports should not be used as an indicator of industry growth trends. The firms in a financial benchmark data pool fluctuate (ours and everyone else’s, whether they tell you this or not). The number of firms for which financial data is available is always less than the number in the industry. At least as important, firms grow, lose sales, die or merge and fail; a firm whose data is applied to a sales class in one year might be in a different sales class the next. Industrywide data in financial reports is also limited by the size of the pool. We strongly recommend other reporting modes (such as our Industry Market Report series) for more robust and accurate average sales and market volume trends.

       Micro-Firm Series:
      In some cases, increases in our data pool create larger than usual changes in dollar sales values between current (2014) and legacy years.

      Revisions have been made to legacy years in these Micro-Firm series NAICS-6 reports:  316992; 487210; 487990; 531210; 531311; 531320; 531390; 532291. We also corrected several cases in which sales values were inadvertently duplicated for two or more years within a single report. Changes in these reports also affect rollup values.

      Industry Market Report Series:
      Beginning with this release, Industry Market and Competitive Market Analyzer series reports will display limited comparability with prior releases in some industries and market areas. This is due to four methodology improvements, each of which we’ve incorporated in order to improve the long-term accuracy and consistency of our most granular market reporting and projections.

      First, we have replaced aggregate “cap” filtering for outlier values, which placed maximum/minimum filters on specific aggregate metrics, with outlier filters designed to catch individual outlier business operations. Second, partly in order to help determine those outliers, we have incorporated newly released portions of the Economic Census into our methodology, and utilized those values to test business operations in 2012-13-14 reporting years in both the IMR and CMA series. Third, we have identified values for many thousands of operations in our databases which were previously displayed as “unknown” employment or sales. In prior releases, we attributed average employment and sales levels to these “unknowns”, but beginning with this release, location-specific values have been identified for those projections; “unknown” values in the reports have been virtually eliminated. Finally, we have significantly added to the number of business operations in our databases from which we now apply metric values to our both the Industry Market and CMA series; in the July 2015 release of the multi-year IMR series, we’ve added the legacy values of those operations to the back-year reporting (2012-13). Each of these steps will create variances for some metrics in some industry/market combinations, but overall they help create even more robust and accurate reporting.

      In the new release, we also differentiate between various time series applied to our Cessation Rates, ranging from our standard three year metric (2012-14) down to a 6 month time series (2014q2 to year-end 2014). The specific time series applied is determined by the integrity of the cessation rate data available to us, and each is clearly marked at the top of the Cessation Rates table in each Industry Market report. All NAICS-2-3-4-5 rollups reports display a cessation rate times series for 2014q2 to year-end 2014 to ensure apples-to-apples comparisons.

      March 2015
      Correcting an earlier transposition error, values for the Cash and Receivables line items have been reversed for most industries within the NAICS 621xxx hierarchy.

      February 2015
      Due to an incorrect linkage routing to our databases, Local Industry Financial (LIF) reports for the Education sector (61xxxx) and the Entertainment-Amusement sector (71xxxx) displayed some duplicate value feeds in the current release. This error has been corrected and accurate data values are now displayed in reports for all sectors. Only those two sectors in the LIF series—and no US Industry Financial reports—were affected.

      December 2014
      In late December, we corrected an error in the Industry Market report series that calculated average annual small business sales for all small establishments, not just independent small businesses, which is the intent of this metric. In some cases, the change also created new values in one or more Employment Class Trends tables.

      In the first (June 2014) BizBenchmarker series release, the industry sales per employee values (SPE) originally applied the US SPE benchmark to all market area situations. Beginning with the December 2014 release, BizBenchmarker reports with local market selections will generally apply industry-specific local sales per employee data. Where localized data is unavailable, industry-specific projections may be applied from larger market areas. When the US market is selected as the benchmark, the US value will continue to be applied.

      August 2014
      A corrected format of the Industry Financial Report series CSV report was posted, replacing one that had mistakenly not displayed the Total Assets percentage line item since early July. The entire CSV is now formatted identically to the CSV format in the previous earlier Industry Financial series release.

      June, 2014

      Content Update: All content in BizMiner US and Local Industry Financial series; Micro-Firm Profit & Loss series; and the US and Local Industry Market Report series has been updated with year-end 2013 data. Our new BizBenchmarker series also debuts with 2011-12-13 content (BizBenchmarker details below).

      New Interface: The site has a fresh, more navigable look and feel which makes it easier than ever to compare our products and determine exactly what you want and need.

      New BizBenchmarker Series: Now it’s possible to match BizMiner’s uniquely robust content with a vivid presentation tool designed for client presentations that are clear to sophisticated users and novices alike.Our new BizBenchmarker series encourages complete customization of your benchmark report; You decide which years, which ratios and which data to display. Three-year BizBenchmarker reports include firm-to-industry scores on an easy-to understand 1-5 scale for up to 23 ratios, as well as four Category scores and an Overall rating. BizBenchmarker is available as a stand-alone product or as one of our new subscription options (below):

      New Subscription Options: We’ve moved to a customer friendly “Build Your Own Subscription” structure. Choose from one or up to four database options with a fixed cost for each add-on series. Build your own subscription from these options: US Industry Financial package; Local Industry Financial package; BizBenchmarker package; Industry Market package. The four-package suite also includes our Retail Sales per square foot report at no added cost.

      Legacy Year Outlier Revisions: Our ongoing quality review process identified 188 outlier data points in legacy year Industry Financial and Micro-Firm content (about one point out of every 13,000 in our financial database). Not all of these were in previously published reports. Quality control filters applied to these data points resulted in legacy year changes to reports in about the same number of NAICS-6 industries.

      In addition, coding errors were identified which had caused erroneous Cost of Sales and Gross Margin calculation in the industry-wide versions of some Local Industry Financial reports. These were corrected in both the June and March 2014 releases. No sales class-specific Industry Financials reports, and no US Industry Financial reports were affected.

      Finally, we identified additional 2009 data of sufficient quality to allow us to add more than 500 reports of various sales classes to various industries. These reports were previously unpublished due to lack of 2009 data. Their publication results in new 5-year reports, but also in the recalculation of affected rollup reports (industrywide and NAICS-2-3-4) to include these new sales classes. Supplemented sales class reports rolled up at the NAICS-2-3-4 levels can be identified by changed listings of applied NAICS-6 industries on P1 of those reports.
      March, 2014
      Due to recalculation of limited serve restaurant data, some local industry population and other data has been revised as of March 28. US totals have not changed, nor have other restaurant/eating place industry segments been revised at the local level. This limited local data revision does not affect any financial series reports.

      On March 5, BizMiner posted an interim March 2014 release for the Industry Financial series, including revised versions of statewide Local Industry Financial Reports. The March 2014 posting corrects a missed electronic signal in the statewide version of the Local Industry Financial series which had caused the duplication of values in statewide financial reports for any given industry and sales class combination. No Metro- or US-level Industry Financial reports were affected by either the original problem or its correction. Likewise, no other report series, including the Industry Market Report and Competitive Market Analyzer series, were affected.

      A revised report is being offered to purchasers of affected statewide Local Industry Financial reports. In response to this issue, we have also enhanced our automated and manual pre-publication testing regimen.

      Affected reports that were previously loaded by customers will retain their original 2013 release dates and data. These will not be revised, as they reflect the available data at the time of publication. All current Industry Financial reports, including the revised statewide versions, will now reflect a March 2014 release date. Current US and Metro Industry Financial reports will also bear the March 2014 imprint, but contents will not vary from the 2013 releases of those versions.

      We apologize for this problem and reaffirm our commitment to a transparent disclosure process.

      February, 2014
      Beginning on February 10, 2014, both the Industry Financial and Micro Profit and Loss Report series are accepting CSV (comma delimited spreadsheet) uploads of user data to integrate into report benchmarking. During the input process, users will be given the option of manually inputting firm financials in the browser, or uploading a CSV. After populating the CSV  with data in assigned cells, users will be able upload the file and seamlessly integrated it into a final, fully benchmarked Industry Financial or Micro-Firm Profit and Loss report. This option is available at no added cost.

      On February 5, a misalignment between column labels and corresponding data was identified and corrected in the Sources-Uses table of the Industry Financial series. No change was made in the report release date to reflect this revision, since the correctly-aligned numbers could have been calculated directly from other data in the report.

      December, 2013
      Industry Financial Report Series: Industry Financial series CSVs will now include a Discretionary Owner Earning calculation for each year (Officer Compensation+After Tax Net Profit+Depreciation). Dollar-based and Percentage values will be added at R34 and R59 respectively. Percentage values will also be added to the Profitability Ratios at R118. No existing metric placement in this CSV will be altered or relocated.

      Beginning with this release, both Industry Financial and Micro-Firm Profit & Loss reports will display the number of firms in the analysis pool for each year of the report (P1).

      About two weeks after posting, an error was identified regarding firm counts and rollup procedures in industry-wide rollup reports in the Local Industry Financial series. The correction caused changes to firm counts in both sales class-specific and industry-wide Local Industry Financial reports, as well as minor changes in dollar and percentage values in industry-wide local financial reports. Minor changes also appear in some sales class-specific data for 2013q2 only. No US Industry Financial reports were affected at all.

      At the same time, an oversight that prevented legacy year firms from being displayed in csv versions of financial reports was rectified. Firm counts are now displayed on CB:R9 through CG:R9 (for years 2008-2013q2), replacing the previous latest-year only value that had been previously displayed at CB:R9.

      Industry Market Report series: In the updated Industry Market Report (IMR) series (new content through 2013q2), the six Employment Class tables (P4-5) have been revised. Tables are now segmented to display five employment categories: Small (1-24 employees); Medium (25-99 employees); large (100-plus employees); Unknown and Total. As they always have, these tables include the total business establishment population covered in each report. This contrasts (as it has in the past) to the Small Business Firm category which is segmented in the Failure Rate (P2, now called the Cessation Rate) and Average Annual Sales tables (P3). Outlier filters have been revised, resulting in some variations in specific segment populations, employment and sales in some industry/area combination reports. Total reported industry markets and average sales have not been affected.

      The metric for “Failure Rate” has been changed throughout the report to “Cessation Rate” to more accurately describe the analysis. No change whatsoever has been made in the actual definition of the metric, which is detailed in the P2 Cessation Rate segment of the report.

      In addition, the IMR Sales Growth Index and Employment Growth Index will be replaced by the base data that had previously fed into the Index calculation. The newly displayed metrics (comparative Sales Growth Rate and Employment Growth Rate for the relevant market report) will be displayed on R149 and R153 respectively. The cell which had previously displayed the Index metrics (R148, R152, columns A-B) will now be blank.

      The rollup protocol for NAICS-2-3-4 industries has been revised to better align with the rollup protocol in our financial reports. In some cases, this results in slight back-year Industry Market Report content variations from previous releases.

      IMPORTANT: Some Industry Market Report CSV metrics placement will change to reflect changes in reported metrics.
      All six Employment Class tables will now display five data columns (1-24 employees; 25-99 employees; 100+ employees; Unknown; Total) in both the US-IMR and all versions of the Local IMR (state-metro-county-zip). These will replace the previously reported Employment Class tabular data  This change will result in the following adjustments to the legacy CSV format:

      US-IMR CSV:  Value for new metric brackets (small-medium-large) will replace previous values for employment classes 1-4; 5-9; and 10-24. Cells which previously displayed other bracket values will now be blank, except for Unknown and Total brackets, which will be retained in their previous cells. Change details are:
      Market Volume by Employment Class: R47-R49; Columns A-E
      Percent Market Volume by Employment Class: R62-R64; Columns A-E
      Average Sales by Employment Class: R77-R79; Columns A-E
      Establishments by Employment Class: R112-R116; Columns A-D
      Total Employment by Class: R119-R123; Columns A-D
      Average Employment by Class: R126-R130; Columns A-D

      Local IMR CSV:
      Value for new metric brackets (small-medium-large) will replace previous values for employment classes 1-4; 5-9; and 10-24. Cells which previously displayed other bracket values will now be blank, except for Unknown and Total brackets, which will be retained in their previous cells. Change details are:
      Market Volume by Employment Class: R52-R54; Columns A-E
      Percent Market Volume by Employment Class: R67-R69; Columns A-E
      Average Sales by Employment Class: R82-R84; Columns A-E
      Establishments by Employment Class: R119-R122; Columns A-E
      Total Employment by Class: R126-R129; Columns A-E
      Average Employment by Class: R133-R136; Columns A-E

      Unknown and Total metrics in these CSV segments are not relocated.

      Taxonomy Revisions: Due to complications and errors in the transition from NAICS-07 to our expanded NAICS-12 taxonomy in the last release, one or more industry segment offspring within these parent NAICS-6 categories was either not displayed or displayed incorrectly. In almost every case, incorrectly displayed reports were either accompanied by error coding or obviously unlikely content variances. Most of the revisions involved recoding NAICS-6 offpsring specialty segments and did not affect actual values or subsequent rollups to the NAICS-6 classification. Taxonomy revisions or corrections were made within specialty segments (industry codes with 2-8 digits after a decimal point) under these NAICS-6 classifications:

      221115                  313240                  322219                  331313                  333244                  336390
      221118                  313310                  322220                  331318                  333249                  339910
      221121                  314120                  322230                  331410                  333316                  339930
      221122                  314910                  323111                  331420                  333318                  339940
      238220                  314994                  323120                  331523                  333413                  441228
      238310                  315110                  325110                  331529                  333517                  443141
      311224                  315190                  325120                  332119                  333519                  443142
      311314                  315210                  325130                  332215                  334118                  454310
      311351                  315220                  325180                  332216                  334416                  531311
      311352                  315240                  325194                  332613                  334419                  531312
      311710                  315280                  325220                  332994                  334519                  561431
      311824                  315990                  326199                  332999                  334614                  561720
      312230                  316210                  327110                  333241                  335210                  621493
      313110                  316998                  327120                  333242                  336310 
      313220                  321999                  331110                  333243                  336320

      September, 2013
      Taxonomy correction: A taxonomy error in real estate sector was identified and rectified. The correction resulted in new reports being issued for both NACIS 531311 and 531312. Content in the parent categories, 53131 and 5313, was slightly altered as a result. The error had to do with the erroneous identification of some residential property managers as commercial managers and vice versa.

      August, 2013
      Industry Financial Archive Reports: The quality review of legacy year BizMiner reports (2003-2007) has been completed and posted. The review focused on outlier records and data points, resulting in higher quality, more consistent legacy year content. Some legacy year records have been deleted and others now display a reduced number of years in archive reports. (Available years will be displayed before accessing any reports.) As a new feature, archive reports are now offered for any consecutive years (running back from current reports) for which quality data is available. Previously, archive data was only offerred for industry/sales class options for which a full five years of archived data was available.

      Archived Industry Financial reports are accessible without additional charge for Suite and US Industrial Financial subscribers. Archived Industry Financial content is available to others on a pay-per-report basis. Archived content is not yet available for the Local Industry Financial series.

      Industry Rent-to-Revenue Ratio Report Series: BizMiner has posted an improved version of its Rent-to-Revenue Ratio Report series. The new version develops local rent-per employee and rent-to-sales content using all local inputs. Over 300 metro area reports analyze rent data for hundreds of local industries in each report.

      July, 2013
      Local Industry Financial Series: Phase 2 of the Summer, 2013 update launched BizMiner’s first-ever local industry Financial report series. Most of the classifications in our (US) Industry Financial series are now also available in state and metro area versions, including P&L, Balance Sheet and Financial Ratio data. Due to data availability, not all industries are available in all sales classes for all state and metro areas. Local Industry Financial Reports are currently available in 3-year and 5-year versions. The Local Industry Financial series is included in our Suite subscription, but also as a new stand-alone subscription option. Local Industry Financials are not included in existing (US) Industry Financial subscriptions. For further discussion of the Local Industry Financial series, see our Methodology page.

      Other July Report Notes : After the initial posting in late June, we discovered that some classifications were not displaying on the site and had not been integrated into rollups in the Industry Financial and Micro-Firm Startup series. In early July, these reports were added, and affected rollups were re-calculated. No NAICS-6 sales class reports or any of reports of their corresponding offspring classifications have changed as a result of the additional classifications now being displayed. However, recalculated rollups will display different sets of included sales classes or NAICS where these have changed. The Industry Financial and Micro-Firm series have been dated July, 2013 instead of June 2013 in order to differentiate any roll-up reports which may have changed from the originals released in June.

      The Sources-Uses Funds table was also revised to display more informative columns and delete an earlier year that should not have appeared in current reports.

      Summer, 2013
      Year-end 2012 data has been posted for all major report series:
    • Industry Financial Profiles: 2008-2012
    • Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series: 2008-2012
    • Industry Market Reports (all market areas): 2010-2012
    • Competitive Market Narrative: 2012

    • NAICS 2012:
      With its Summer 2013 release, BizMiner integrates NAICS 2012 classifications. Most differences from NAICS 2007 are one-to-one coding changes. Crosswalk tools between NAICS 2007 and NAICS 2012 have been place at the bottom our NAICS Resources page.

      Industry Market Report series:
      Several of our market reporting series—the US Industry Market, Local Industry Market, Micro-Market Industry and Industry Market Snapshot-- have now been consolidated into a single Industry Market Report series. Content is now available for all 9000 of our industry segments in the new 3-year consolidated report format. With the adoption of the expanded set of government designated metropolitan area designations, reports are now available for about 350 metro areas in addition to the US, states, counties and zip code level reports.

      Industry Financial series:
      Two additional ratios have been added to  all Industry Financial reports, raising the total number of ratios in each report to 33. The new ratios are both debt coverage indicators: Loans/Notes Payable:Net Worth and  Long-Term Liabilities:Net Worth.

      Some new industries and new sales classes within industries are introduced in this release. A smaller handful of sales classes have been dropped as options within some industry selections. The ripple effect of these additions and deletions to the financial database cause changes in industry-wide or rolled up NAICS-2-3-4-6 data. The rollup protocol applied to NAICS-2-3-4-5 and  industry-wide reports in the December 2013 release has now been applied to our proprietary “NAICS6+6” specialty segments. As a reminder, industry-wide and roll-up reports are calculations are based on offspring industries for which we report five full years of financial content.

      Legacy-year quality review has prompted minor database changes in the 2008-2011 reporting years. Overall, outlier values were identified and changes made to about 0.06% of the P&L and balance sheet legacy data (about one data point per 1667).

      Spring, 2013
      BizMiner will begin publishing reports with NAICS 2012 coding with our June 2013 release, coinciding with the publication of year-end 2012 data.

      January, 2013
      In late January, adjustments were made to the Sources-Uses of Funds table in the Industry Financial series. Time series labels were revised to show the two years used to calculate the change-in-funds data point (e.g., "10-11" instead of "2010"); and the displayed time series was update to show changes for all years included in the other report metrics. This last revision deleted the previous first column in the table, which had erroneously displayed data from outside the report time series.

      The 2013 release of the annually updated Retail Sales per Square Foot report has been posted. The updated content covers 2012 sales per square foot data for over 139,000 storefront operations in fifteen industries.

      December, 2012
      Mid-year 2012q2 data has been posted for all major report series:
    • Industry Financial Profiles: 2007-2012q2
    • Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series: 2007-2012q2
    • US Market Research Reports: 2009-2012q2
    • State-Metro Industry Market Reports: 2009-2012q2
    • Industry Market Snapshots: 2010-2012q2
    • Competitive Market Narrative: 2012q2

    The December 2012 release incorporates new content for the real-time period ending 2012q2. Data with this time series indicates  either a fixed time data point (for example, industry population) or a full year times series running from June 30, 2011-June 30, 2012. Both Financial and Industry Market reports retain their complete 3-5 year year-end data plus this additional 2012q2 data point.
    Industry Classifications:
    The classification for Pizza Restaurants-Full Serve (722110.16) has been deleted due to the ambiguity of the classification. Data from has been folded into the classification for Italian Restaurants-Full-Serve (722110.0210).

    Our taxonomy continues to operate with the NACS 2007 basis. Introduction of the official NAICS 2012 system, which makes relatively minor changes, is planned for our next release of year-end data in Summer, 2013. Our extended taxonomy (detailed business segments indicated by decimals after the official NAICS-6 codes) will continue.

    Roll-up Protocol:
    The roll-up protocol we introduced in June 2012 remains in effect. (For detail, see the June, 2012 Release Notes below.) However, we discovered that the new protocol continued to include data from offspring industries that did not have sufficient content to be included in rollup calculations. These have now been filtered out of all roll-up reports. As a result, some relatively small changes may be found in certain rollups of industry-wide financial reports, roll-up versions of NAICS-2-3-4-5 reports for specific sales class segments and in some detailed segment reports. In some instances, significant changes have occurred in specialty industry segment financial reports (xxxxxx.xxxxxx) as a result of the applied roll-up procedure.

    Small Business Counts:
    In some instances, business counts in our Industry Market reports have been updated to correct technical errors made in the June 2011 release. Changes in these counts may affect small business average annual sales in the same report series.

    November, 2012
    To avoid confusion regarding division display of negative value line items, adjustments were made to display "n/a" rather than negative ratios except in cases of negative net income.

    Outlier Values: In August we completed and released our QC review of all Profit and Loss lines to improve consistency our financial statements, as detailed above. We have now completed the same process for balance sheet values. The process has reduced year-to-year variances while maintaining the integrity of the common size statements themselves. Narrowing filters naturally increases the stability of displayed values and changes numbers that may have appeared in prior releases.

    August, 2012
    Micro-Firm Profit and Loss Series: Both the Sole Proprietor and Startup versions of the  Micro-Firm Profit and Loss series have been subjected to a QC review similar to the Industry Financial series described above. However, because of the peculiarities of the sole proprietorship reporting format, parameters have not been drawn as tightly as is the case for the IF series, and the normalization process has been modified. This is largely due to complications caused by the Net Profit line in the Micro-Firm series, which (like IRS sole proprietorship reporting) includes all owner compensation, whether it represents strict profit or some form of labor in any of the other line categories: Cost of Sales; Wages-Salary; Commissions or SG&A. Broader line item variations in the Micro-Firm reports invariably result from varying levels and type of owner activity in day to day operations. For example, the owner’s Net Profit line may be 20% three years in a row, but the portion of that 20% that represents actual profit in one year might be total; the portion representing owner’s  labor which would otherwise be classified as cost of sales might be half of the 20% in a second year; and the portion representing administrative work might be half of the 20% in the third. Due to the nature of standard reporting formats, more specific breakdowns of the composition of the Net Profit line are not possible. In addition, due to a programming error in the previous release, the previous Micro-Firm series release included some incorrect dollar content, which has now been revised across the board.

    Industry Financial Profiles: After a final review round which eliminated previously unidentified outlier data points in <5% of the Industry Financial series reports, the entire series was re-released in August 2012. In addition, due to a programming error in the initial release, sales data was revised in some industry segments (2007-08-09 only). Reports accessed before the August release are not revised, and continue to bear a June 2012 release date.

    Franchise Reports: Our new Franchise Report series will be posted on a slightly delayed basis in mid-August, with new releases each six months thereafter. Each Franchise Report will include measures for an individually selected franchise chain and its US industry counterpart, allowing the reader to easily compare overall industry trends against franchise performance. The metrics in the Franchise Report series will be comparable to those in the US Industry Market Report series.

    June, 2012
    Since our last update in December 2011, customer feedback and our own internal review process have noted larger than usual year-to-year fluctuations in some financial reports.

    In part, continuing ripples from the 2008 recession has generated less consistent profit and loss statements and balance sheets in many industry groups. This results from both relative economic instability and from concentrated efforts in some industry sectors to attain greater efficiencies. Either tendency can disrupt the consistency that is most comfortable for those reviewing aggregate financial statements.

    However, two other factors also affected our reporting: The first involves the relatively relaxed parameters we have used to filter out outliers during our analysis process (see more on Outlier Values below). The second concerns widely varying line item allocation choices, especially in the profit and loss statement, among companies in some industries. In the past we have been reluctant to “normalize” these, but have now changed course (see more on Line Item Allocation below).

    In response to these two factors, we are completing a four-month quality control review of our Industry Financial and Micro-Firm Profit and Loss reporting series. While with few exceptions previously displayed data was correctly analyzed and reported, we recognize that our previous approach to outlier data and line item allocations may have made the interpretation of the data more difficult than it should have been. Our quality control review process has addressed these and other issues, with major focus on the Profit and Loss section of reports.

    Outlier Values: We have tightened our outlier parameters to improve consistency of numbers in our financial statement. This process has reduced year-to-year variances while maintaining the integrity of the common size statements themselves. Narrowing filters naturally increases the stability of displayed values and changes numbers that may have appeared in prior releases. In some cases, we have modified the composition of our sample pool. In others, we revised specific measures which were unduly influenced by outlier firms.

    Line Item Allocation: We have undertaken a “normalization” process regarding subjective allocations of related line item data, especially in regard to the labor portion of Cost of Sales, Salary-Wages; the labor portion of Sales, General & Administrative; and, to a lesser extent, Benefits-Pension. Our review evaluated significant swings in the base data that reflect subjective allocation choices in company statements, rather than changes in expenditure. We found that in many cases, even within a given industry, choices to allocate the same expenditures could result in three or four different results in different company statements, significantly affecting our efforts to develop a common size P&L. The normalization process is aimed at smoothing some of these variances. For example, where we saw a dramatic drop in the labor portion of COS and a corresponding increase in Wages-Salary, we might have revised the allocations while maintaining overall compensation costs.

    In small business sales classes, we also conducted a review of Officers Compensation and Net Profit, since these items often represent tax decisions rather than a real difference in operations. For example, a small firm that allocates 20% of revenue to officer compensation one year with 5% net profit, and 5% officer compensation the following year with 15% net profit has not performed differently so much as made different tax decisions. In such a case, we might have revised the allocations to normalize the year-to-year result, increasing year-to-year consistency. The most significant use of this process was in small service industries (such as offices of physicians, other professional or technical services) where a limited number of owner-operators or partners tend to capture a large share of compensation and profit.

    The result of these changes is financial statements that appear more stable and are more easily interpreted, in most cases without much if any impact on the bottom line result. This process also necessarily means that some data displayed in prior years will change., Some troughs and spikes do remain; this is a normal result of industry fluctuations (especially around recessionary or high growth periods) and, quite often, the scale of business activity.

    Roll-up Protocol: In the past, the industry-wide versions of our Industry Financial reports included all data available in any given year. For example, data for a specific sales class was included even if that particular sales class might not have been available in one or more other years of the report. This tended to exaggerate spike and trough values in industry-wide reports. Under our revised protocol, industry-wide reports include rolled-up data only from sales classes which are available in each of the prior five reporting years (in the new release, 2007-2011). Sales classes included in the NAICS-6 roll-up of a particular release are now listed on P1 of each NAICS-6 industry-wide report. This change tends to stabilize year-to-year data in the rolled-up reports. As additional sales classes become consistently available, they will be added to new NAICS-6 industry-wide and rolled-up NAICS-2-3-4-5 report releases.

    In addition, NAICS 2-3-4-5 reports are roll-ups from those NAICS-6 industries for which we have complete (3-year or 5-year) data. Offspring industries applied to roll-ups will now be listed on P1 of NAICS-2-3-4-5 roll-up reports.

    Treatment of Interest Income and Other Income: Certain industry sectors consistently reflect ambiguity and overlap between core Business Revenue, Interest Income and Other Income allocations. This issue is particularly prevalent in industries, such as Finance-Insurance, Real Estate and Management of Companies which rely heavily on all three. Differentiating these line items has in the past resulted in confusion around the display of the P&L breakdown and the Asset:Sales relationship (since the Sales portion is based on Business Revenue only). For this reason, all three income lines in the affected sectors (NAICS 52xxxx-53xxxx-55xxxx) are now collapsed into a single top-line Income item. Because of persistent inconsistencies in Cost of Sales allocations in financial statements, Cost of Sales has been fixed at zero for NAICS 522-523-525-55. The Insurance Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities (NAICS 5242) industry group does not exhibit any of these same income or Cost of Sales variances, and is not subjected to either of these special treatments.

    Because of heavy and consistent dependence on Other Income in agricultural industries 1111xxx-Crops and some 112xxx-Animal Production (likely subsidy income) and in NAICS 813-Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations (likely non-program revenue and donations), we considered the aggregation of Other Income into Business Revenue in these industries, but did not make that adjustment in this release.