In a recent e-mail sent out to all ABA-member bookstores, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz strongly encouraged bookstores to submit their fiscal 2003 financial statement numbers to the "ABACUS Survey -- Year 2."
With 197 ABA member bookstores submitting data to the Survey last year, ABACUS served to fashion a standard by which independents can measure their financial performance and can identify those areas that need to be addressed to move them to greater profitability. "The feedback we received strongly indicated that participating stores found their individualized ABACUS analysis useful in viewing their operations from different perspectives providing greater insight," Domnitz wrote in his e-mail to member bookstores. All reporting to ABACUS is strictly confidential.
As the study moves into its second year, ABA can now use the data to study trends within the universe of data and for individual bookstores. Allowing booksellers to see the trends in the larger data set and to compare their company to others offers more clarity regarding the success of efforts to make their store more profitable. ABA will provide all participants with their own personal analysis of their numbers compared to as many different data slices as the information allows.
The ABACUS form itself is largely unchanged from last year. ABA is asking for only one or two new pieces of information in an effort to make the study more valuable and to reduce the need to ask for supplemental data later. For example, ABA is asking that booksellers supply sales by month now, rather than later.
For some examples of the personalized comparisons booksellers can expect, click here.
The process for submitting data is simple:
1. Click here. Booksellers who wish to work offline may simply download the PDF file and print it -- the form and the help fields will be provided.
2. Booksellers who compute their numbers offline can then go back online and enter their data in the Web submission form and click "Submit."
3. Confirmation of transmittal will appear. Booksellers may also print their submission for future reference.
In conclusion, Domnitz noted: "Thank you in advance on behalf of the community of booksellers for helping to create this very valuable financial tool. Together we can refine and improve it this year. As always, our strict adherence to rules of confidentiality applies."