Equipment Dealer Consulting, P.C., the certified public accounting firm affiliated with Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA), has announced they are accepting financial reports for this year’s Cost of Doing Business study for all equipment dealers in North America.

The Cost of Doing Business Survey was established in the 1980s by the North American Equipment Dealers Assn. to analyze the financial picture of equipment dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. The survey compiles data from independent dealers who provide detailed financial and operational information for their individual businesses, which is compiled in a template that creates average income statements and balance sheets, in addition to key financial performance indicators.

The survey can be used by dealers to compare financial performance against other dealers in their region, or at comparable volume levels throughout North America, and to identify areas of needed improvement. Of equal importance, especially if a dealer principal is nearing an exit from the operation, it can also be used to value a business for estate planning or ownership changes.

Today, the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA), in cooperation with other participating dealer associations and their members, compiles the survey. According to WEDA Chief Financial Officer Curt Kleoppel, who leads the project, “The report compiles information from 375 dealers representing approximately 750 locations. Five years ago, there were 500 dealers participating, representing about the same number of locations. Consolidation has reduced the number of owners.”

If your dealership has never been involved in the survey and you’d like to start, now is the time. WEDA is getting ready to compile the 2016 Cost of Doing Business Report, which represents what happened in 2015. Kleoppel says they’re now sending requests to owners to submit information for the survey. “The more entities we have involved and the more locations, the more representative it is of the industry. Everything is kept confidential; if you want to send financial statements anonymously, that’s fine. Just tell us your region; you don’t have to include dealership name or federal ID number. If you participate through your regional dealer association., you will receive a copy of the report free or at a discounted price.”

Deadline to submit information is June 17, 2016. Call Lonnie Finch, CPA, at 800-762-5616 with questions.