Frequently Asked Questions

BizMiner Industry Financial Profiles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Cost of Sales includes materials and labor involved in the direct delivery of a product or service. Other costs are included in the cost of sales to the extent that they are involved in bringing goods to their location and condition ready to be sold. Non-production overheads such as development costs may be attributable to the cost of goods sold. The costs of services provided will consist primarily of personnel directly engaged in providing the service, including supervisory personnel and attributable overhead.

Gross Profit represents direct operating expenses plus net profit. In addition to the labor portion of Cost of Sales, wage costs are reflected in the Officers Compensation and Wages-Salary line items. In many cases, SG&A (Sales, General and Administrative) costs also include some overhead, administrative and supervisory wages.

Rent covers the rental cost of any business property, including land, buildings and equipment.

The Taxes paid line item includes payroll other paid-in tax items, but not business income taxes due for the period. As a result, the Net Profit line item represents what is commonly referred to as Pre-tax Net Profit or Net Profit Before (Income) Tax. Although it can be calculated in many ways and is a controversial measure, the EBITDA line item (Earnings before Interest Paid, income tax due, Depreciation and Amortization) adds back interest payments, depreciation, amortization and depletion allowances, and excludes income taxes due to reduce the effect of accounting decisions on the bottom line of the Profit and Loss Statement. Since some firms utilized EBITDA is to “add back” non-cash and flexible expenses which may be altered through credits and accounting procedures (such as income tax), paid-in income taxes from the Taxes Paid line item are not added back in the EBITDA calculation.

Advertising includes advertising, promotion and publicity for the reporting business, but not on behalf of others.

Benefits-Pension includes, but is not limited to, employee health care and retirement costs. In addition to varying proportions of overhead, administrative and supervisory wages, some generally more minor expenses, including repairs and written-off debt, are aggregated under SG&A (Sales, General and Administrative).


Cash: Money on hand in checking, savings or redeemable certificate accounts.

Receivables: A short-term asset (to be collected within one year) in the form of accounts or notes receivable, and usually representing a credit for a completed sale or loan.

Inventory: The stockpile of unsold products.

Current Assets: The sum of a firm's cash, accounts and notes receivable, inventory, prepaid expenses and marketable securities which can be converted to cash within a single operating cycle.

Fixed Assets: Long-term assets such as building and machinery.

Total Assets: The sum of current assets and fixed assets such as plant and equipment.

Accounts Payable: Invoices due to suppliers within the current business cycle.

Loans/Notes Payable: Loan amounts due to suppliers within the current business cycle.

Current Liabilities: Measurable debt owed within one year, including accounts, loans and notes payable, accrued liabilities and taxes due.

Long Term Liabilities: Debt which is due in more than one year, including the portion of loans and mortgages that become due after the current business cycle.

Total Liabilities: Current Liabilities plus Long Term Liabilities such as notes and mortgages due over more than one year.

Net Worth: Current assets plus fixed assets minus current and long-term liabilities.

The Balance Sheet reflects average balance sheet percentages and dollars for the industry segment analyzed. Liabilities, net worth and ratios are calculated for each industry segment and class, while asset line items are blended with the closest four digit industry segment.


Accounts Payable: Sales: Accounts Payable divided by Annual Sales, measuring the speed with which a company pays vendors relative to sales. Numbers higher than typical industry ratios suggest that the company may be using suppliers to float operations.

Current Liabilities: Inventory: Current Liabilities divided by Inventory: A high ratio, relative to industry norms, suggests over-reliance on unsold goods to finance operations.

Current Liabilities: Net Worth: Current Liabilities divided by Net Worth, reflecting a level of security for creditors. The larger the ratio relative to industry norms, the less security there is for creditors.

Current Ratio: This is the same as Current Assets divided by Current Liabilities, measuring current assets available to cover current liabilities, a test of near-term solvency. The ratio indicates to what extent cash on hand and disposable assets are enough to pay off near term liabilities. The Quick Ratio is applied as a more stringent test.

Days Payables: 365/(Cost of Sales: Accounts Payable ratio): Reflects the average number of days for each payable before payment is made.

Quick Ratio: Cash plus Accounts Receivable, divided by Current Liabilities, indicating liquid assets available to cover current debt. Also known as the Acid Ratio. This is a harsher version of the Current Ratio, which balances short-term liabilities against cash and liquid instruments.

Total Liabilities: Net Worth: Total liabilities divided by Net Worth. This ratio helps to clarify the impact of long-term debt, which can be seen by comparing this ratio with Current Liabilities: Net Worth. Creditors are concerned to the extent that total liability levels exceed Net Worth.


EBITDA: EBITDA: Sales: Earnings Before Interest, (income) Taxes due, Depreciation and Amortization divided by Sales. EBITDA: Sales is a relatively controversial (and often criticized) metric designed to eliminate the effect of finance and accounting decisions when comparing companies and industry benchmarks. Tax credits and deferral procedures and non-cash expenditures (Amortization and Depreciation) are not deducted from the profit equation, as are interest expenditures.

Return on Assets: Pre-Tax Net Profit divided by Total Assets, a critical indicator of profitability. Companies which use their assets efficiently will tend to show a ratio higher than the industry norm. The ratio may appear higher for small businesses due to owner compensation draws accounted as net profit.

Return on Net Worth: Pre-Tax Net Profit divided by Net Worth. This is the 'final measure' of profitability to evaluate overall return. This ratio measures return relative to investment, how well a company leverages the investment in it. May appear higher for small businesses due to owner compensation draws accounted as net profit.

Return on Sales: Pre-Tax Net Profit divided by Annual Sales, indicating the level of profit from each dollar of sales. This ratio can be used as a predictor of the company's ability to withstand changes in prices or market conditions. May appear higher for small businesses due to owner compensation draws accounted as net profit.


Assets: Sales: Total Assets divided by Net Sales, indicating whether a company is handling too high a volume of sales in relation to investment. Very low percentages relative to industry norms might indicate overly conservative sales efforts or poor sales management.

Cost of Sales:Accounts Payable: Measures the number of times payables turn over in the course of the year. High measures may indicate cash flow concerns.

Cost of Sales: Inventory: Reflects the number of times inventory is turned over during the course of the year. High levels can mean good liquidity or sales, or shortages requiring better management. Low levels may indicate poor cash flow or overstocking.

Days Inventory: 365/(Cost of Sales: Inventory): The average number of days of items in inventory.

Days Receivables: 365/ (Receivables Turnover): Reflects the number of days that receivables are outstanding. Target average or lower.

Days Working Capital: 365/ (Working Capital Turnover): Expresses the coverage in number of days of available working capital.

EBITDA: Interest: Earnings before Interest, (income) Taxes due, Depreciation and Amortization divided by Interest expense. Assesses financial stability by examining whether a company is at least profitable enough to pay interest expense. A ratio >1.00 indicates it is. See cautions in the listing for EBITDA.

Fixed Assets: Net Worth: Fixed Assets divided by Net Worth. High ratios relative to the industry can indicate low working capital or high levels of debt.

Gross Profit: Sales: Pre-tax profits divided by Annual Sales. This is the profit ratio before product and sales costs, as well as taxes. This ratio can indicate the "play" in other expenses which could be adjusted to increase the Net Profit margin.

Net Working Capital: Sales: Net Working Capital divided by Sales. Indicates if a company is maintaining a reasonable level of liquidity relative to its sales volume. A high ratio indicate an overly conservative reliance on liquid assets, while low ratios suggests the opposite.


Cash Turnover: Sales divided by Cash. Indicates efficiency in the use of cash to develop sales revenue. A more stringent ratio than Working Capital Turnover (below). Target at or slightly below industry level.

Current Asset Turnover: Sales divided by Current Assets. A general indicator of the efficiency of asset use. Target at or slightly below industry level.

Fixed Asset Turnover: Sales divided by Fixed Assets. An indicator of the efficiency of investment in fixed asset such as plant and equipment. Target at or slightly below industry level.

Inventory Turnover: Sales divided by Inventory. This ratio gives a picture of how quickly inventory turns over. Ratios below the industry norm suggest high levels of inventory. High ratios could indicate product levels insufficient to satisfy demand in a timely manner. Target: at or slightly above industry level.

Receivables Turnover: Sales divided by Receivables. An indicator of how efficiently invoiced sales are collected. Target at or slightly above industry level.

Total Asset Turnover: Sales divided by Total Assets. Target: at or slightly below industry level.

Working Capital Turnover: Sales divided by Net Working Capital (current assets minus current liabilities). Ratios higher than industry norms may indicate a strain on available liquid assets, while low ratios may suggest too much liquidity. Target: at or above industry level.

Q: How does BizMiner industry financial content compare to RMA content?



Industry Financial Content



Detailed Industries (NAICS-6 and deeper)



Financial Ratios



Localized Financial Reporting

U.S. & 350

U.S. & 6 regions

Peer Group Breakouts

12 sales classes

6 asset classes

Sole Proprietorship Reports



Current Times Series






Profit & Loss Line Items



Balance Sheet Line Items



Cost of Sales/Goods Sold

90% of industries

Mfg. and retail only

Cost of Sales/Goods Sold: Labor Portion

90% of industries



dollar and percentage

percentage only
















Raw data analyzed for BizMiner reports is sourced from an array of the nation's private business databases, reporting agencies and government statistical sources, including the Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Economic Census of available sectors. None of these raw data sources creates the final measures reflected in BizMiner industry profiles. In total, BizMiner accesses over half a billion sourced data points from eighteen million business operations for each of its twice annual updates. Census and other government data are used incidentally to inform and test projections for non-reporting firms.

At the same time, some firms are missed and specific information on others is lacking from the database. However, the overall current coverage of the databases approaches 12 million business operations annually. While 100% firm coverage is desirable for analysis purposes, the greatest value of the content rests in discerning patterns of activity, which are reflected in the large samples used to develop our reports. As is the case with any databases this large, some errors are inevitable. No representation is made as to the accuracy of the databases utilized or the results of subsequent analyses.

Sales volume figures are for firms identifying this as their primary classification. For example, a report for retail furniture stores analyzes sales of stores whose predominant revenue stream is furniture sales; that data would not include furniture sold at a general department store. Firms in more detailed industry segments may opt to identify a higher level parent classification as their primary line of business, effectively reducing sales applied to the detailed segment.

It is sometimes difficult to ascertain precise sales data for the smallest firms in the databases. When precise numbers are not available, reports that offer a sales range may be utilized. When there is a very small number of firms in a category (most often startups, which are by nature often micro-firms) the sales is recorded at 150,000 (reflecting a 100,000-175,000 range).