By Jason Bramwell
A massive database of industry statistics on privately held companies aggregated by financial information company Sageworks is now available for free to all US accounting firms.
The database, which Sageworks claims is the country's largest warehouse of accurate, real-time, private company financial statement information, includes more than 1 million financial statements through more than 2 million reports run by clients.
Through Sageworks' free data offering, accounting firms will have ongoing access to the database, according to Sageworks CEO Scott Ogle.
"Our vision has always been to help businesses succeed by giving them information they can use and understand," he said in a written statement. "We are achieving this goal through our relationships with accounting firms, which use this data to consult their clients, deepen their client relationships, and expand their service offerings."
Sageworks' data covers 1,400 unique industries – from homebuilders and software companies to dentists' offices. This data is also used regularly by the media to report on the health of US private companies and studied by some of the country's top educational institutions to evaluate the behavior and performance of this portion of the economy.
Accounting firms were previously only able to access the data through a paid subscription. Now, firms can access reports on up to five industries per month by creating an account on the Sageworks website.
The industry reports include sixty financial metrics, such as average revenue growth, net profit margin, and accounts receivable and payable days. They also include percentage of total revenue spent on items, such as rent and advertising.
Historical and recent data are provided so accountants can highlight industry trends over time as well as current benchmarks. Information on the rest of Sageworks' ProfitCents suite of financial information software for accounting firms will also be available so data users can learn about the company's narrative financial analysis reports and other offerings through their data accounts.
"Accounting firms have helped us compile this peer benchmarking data, and we're now giving it back to them so they can use it to show their business owner clients both what they can do better and where they stand out compared to their peers," Ogle said.