1. Is this survey mandatory?
Yes. Your response is required by law. Title 13 of the U.S. Code requires businesses and other organizations that receive the questionnaire(s) to answer the questions and return the report(s) to the Census Bureau. The law also provides that copies retained in your files are confidential and immune from legal process.
2. What is the Service Annual Survey?
The Service Annual Survey provides data that help to measure America's current economic performance. The Service Annual Survey uses a sample of approximately 72,000 selected service businesses, the Service Annual Survey collects revenue; expenses; e-commerce sales; and, for some industries, exports, inventories, class of customer, and detail product lines based on the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS). The instrument to collect data for the Service Annual Survey is the Annual Services Report.
The government uses the data to determine economic policy; private industry relies on these data for planning and research.
3. Who uses the data?
4. My firm is no longer in business. What should I do?Complete the survey with the data for any period of time during calendar year 2012 that the company was in operation. We also need the date that the company went out of business.
If you sold your business, record the following in the Remarks section:
5. Why don't you get the information you need from the IRS?
The Census Bureau uses IRS administrative data whenever possible. However, the IRS data does not provide the level of detail needed in most Census Bureau surveys. Also, some items are just not available from IRS data, e.g., merchandise/receipts lines, e-commerce, etc.
6. What is NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)?
NAICS is used to classify a business location's primary activity. NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. You may access the following web site to learn more about NAICS:
7. I report data in the Quarterly Services Survey? Why can't you sum up the data?
The Annual Services Report collects additional data not included on the Quarterly Services Survey, including e-commerce and detailed expense data. Often, companies have final adjustments to their quarterly level that we wouldn't know about without the annual survey.