“There is no other way to gain knowledge except through comparison of one to another,” according to Jim Nowakowski. As the President of Accountability Information Management (AIM), a market research company based in Palatine, IL, that primarily engages in product development, brand preference, and other marketing related information, Nowakowski trusts that The Risk Management Association (RMA) provides a great wealth of data comparisons.
In many cases, Statement Studies users seek out financial benchmarking to evaluate the financial performance of a client, specifically those in the fields of banking, capital investment firms, leasing companies, and alike. Financial professionals will calculate individual financial ratios for their business or client. Then they will examine how these metrics compare to the industry as a whole, including key performance measurements such as coverage, leverage, liquidity, and operating ratios.
In particular, a market research firm may need to gather financial ratio benchmark information of a company or an industry, when conducting research on clients’ product development and brand preference.
For instance, the research firm AIM was presented with a project to provide its clients a third-party, proprietary and confidential information member income and expense performance. This was achieved by using the US Department of Commerce Quarterly Financial Reports. However, the research firm still needed to generate an Income & Expenses Study containing key financial and operating ratios of their current member companies, giving a benchmark ratio that they can compare themselves against.
With its access to the Statement Studies database, AIM was able to prepare the prerequisite report on Income & Expenses within the target industry that were the scope of the research.
“We immediately contacted the association [RMA] and were directed to their Annual Statement Studies report which has subsequently become an invaluable part of the I&E report for our client,” says Nowakowski. He then concludes, “The bottom line? Knowledge is comparison. And what we found out is having RMA benchmarks helps produce such knowledge for our clients, and for us.”
Upon its successful completion of the research project, AIM obtained copyright permission from RMA, giving its client’s an accurate, additional benchmark to compare their performance levels in their calculations.
In 2020, RMA featured data from over 732 industries from more than 240,000 financial statements.
RMA Annual Statement Studies is the only source of comparative industry benchmarking data that comes directly from the financial statements of small and medium-size business clients of RMA’s member institutions. For over 100 years, financial services professionals have relied on this data to make better credit and lending decisions. The data is available via book, individual download, or digitally through eStatement Studies.
As Manager, Business Solutions, Shea Scarpa Gardner is responsible for the daily promotion, production, distribution, and support of the Annual Statement Studies product. Prior to managing RMA’s flagship product, Shea worked in RMA’s Finance Department as an Accounts Receivable Representative. Shea holds a B.S. in Finance from the Rutgers School of Business.
As Product Marketing Specialist, Adalla is responsible for driving both the strategic and tactical aspects of RMA’s product sales. Prior to RMA, Adalla worked as a reporter for global media services and publication groups such as PEI Media and the Financial Times Group. She started her career at Campbell Lutyens, a global private capital advisory group. As an avid learner and a curious adventurer, Adalla speaks Korean, English, and Spanish, and has traveled to 19 countries. She graduated from Incheon National University with a Bachelor of International Trade in Northeast Asia Economic Studies.