The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:1. Advocate for small firms within the AIA and in outside organizations and agencies.2. Promote leadership in Small Firm professional development and practice; and3. Facilitate and support the local component round tables and small firm networks.
Again this year, Deltek's survey had the highest number of respondents among all similar A/E industry surveys.
A copy of the Final Report is attached.
While there are minor improvements pretty much across the industry, of particular note again is the performance of what are called the High Performing Firms. While the industry had a median Operating Profit Rate of almost 12%, that of the HPFs was almost 26%. Pre-Tax Return on Equity was similarly impressive: 20% for All Firms vs. 43% for the HPFs.
Plus, there is evidence that these HPFs are not 'one-year-wonders'. Rather, they are performing at these higher levels year-after-year. In all, the HPFs constituted almost 25% of All Firms, and were rather evenly distributed across the size-of-firm groups.
I am updating a research paper from last year regarding HPFs and the factors that set them apart. It will be posted here soon. Suffice it to say that it seems that HPFs do not have significantly higher Utilization Rates, Salaries, or Benefits. It is their Net Revenue Multipliers that set them apart, and, in turn, the higher Bonuses they give out to reward performance.
Use this report to benchmark your firm, both against the industry as well as against the HPFs.