2013 Survey of Service Industries:Consulting Services

Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP)

Reporting Guide

This guide is designed to assist you as you complete the 2013 Survey of Service Industries. If you need more information, please call the Statistics Canada Help Line at the number below.

Help Line: 1-800-972-9692

Your answers are confidential.

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act.

Statistics Canada will use information from this survey for statistical purposes.

Table of contents

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Business activity
Reporting period information
Industry Characteristics
Sales by type of client
International transactions
General information
Data-sharing agreements
Record linkages

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Business activity

The description on file for this business comes from the North American Industrial Classifications System (NAICS). This database contains a limited number of activity classifications. The classifications on file might be applicable for this business, even if it is not exactly how you would describe this business’s main activity.

By selecting "Yes, this is the main activity.", you indicate that the description is applicable, and it describes the main economic activity which typically generates the most revenue for this business.

By selecting "No, this is not the main activity.", you indicate that this description is not applicable as a main or a secondary activity of this business. You will be given a chance to describe this business’s main activity.

If none of the above activities describes your main source of revenue, please call 1-800 972 9692 for further instructions.

Reporting period information

Here are twelve common fiscal periods that fall within the targeted dates:

  • May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013
  • June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013
  • July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013
  • August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2013
  • September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013
  • October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013
  • November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2013
  • December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013
  • January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013
  • February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014
  • March 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014
  • April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014

Here are other examples of fiscal periods that fall within the required dates:

  • September 18, 2012 to September 15, 2013 (e.g., floating year-end)
  • June 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 (e.g., a newly opened business)

  1. Sales of goods and services (e.g., fees, commissions, services revenue)

Report net of returns and allowances.
Sales of goods and services are defined as amounts derived from the sale of goods and services (cash or credit), falling within a business’s ordinary activities. Sales should be reported net of trade discount, value added tax and other taxes based on sales.

Include: Sales from Canadian locations (domestic and export sales); Transfers to other business units or a head office of your firm. Exclude: Transfers into inventory and consignment sales; Federal, provincial and territorial sales taxes and excise duties and taxes; intercompany sales in consolidated financial statements.

  1. Rental and leasing revenue

Include: Rental or leasing of apartments, commercial buildings, land, office space, residential housing, investments in co-tenancies and co-ownerships, hotel or motel rooms, long and short term vehicle leasing, machinery or equipment, storage lockers, etc.

  1. Commissions

Include: Commissions earned on the sale of products or services by businesses such as advertising agencies, brokers, insurance agents, lottery ticket sales, sales representatives, and travel agencies – (compensation could also be reported under this item (for example, compensation for collecting sales tax).

  1. Subsidies (including grants, donations and fundraising)

Include: Non-repayable grants, contributions and subsidies from all levels of government; Revenue from private sector (corporate and individual) sponsorships, donations and fundraising.

  1. Royalties rights, licensing and franchise fees

A royalty is defined as a payment received by the holder of a copyright, trademark or patent.

Include revenue received from the sale or use of all intellectual property rights of copyrighted materials such as musical, literary, artistic or dramatic works, sound recordings or the broadcasting of communication signals.

  1. Dividends

Include: Dividend income; Dividends from Canadian sources; Dividends from foreign sources; Patronage dividends. Exclude: Equity income from investments in subsidiaries or affiliates.

  1. Interest

Include: Investment revenue; Interest from foreign sources; Interest from Canadian bonds and debentures; Interest from Canadian mortgage loans; Interest from other Canadian sources. Exclude: Equity income from investments in subsidiaries or affiliates.

  1. Other revenue (please specify)

Include: Amounts not included in questions (1) to (7). intracompany transfers

  1. Total revenue

(sum of questions 1 to 8)


  1. Cost of goods sold

Many business units distinguish their costs of materials from their other business expenses (selling, general and administrative). This item is included to allow you to easily record your costs/expenses according to your normal accounting practices.

Include: Cost of raw materials and/or goods purchased for re-sale – net of discounts earned on purchases; Freight in and duty.

  1. opening inventories
  1. purchases

Include: raw material, goods purchased for resale and non-returnable containers
Exclude: change in inventories

  1. closing inventories
  1. cost of goods sold

(opening inventories plus purchases minus closing inventories)

  1. Employment costs and expenses

(for all employees who were issued a T4):

  1. Salaries, wages and commissions

Please report all salaries and wages (including taxable allowances and employment commissions as defined on the T4 – Statement of Remuneration Paid) before deductions for this reporting period.

Include: Vacation pay; Bonuses (including profit sharing); Employee commissions; Taxable allowances (e.g., room and board, vehicle allowances, gifts such as airline tickets for holidays); Severance pay.
Exclude: All payments and expenses associated with casual labour and outside contract workers (report these amounts at sub-question (3) - Sub-contracts).

  1. Employee benefits

Include contributions to: Health plans; Insurance plans; Employment insurance; Pension plans; Workers’ compensation; Association dues; Contributions to any other employee benefits such as child care and supplementary unemployment  benefit (SUB) plans; Contributions to provincial and territorial health and education payroll taxes.

  1. Sub-contracts

Sub-contract expense refers to the purchasing of services from outside of the company rather than providing them in-house.

Include: Hired casual labour and outside contract workers; Custom work and contract work; Sub-contract and outside labour; Hired labour.

  1. Research and development

Expenses from activities conducted with the intention of making a discovery that could either lead to the development of new products or procedures, or to the improvement of existing products or procedures.

  1. Professional and business fees 

Include: Legal services; Accounting and auditing fees; Consulting fees; Education and training fees; Appraisal fees; Management and administration fees; Property management fees; Information technology (IT) consulting and service fees (purchased); Architectural fees; Engineering fees; Scientific and technical service fees; Other consulting fees (management, technical and scientific); Veterinary fees; Fees for human health services; Payroll preparation fees; All other professional and business service fees.
Exclude: Service fees paid to Head Office (report at sub-question (21) - All other expenses).

  1. Utilities 

Utility expenses related to operating your business unit such as water, electricity, gas, heating and hydro.

Include: Diesel, fuel wood, natural gas, oil and propane; Sewage. 
Exclude: Energy expenses covered in your rental and leasing contracts; Telephone, Internet and other telecommunications; Vehicle fuel (report at sub-question (21) - All other expenses).

  1. Office and computer related expenses

Include: Office stationery and supplies, paper and other supplies for photocopiers, printers and fax machines; Postage and courier (used in the day to day office business activity); Diskettes and computer upgrade expenses; Data processing.
Exclude: Telephone, Internet and other telecommunication expenses. (report this amount at sub-question (8) - Telephone, Internet and other telecommunication expenses).

  1. Telephone, Internet and other telecommunications

Include: Internet; Telephone and telecommunications; Cellular telephone; Fax machine; Pager.

  1. Business taxes, licenses and permits

Include: Property taxes paid directly and property transfer taxes; Vehicle license fees; Beverage taxes and business taxes; Trade license fees; Membership fees and professional license fees; Provincial capital tax.

  1. Royalties, franchise fees and memberships

Include: Amounts paid to holders of patents, copyrights, performing rights and trademarks; Gross overriding royalty expenses and direct royalty costs; Resident and non-resident royalty expenses; Franchise fees.
Exclude: Crown royalties

  1. Crown charges

Federal or Provincial royalty, tax, lease or rental payments made in relation to the acquisition, development or ownership of Canadian resource properties.  

Include: Crown royalties; Crown leases and rentals; Oil sand leases; Stumpage fees.

  1. Rental and leasing

Include: Lease rental expenses, real estate rental expenses, condominium fees and equipment rental expenses; Motor vehicle rental and leasing expenses; Studio lighting and scaffolding; Machinery and equipment rental expenses; Storage expenses; Road and construction equipment rental; Fuel and other utility costs covered in your rental and leasing contracts.

  1. Repair and maintenance

Include: Buildings and structures; Machinery and equipment; Security equipment; Vehicles; Costs related to materials, parts and external labour associated with these expenses; Janitorial and cleaning services and garbage removal.

  1. Amortization and depreciation

Include: Direct cost depreciation of tangible assets and amortization of leasehold improvements; Amortization of intangible assets (e.g., amortization of goodwill, patents, franchises, copyrights, trademarks, deferred charges, organizational costs).

  1. Insurance

Insurance recovery income should be deducted from insurance expenses.

Include: Professional and other liability insurance; Motor vehicle and property insurance; Executive life insurance; Bonding, business interruption insurance and fire insurance.

  1. Advertising, marketing, promotion, meals and entertainment

Include: Newspaper advertising and media expenses; Catalogues, presentations and displays; Tickets for theatre, concerts and sporting events for business promotion; Fundraising expenses; Meals, entertainment and hospitality purchases for clients.

  1. Travel, meetings and conventions

Include: Travel expenses; Meeting and convention expenses, seminars; Passenger transportation (e.g., airfare, bus, train, etc.); Accommodations; Travel allowance and meals while travelling; Other travel expenses.

  1. Financial services 

Include: Explicit service charges for financial services; Credit and debit card commissions and charges; Collection expenses and transfer fees; Registrar and transfer agent fees; Security and exchange commission fees; Other financial service fees.
Exclude: Interest expenses (report at sub-question (19) - Interest expense).

  1. Interest expense

Report the cost of servicing your company’s debt.

Include: Interest; Bank charges; Finance charges; Interest payments on capital leases; Amortization of bond discounts; Interest on short-term and long-term debt, mortgages, bonds and debentures.

  1. Other non-production-related costs and expenses

Include: Charitable donations and political contributions; Bad Debt expense; Loan losses; Provisions for loan losses (minus Bad debt recoveries); Inventory adjustments

  1. All other costs and expenses (including intracompany expenses)

Production costs; Pipeline operations, drilling, site restoration; Gross overriding royalty; Other producing property rentals; Well operating, fuel and equipment; Other lease rentals; Other direct costs; Equipment hire and operation; Log yard expense, forestry costs, logging road costs; Freight in and duty; Overhead expenses allocated to costs of sales; Other expenses; Cash over/short (negative expense); Reimbursement of parent company expense; Warranty expense; Recruiting expenses; General and administrative expenses; Interdivisional expenses; Interfund transfer (minus expense recoveries); Exploration and Development (including prospect/geological, well abandonment & dry holes, exploration expenses, development expenses); Amounts not included in sub-questions (1) to (20) above.

  1. Total expenses

(sum of lines 1 to 21)

Industry Characteristics

Management consulting services

  1. Strategic management consulting services

Providing advice and guidance concerning the
overall strategic direction, planning, structuring and control of an organization.
Include consulting on:                                                                                              
• Business strategy and planning;
• Corporate development and restructuring;
• Crisis management;
• The development of an organization’s overall direction and objectives;
• The determination of the organization’s strategy
to achieve the selected direction and objectives;
• The selection of a method for carrying out the strategy, including selection among such methods as a merger or acquisition, joint venture, outsourcing, or other alliance, divestiture, new business venture or use of new technology;
• Designing or redesigning the organizational structure.

  1. Financial management consulting services

Providing advice and guidance concerning
financial strategies, planning and control.
• Advice and guidance on projects related to working capital and liquidity management;
• The determination of an appropriate capital structure;
• Capital investment proposals, asset management;
• Accounting policy and procedures;
• Budgeting and budgetary controls;
• Financial consulting services related to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures such as advice on methods of valuations, methods of payment and methods of control;
• International finance.

  1. Marketing management consulting services

Providing advice and guidance on projects related to marketing strategy, market development and sales management and development.
• Identifying external opportunities and challenges that can be addressed by marketing;
• Analysing internal strengths and weaknesses;
• Determining which goods and services to offer;
• Target markets;
• Competitive position;
• Features of goods and services including
customer service programs;
• Pricing;
• Advertising, and distribution channels
(including franchising);
• Marketing expenditure level;
• Sales management and development.

  1. Employee compensation and benefits consulting services

Providing advice and guidance related to compensation and benefits systems.
• Base salary or hourly wages;
• Fringe benefits and incentive compensation;
• Non-cash compensation;
• Employee services and benefits such as pension and retirement and savings plans, welfare and health plans;
• Early retirement proposals;
Scope of services may consist of:
• Job evaluation and job rating systems;
• Performance appraisals;
• Executive compensation;
• Incentive and bonus plans;
• Job and positions analysis and evaluations;
• Comparative wage-and-salary surveys;
• Pay for performance programs, profit sharing plans, executive compensation and termination packages.

  1. Other human resources management consulting services

Providing advice and guidance concerning the development or modification of human resource strategies, policies, practices and procedures
except concerning compensation and benefits.
• Consulting on recruitment;
• Organizational development (improving
functions within and between groups);
• Employee training and development needs;
• Outplacement procedures and plans for
assistance to employees;
• Succession planning;
• Compliance with government regulations in
areas such as health, safety, workers’ compensation and employment equity;
• Labour-management relations;
• Employee assistance programs;
• Human resources audits.

  1. Operations and supply chain management consulting services

Operations management is concerned with the management of physical, financial and human resources with the objective of producing goods
and services. Supply chain management is a bundled service.
• Inventory management services;
• Warehousing and storage services and
distribution services.
May include advice and guidance concerning:
• Productivity improvement;
• Cost reduction;
• Quality improvements in goods and services;
• Registration for quality management systems;
• Improvements to logistical operations such as production planning and control;
• The management of supply sources, inventories, distribution networks and transportation.

  1. Other management consulting services

Services, related to the field of management consulting, that are provided by management consulting firms.
• Economic and social research services;
• Arbitration and conciliation services (except
by lawyer, attorney or paralegal offices);
• Other related products such as:

Actuarial consulting services, except for employee pensions and other benefits
Providing advice and guidance on actuarial matters such as life insurance and annuities, property and casualty insurance, public pension, health and other social insurance plans, income loss and marriage breakdown.

Expert witness services
Providing testimony before a court or administrative body, by a witness who, by virtue of experience, training, skill or knowledge, is recognized as being qualified to render an informed opinion on matters relating to a field or subject.

Training services, management
Providing management-related training and education services, in fields such as strategic management, financial management, marketing management, human resources management, operations and logistics management on a stand-alone basis.

Project management
Planning, supervising and co-ordinating the activities involved in carrying out a project, with regard to time, cost, project team membership, performance requirements and other constraints. This product refers only to those situations in which project management is offered as a stand-alone service.

Environmental consulting services

  1. Environmental assessments

Objective studies undertaken for any one or more of the following purposes:
• Identify whether or not environmental contamination exists at a particular site, and if so, determine the source, nature and extent of the contamination;
• Assess the risk to public health and safety from environmental contamination associated with a project that is proposed or in place;
• Evaluate the impact on the ecology, society or economy of environmental contamination resulting from human or natural activity.

  1. Environmental audits

An independent assessment of the current status of a party’s compliance with applicable environmental requirements or of a party’s environmental compliance policies, practices and controls.

  1. Site remediation planning services

Preparation of a plan for the abatement of environmental contamination, usually at a specific site, and incorporating such technical or other criteria as may be prescribed by law or regulation.

  1. Natural resource management consulting services

The provision of objective information, advice and guidance concerning the best practices for the ecologically sustainable development and use of:
• Lands and forests;
• Bodies of water;
• Oil, gas, and mineral deposits;
• Wildlife populations;
• Other natural resources.

  1. Waste management consulting services

The provision of objective information, advice
and guidance concerning the best practices for the minimization, transport, handling, disposal and/or recycling of waste.

  1. Environmental policy development consulting services

Advising public or private institutions on the design, development and implementation of environmental statutes, regulations, standards or practices. Consulting services of this type may extend to the drafting of such statutes, regulations, standards or practices on behalf of the client.

  1. Other environmental consulting services

All other advisory services not elsewhere classified that are provided by environmental consultants.

Scientific and technical consulting services

  1. Economic consulting services

Providing advice related to the description and analysis of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
• Consulting services related to macroeconomic modeling;
• Economic forecasting;
• Economic issues arising from competition, regulations, public policy and finance;
• Expert witness services;
• Consulting in agricultural economics.

  1. Geological and geophysical consulting services

Providing advice concerning the geology of mineral, oil and natural gas resource exploration and development.
• Geophysical methods;
• Expert witness services;
• Resource and reserve estimates, audits and reviews;
• Independent valuations of mineral, oil and natural gas properties;
• Preparation of independent reports for stock exchange listings;
• Feasibility studies of mineral, oil and natural gas properties;
• Mineral, oil and natural gas property and project evaluation services;
• Geophysical survey design, including selection of methods;
• Appraisal of geological, geophysical or geochemical anomalies.

  1. Soil management, crop and animal production consulting services

Providing advice in relation to the scientific management of agricultural land as well as crop or animal production.
Include expert witness services and consulting services related to:
• Tree farming;
• Crop fertilization;
• Animal breeding;
• Soil conservation.

  1. Occupational health and safety consulting services

Providing advice concerning health and related safety standards in commercial, industrial and government workplaces and facilities.
• Industrial hygiene;
• Workplace health risk assessments;
• Ergonomics;
• Confined space entry;
• Health hazard testing and evaluations;
• Safety standard requirements;
• Expert witness services.

  1. Other scientific and technical consulting services (please specify)

Providing advice on scientific and technical matters not elsewhere classified.
• Pharmaceutical;
• Chemistry;
• Atomic energy;
• Expert witness services.

Also include:
Heritage Consulting Services

Providing advice concerning the identification, investigation, preservation and interpretation of historical or heritage resources. Includes advice related to the use of historical and archaeological research.

• Built heritage assessments;
• Archaeological site impact or mitigation;
• Advice on local, national or international regulations and standards for heritage sites or
• Advice on obtaining government grants concerning heritage sites;
• Traditional uses of land, water and natural resources by aboriginal peoples;
• Expert witness services.

Other services

  1. Other sales of goods and services – please specify:
  1. Total sales of goods and services

(sum of questions 10 to 20)


  1. During this reporting period, how many non-salaried partners and proprietors did this business have?

Sales by type of client

This section is designed to measure which sector of the economy purchases your services.
Please provide a percentage breakdown of your sales by type of client.
Please ensure that the sum of percentages reported in this section equals 100%.

  1. Clients in Canada

(a) Individuals and households
Please report the percentage of sales to individuals and households who do not represent the business or government sector.

(b) Businesses
Percentage of sales sold to the business sector should be reported here.
• Sales to Crown corporations.

(c) Governments, not-for-profit organizations and public institutions (e.g., hospitals, schools)
Percentage of sales to federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments should be reported here.
• Sales to hospitals, schools, universities and public utilities.

  1. Clients outside Canada

Please report the percentage of total sales to customers or clients located outside Canada including foreign businesses, foreign individuals, foreign institutions and/or governments.
• Sales to foreign subsidiaries and affiliates.

International transactions

This section is intended to measure the value of international transactions on goods, services, and royalties and licences fees. It covers imported services and goods purchased outside Canada as well as the value of exported services and goods to clients/customers outside Canada. Please report also royalties, rights, licensing and franchise fees paid to and/or received from outside Canada. Services cover a variety of industrial, professional, trade and business services.

General information

Data-sharing agreements

To reduce respondent burden, Statistics Canada has entered into data sharing agreements with provincial and territorial statistical agencies and other government organizations, which have agreed to keep the data confidential and use them only for statistical purposes. Statistics Canada will only share data from this survey with those organizations that have demonstrated a requirement to use the data.

Section 11 of the Statistics Act provides for the sharing of information with provincial and territorial statistical agencies that meet certain conditions. These agencies must have the legislative authority to collect the same information, on a mandatory basis, and the legislation must provide substantially the same provisions for confidentiality and penalties for disclosure of confidential information as the Statistics Act. Because these agencies have the legal authority to compel businesses to provide the same information, consent is not requested and businesses may not object to the sharing of the data.

For this survey, there are Section 11 agreements with the provincial and territorial statistical agencies of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon.

The shared data will be limited to information pertaining to business establishments located within the jurisdiction of the respective province or territory.

Section 12 of the Statistics Act provides for the sharing of information with federal, provincial or territorial government organizations. Under Section 12, you may refuse to share your information with any of these organizations by writing a letter of objection to the Chief Statistician and returning it with the completed questionnaire. Please specify the organizations with which you do not want to share your data.

For this survey, there are Section 12 agreements with the statistical agencies of Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

For agreements with provincial and territorial government organizations, the shared data will be limited to information pertaining to business establishments located within the jurisdiction of the respective province or territory.

Record linkages

To enhance the data from this survey, and to minimize the reporting burden, Statistics Canada may combine it with information from other surveys or from administrative sources.

Please note that Statistics Canada does not share any individual survey information with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Please visit our website at www.statcan.gc.ca/survey-enquete/index-eng.htm or call us at 1-800-972-9692 for more information about these data-sharing agreements.

Thank you!