2018 Annual Wholesale Trade Survey - Reporting Guide

Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP)

This guide is designed to assist you as you complete the 2018 Annual Wholesale Trade Survey. If you need more information, please call the Statistics Canada Help Line at the number below.

Help Line: 1-800-858-7921

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

Reporting instructions

1. Please print in ink.

2. Please report all dollar amounts in thousands of Canadian dollars ('000 CAN$).

3. Do not include sales tax

4. All dollar amounts reported should be rounded to the nearest whole dollar (e.g., $55,417.40 should be rounded to $55,417). All percentages reported should be rounded to the nearest whole percent (e.g., 37.3% to 37%, 75.8% to 76%).

5. When precise figures are not available, please provide your best estimates.

Business or organization and contact information

This section verifies or requests basic identifying information of the business or organization such as legal name, operating name (if applicable), contact information of the designated contact person, current operational status, and main activity(ies).

1. Legal name and Operating name

Legal Name
The legal name is one recognized by law, thus it is the name liable for pursuit or for debts incurred by the business or organization. In the case of a corporation, it is the legal name as fixed by its charter or the statute by which the corporation was created.

Modifications to the legal name should only be done to correct a spelling error or typo.

To indicate a legal name of another legal entity you should instead indicate it in question 3 by selecting 'Not currently operational' and then choosing the applicable reason and providing the legal name of this other entity along with any other requested information.

Operating Name
The operating name is a name the business or organization is commonly known as if different from its legal name. The operating name is synonymous with the trade name.

2. Designated contact person

Verify or provide the requested contact information of the designated business or organization contact person.  The designated contact person is the person who should receive this questionnaire.  The designated contact person may not always be the one who actually completes the questionnaire.  If different than the designated contact person, the contact information of the person completing the questionnaire can be indicated later in the questionnaire.

3. Current operational status

Verify or provide the current operational status of the business or organization identified by the legal and operating name in question 1.  If indicating the operational status of the business or organization is 'Not currently operational' then indicate an applicable reason and provide the requested information.

4. Main activity

This question verifies the business or organization's current main activity as classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is an industry classification system developed by the statistical agencies of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Created against the background of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it is designed to provide common definitions of the industrial structure of the three countries and a common statistical framework to facilitate the analysis of the three economies. NAICS is based on supply-side or production-oriented principles, to ensure that industrial data, classified to NAICS, are suitable for the analysis of production-related issues such as industrial performance.

The target entity for which NAICS is designed are businesses and other organizations engaged in the production of goods and services. They include farms, incorporated and unincorporated businesses and government business enterprises. They also include government institutions and agencies engaged in the production of marketed and non-marketed services, as well as organizations such as professional associations and unions and charitable or non-profit organizations and the employees of households.

The associated NAICS should reflect those activities conducted by the business or organizational unit(s) targeted by this questionnaire only, as identified in the 'Answering this questionnaire' section and which can be identified by the specified legal and operating name. The main activity is the activity which most defines the targeted business or organization's main purpose or reason for existence. For a business or organization that is for-profit, it is normally the activity that generates the majority of the revenue for the entity.

The NAICS classification contains a limited number of activity classifications; the associated classification might be applicable for this business or organization even if it is not exactly how you would describe this business or organization's main activity.

Please note that any modifications to the main activity through your response to this question might not necessarily be reflected prior to the transmitting of subsequent questionnaires and as a result they may not contain this updated information.

If the current NAICS associated with this business or organizations is not correct, please provide a brief description of the main activity and provide any additional information as requested.

Reporting period information

For this survey, please report information for this business's most recent 12 month fiscal period

Note: For this survey, the End date should fall between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

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

  • May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018
  • June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018
  • July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
  • August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018
  • September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018
  • October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018
  • November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018
  • December 1, 2017 to November 30, 2018
  • January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018
  • February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019
  • March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019
  • April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019

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

  • September 18, 2017 to September 15, 2018 (e.g., floating year-end)
  • June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 (e.g., a newly opened business)


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

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; intracompany sales in consolidated financial statements.

2. Rental and leasing

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.

3. 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)).

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Dividends

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

7. 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.

8. Other revenue (please specify)

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

9. Total revenue

The sum of sub-questions (1) to (8).


Mobile app

Include sales through any app, or application, that is downloaded and designed to run on a handheld device such as a smartphone or tablet (for example, places where a user may download these apps from Apple's App Store, Google Play or Blackberry App World).

Company website

Include sales through a browser-based website where your organization maintains control of the content.

Third-party website

Include sales through a browser-based website where a third-party maintains the structure of the website and control of the look and feel while your company only provides the product to be sold (for example, Amazon, Expedia, Etsy).

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

A standard format for exchanging business data. EDI is based on the use of message standards, ensuring that all participants use a common language.


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.

2. Employment costs and expenses

a. 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 question 3 - Subcontracts).

b. 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.

3. Subcontracts

Subcontract 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; Subcontract and outside labour; Hired labour.

4. Research and development fees

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.

5. 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 question 21 - All other costs and expenses).

6. Utilities 

Utility expenses related to operating your business unit such as water, electricity, gas, heating and hydro.
Include: Diesel, wood, natural gas, oil and propane; Sewage. 
Exclude: Energy expenses covered in your rental and leasing contracts; Telephone, Internet and other telecommunications; (report this amount at question 8. - Telephone, Internet and other telecommunication); Vehicle fuel (report at question 21 - All other costs and expenses).

7. 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 question 8 - Telephone, Internet and other telecommunication).

8. Telephone, Internet and other telecommunication

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

9. 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.

10. 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

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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).

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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 question 19 - Interest expense).

19. 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.

20. 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

21. 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 questions 1 to 20 above.

22. Total expenses

The sum of sub-questions 1 to 21.

Industry Characteristics

All revenue reported should exclude sales taxes (GST/HST, PST and QST) and be net of returns, discounts, sales allowances, and charges for outward transportation by common or contract carriers.

1. All products purchased for resale

Include: Excise taxes (such as those on gasoline, liquor, and tobacco) and other taxes that are levied on the manufacturer/importer and included in the cost of products purchased by this business unit; Sales of all products purchased for resale, please report gross sales of new and used products less returns, discounts and rebates; Parts used in generating repair and maintenance revenue, report the labour portion of repair and maintenance at question 3; Any sales made to any member company of your enterprise. Do not deduct the value of trade-ins.
Exclude: Taxes collected directly from customers and paid directly by this operating unit to provincial and federal tax agencies.

2. Products manufactured as a secondary activity by this business

Report revenue from sales of products of own manufacture.

3. Repair and maintenance services

Include: Labour revenue from installation, repair and maintenance work; Parts used in generating installation, repair and maintenance revenue are to be included at question 1.

4. Rental and leasing of real estate

Include: Rental and leasing of office space and other real estate.

5. Rental and leasing of products and equipment

Include: Rental and leasing of products and equipment whether or not they have been produced by this business.

Value of products

Report sale value of those products upon which this business has reported earning a commission or fee in the Revenue section question 1.

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.
Include: 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.
Include: Sales to hospitals, schools, universities and public utilities.

2. 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.
Include: Sales to foreign subsidiaries and affiliates.

Province/country of origin and destination of goods sold

For costs of goods sold and sales of goods

Report the total cost of goods for this product. In the following question, you will be asked to provide the percentage breakdown of the total cost of goods according to the origin of the goods (i.e., the province, territory, or country outside Canada where the goods were originally manufactured).

The origin is, to the best of your knowledge, where the products were originally produced or manufactured (i.e., which province, territory, or country outside Canada). If the origin is not known, an acceptable substitute is the location of this business's supplier.
Note: exclude intermediate shipping points between your supplier and you.

The total for the origin should be equal to 100%.

Sales of Goods

Report the total sales for this product. In the following question, you will be asked to provide a percentage breakdown of the total sales of this product according to the destination (that is, the province, territory, or country outside Canada where the goods will ultimately be used). For the product listed, please provide the percentage breakdown of the sales according to the destination.

The destination, to the best of your knowledge, where the goods will ultimately be used (i.e., which province, territory, or country outside Canada). Acceptable substitutes are: Shipping destinations; Location of retail customers; Location of warehouses.

The percentages should sum to 100%.

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