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ASTA Announces New Financial ToolsJune 6, 2008 By: George Dooley
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has launched the full version of its Financial Assessment Tool to assist its members with financial management and performance benchmarking. The new version offers sections on balance sheets, operating expense benchmarking and an agent productivity/expectation/profitability tool.
“The new financial benchmarking tools are an invaluable resource for any size travel agency," said ASTA’s executive vice president and COO, William Maloney. "The goal is to help agents benchmark themselves against the industry and guide them in how to run their business more efficiently. Any firm with annual sales greater than $200,000 should be running a balance sheet at least quarterly and this is the right resource for staying on top of the numbers.”
This tool is set up as a spread sheet, requiring agents to fill in sales mix, revenue mix, operating expenses, agent productivity and construct a profit and loss statement. Everything from air commissions, overrides, cruise sales and even GDS incentives on hotels or tour packages is included. Once the numbers are inserted, the tool gives agents an idea of where they stand financially, allowing them to better guide their business and plan for the future, ASTA said.
The balance sheet tool is used to analyze an agency’s current financial health and pinpoint areas where action may be needed. Also available is the operating expenses benchmarking tool, a condensed version of the full financial tool that just covers the benchmarking of operating expenses against another agency’s expenses.
Another condensed tool is the agent productivity/expectation/ profitability tool that allows an agency to measure productivity and expected profitability of their agents based on the agency’s revenue and expense. Visit www.asta.org.