The National Association of Manufacturers is working with two Loyola University accounting professors to conduct a survey of privately held companies that use LIFO, a textbook accounting method used to determine book income and tax liability.
LIFO (Last-In First-Out) refers to the assumption that a business makes in establishing the value of its inventories.
The National Association of Manufacturers wants National Marine Manufacturers Association members to respond to the survey. Responses can be made anonymously because the organization recognizes that sensitive data are being requested, NMMA legislative director Jim Currie said in an email.
“We at NMMA believe this is a worthwhile undertaking that might provide ammunition we can use if Congress attempts to repeal LIFO,” Currie added.
The text of a National Association of Manufacturers email explains the request, including its importance to manufacturers:
“As you know, the NAM has been actively involved in the leadership of the business community's LIFO Coalition since it was organized in 2006 in response to a Senate proposal to fully repeal LIFO. One of the challenges we have faced during this 6-year effort has been quantifying LIFO usage among privately held companies. There is no data that shows how many privately held companies use LIFO, the size of their LIFO reserves or the impact of repeal on the fiscal health of those companies or the aggregate impact on the economy or jobs. We have often been asked by members of Congress and their staffs to provide them with analytical analyses of the impact of repeal, and we have been unable to do so, relying instead on anecdotal evidence and two studies (one by Georgia Tech and one by [the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants]), both of which conclude that 36 to 40 percent of companies use LIFO.
“We are asking NAM member companies which are privately held and on LIFO if you would be willing to participate in this study by providing the professors answers to the LIFO Survey,” the NAM email read.
Responses to the survey will be completely confidential, the National Association of Manufacturers said. No company name will be associated with any of the data. To assure anonymity, companies that are willing to participate are asked to provide their responses to Currie, who will submit them to the professors.
The professors have asked for the names of the companies that respond, separate from the responses, but the National Association of Manufacturers has told them that it will do so only with the specific consent of the participants and that absent that consent, all of the data will be completely anonymous, with only the identification of the industry provided.
Companies that want to participate in the survey are asked to send their responses to Currie at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will forward them to the National Association of Manufacturers, which would like to collect the data by the end of June.