Traditionally, Santa Claus is the person making a list and checking it twice, but this year one company decided to turn the tables and have a little fun with numbers. Yes, Santa has been audited. ParenteBeard, a top 25 U.S. accounting firm, decided to balance the books of what would be the world's largest non-profit organization — Santa, Inc.
"With what's going on in the economy, with the fiscal cliff, we thought it would be a good idea to check in on Santa and see whether or not he had solid operations," says Jeff Ferro, president of ParenteBeard, in the attached video. "We found out he's got a pretty expensive operation."
In a short report "Santa, Inc: By the Numbers" the firms puts a $42.3 billion annual price tag on the entire North Pole operation. They broke down the numbers starting with the heart of the business.
Gift Production: $39.5 billion
Ferro says 90 — 95% of Santa's operation is gifts. Here's how ParenteBeard determined the costs: There are roughly 526 million kids under age 14 that celebrate Christmas. They estimated a $75 value for each gift.
"We didn't differentiate who's naughty and nice," says Ferro. "We just assumed everyone gets a gift." This costs Santa, Inc. an annual total of $39.5 billion.
Employee Costs: $2.77 billion
Of course, somebody has to make the gifts. ParenteBeard estimated there are 50,000 elves producing the goods. Since the average real life toymaker in the U.S. earns $35,859 a year, the firm assumed Santa would be more generous and pay his employees a $40,000 salary + $15,475 for healthcare costs.
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