When businesses get US Census surveys, they are not the happy smiling documents one gets as an individual. Stamped all over it is "Your Response Is Required By Law" and when filling it out, one has the suspicion that he is facilitating his own doom by providing government weenies the data ammunition they need to tax or regulate us more.
The survey asks for total revenues and costs and payrolls cut a bunch of different ways, and takes about 1-2 hours to fill out if one is trying to be accurate. However, I looked at the survey closer this year and I noticed that this seven-page survey is for an individual business location.
I have nearly 200 campgrounds and other recreational sites. One of the tricks of our business is we have learned to operate a lot of small dispersed sites in a cost-effective manner. But now it turns out that to be strictly compliant with the census process, I need to fill out all of this information for each of these sites. In other words, rather than spend 1-2 hours (the feds say it should take an hour) on one summary report, in fact what I am technically legally supposed to do is fill out two hundred such reports, at a cost of at least 200 hours of my time. That is 10% of a standard man-year.
So -- do I do it the "right" at the cost of 200 hours of my time or do I do it the way I did it last year? I won't give my actual answer, which I think the post title telegraphs fairly well, but you can think about yours (yes, Travis, I know, more rope).