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5216.0 - Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/11/2000   
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Concepts

28.3 National estimates are based on the concepts and conventions embodied in SNA93, but for regional estimates there is no separate international standard. Although national concepts are generally applicable to State accounts, there remain several conceptual and measurement issues that either do not apply or are insignificant nationally. Most of the problems arise in the measurement of gross State product for the transport and storage, communication services, and finance and insurance industries, where production often takes place across State borders. In these cases, a number of conceptual views can be applied to the allocation of value added by State.

28.4 Allocation of national accounting aggregates from the gross domestic product account by State is dependent on the data available from a wide range of ABS collections. The suitability of these data sources for this purpose is in turn dependent on the statistical unit or units to which the collections relate. As indicated in Chapter 5, the units model underlying the ASNA comprises the following units:

      • legal entity;
      • enterprise group;
      • enterprise;
      • management unit;
      • establishment; and
      • location.

Full definitions for each of the statistical units in the model are given in Chapters 5 and 6. The brief definitions below omit certain qualifications/exceptions.
      • The legal entity is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of an entity which possesses some or all of the rights and obligations of individual persons or corporations; or which behaves as such, in respect of those matters of concern for economic statistics. Examples of legal entities for statistical purposes include companies, partnerships, trusts, sole business proprietorships, government departments and statutory authorities.
      • The enterprise group is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991). These may be legal entities such as trusts and partnerships as well as companies. Majority ownership is not necessarily required for control to be exercised.
      • The enterprise is a unit covering all legal entities within an enterprise group classified to a single subsector of the Standard Institutional Sectors of Australia (SISCA).
      • The management unit is the largest type of unit within an enterprise group which controls its productive activities and for which accounts are kept. From these accounts detailed annual and sub-annual (i.e. at least quarterly) revenue, expenses, inventories, capital formation and employment data must be available to the ABS. This will enable measures of industry performance, such as gross product, to be calculated. It is a component unit of the enterprise(s) and consists, in turn, of one or more establishments.
      • The establishment is the smallest type of accounting unit within a management unit which controls its productive activity. It consists in most industries of one or more locations in a State/Territory of Australia at (or from) which it operates. From its accounts the full range of detailed revenue, expense, employment and inventories data must be available to the ABS at least annually, including data enabling establishment value added to be calculated.
      • The location is a site, occupied by an establishment, at/or from which the establishment engages in productive activity on a relatively permanent basis. An establishment may operate from one or more locations. In specified circumstances, non-contiguous sites occupied by the same establishment can be combined to form a location. It can also consist of a site at which the establishment is undertaking capital expenditure with the intention of commencing productive activity on a relative permanent basis at some time in the future (a location not yet in operation).

28.5 Most economic collection used in the compilation of State accounts are conducted in respect of management units or establishments. Economic collections based on the establishment unit are the most appropriate for compiling State accounts aggregates from the domestic product account because, for most industries, they relate to the productive activity undertaken within a particular State. However, for some industries the establishment is not confined to a single State.

28.6 The definition of the establishment adopted for each industry class is provided in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). The establishment is not confined to a single State for the communication services industry, for a significant number of classes in the transport industry, and for defence, research and scientific institutions. By definition, the operations of such units are not delineated on a State basis, even though operations are carried out at locations throughout Australia (an example being Telstra). For these industries, the convention of notional State producer units has been adopted. Such units are notional because of the non-availability of gross operating surplus and value added in respect of them. Various indirect indicators of activity are used to allocate total gross operating surplus across individual States to obtain estimates for the notional State producer units in each of these industries.

28.7 The concept of a single location encompasses the notion of a base of operations which is relevant in situations where operations are carried out by a mobile work force. Accordingly, in certain industries where mobile work forces exist, such as fishing and construction, a single physical location unit applies even though all its economic activity does not take place within the confines of that location.

28.8 For those ABS economic collections which are based on the management unit it is not possible to directly compile estimates by State by classifying each management unit to a particular State. However, such collections usually include a dissection of some data items such as employment, total turnover or total sales. These dissections are obtained by asking each respondent to provide a State split for a very limited number of data items. In the absence of genuine establishment data, the State data collected from management unit collections are used as a proxy for allocating aggregates such as gross operating surplus and gross mixed income by State.


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