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SISCA 6000 Rest of the world
ANZSIC06 Division O Public administration and safety
ANZSIC06 Division P Education and training
ANZSIC06 Groups 624 (Financial asset investing) and 633 (Superannuation funds)
ANZSIC06 Groups 954 (Religious services) and 955 (Civic, professional and other interest group services)
ANZSIC06 Subdivision 96 Private households employing staff
11 The frame for the BCS is a subset of the ABSBR and includes employing businesses only. These are defined as those businesses which register for the ATO's Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme. It is not unusual for some of these 'employing businesses' to have zero employment at various times during the reporting period. The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses, businesses which have ceased employing, changes in employment levels, changes in industry and other general business changes. Businesses which have ceased employing are identified when the ATO cancels their ABN and/or PAYGW registration. In addition, businesses with less than 50 employees, which did not remit under the PAYGW scheme in each of the previous five quarters, are removed from the frame. The estimates in this publication include an allowance for the time it takes a newly registered business to be included in the survey frame.
12 The sample design for this survey is complex due to it serving dual purposes: collection of characteristics data for the ABS' BLD; and production of point in time estimates. While there are scope differences between the BLD and point in time estimates, the intention is to maximise the number of businesses selected for which data collected can contribute to both purposes. More information about releases for the BLD is provided in Explanatory Note 28.
13 Collection of data included in this release was undertaken based on a random sample of approximately 6,870 businesses via online forms or mail-out questionnaire. The sample was stratified by industry and an employment-based size indicator. All businesses on the ABSBR identified as having 300 or more employees were included in the sample. The 2014-15 BCS was dispatched in late October 2015.
14 As in previous years, the sample design of the 2014-15 BCS does not include state or territory as part of stratification design.
15 The reference period for most of the characteristics items included in the 2014-15 BCS is during the year ended 30 June 2015 or as at 30 June 2015. Financial data relates to the most recent financial year ended on or before 30 September 2015.
DEFINING "INTERNET COMMERCE"
16 In the BCS, the ABS uses the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) narrow definition of e-commerce transactions when collecting data on internet orders and internet income. The narrow definition states that "an internet transaction is the sale or purchase of goods or services, whether between businesses, households, individuals, governments, and other public or private organisations, conducted over the internet. The goods and services are ordered over the internet, but the payment and the ultimate delivery of the good or service may be conducted on or off-line" (i.e. the commitment to purchase is made over the internet). In Australia, orders placed or received via email are included. This is not the case in many other OECD countries. The broad definition of e-commerce transactions includes sale or purchase of goods and services via any other computer-mediated networks. This mode of e-commerce is not common in Australia.
17 Internet income is defined as income resulting from goods and services ordered over the internet where the commitment to purchase is via the internet. Excluded from these measures are orders, payments or transactions for which the commitment has been made using other arrangements. The ABS collects these data by asking businesses to estimate what percentage of their income from sales of goods or services can be attributed to orders received via the internet. The estimated value of internet income is derived by applying the percentage to business income from sales of goods or services. This method of collecting internet income has been put in place to address reporting errors previously observed when the actual dollar figure was requested.
18 The 2014-15 BCS draws on the conceptual definitions and guidelines included in the 'Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data' (Third Edition, 2005). This manual provides a framework for the collection of innovation statistics and specifies the definitions of innovating businesses and innovation-active businesses that are used by the ABS. The 2014-15 BCS draws on this manual for the questions used in the BCS and in the presentation of outputs from the survey.
19 Key indicators of innovation include: measures of business innovation (innovating, innovation-active); types of innovation (goods or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes, marketing methods); and status of innovation (introduced, still in development, abandoned). Definitions for each of these measures of business innovation are provided in the Glossary.
BUSINESS COUNTS IN THIS RELEASE AND COMPARABILITY WITH OTHERS PUBLISHED BY THE ABS
20 Estimates of the number of businesses operating in Australia can be derived from a number of sources within the ABS. They may relate to a particular point in time or may be presented as an average annual figure. However, these estimates will not always show the same results. Variations will occur because of differing data sources, differing scope and coverage definitions between surveys, as well as variations due to sampling and non-sampling error. More information about business counts can be found in the Information Paper: A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia, Jun 2005 (cat. no. 8162.0).
21 The BCS is not designed to provide high quality estimates of numbers of businesses for any of the output classifications (for example, employment size or industry) and the number of businesses in this publication are only included to provide contextual information for the user. The estimate of the total number of businesses may not equal to the sum of each employment size range due to rounding of business counts to the nearest thousand. A more robust source of counts of Australian businesses is available from Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2011 to Jun 2015 (cat. no. 8165.0).
22 For output purposes, businesses are classified to employment size ranges based on actual data reported in the survey. For industry output, the classification is drawn from information held about the business on the ABSBR.
AVAILABILITY OF STATE/TERRITORY OUTPUT
23 As indicated in Explanatory Note 14, the sample is designed to produce efficient estimates for industry and employment size; therefore it does not provide quality estimates for states/territories. As estimates may not reflect change over time for a selected state/territory or adequately enable comparison between states/territories, they are not available.
UPCOMING RELATED RELEASES
24 Upcoming ABS data releases from the 2014-15 Business Characteristics Survey are:
Selected Characteristics of Australian Business (cat. no. 8167.0). This release will include summary characteristics data for a selection of topics including business structure and arrangements, performance measures, barriers to general business activities or performance, government financial assistance, finance sought, markets and competition, innovation rates and IT usage. Online content will include tables and graphs with associated commentary. Detailed data (including some output cross-classified by business size, industry and innovator status) will be output as data cubes. This release is scheduled for 18 August 2016.
MOST RECENT RELATED RELEASE
25 The most recent issue of ABS releases related to demography of Australian business is:
Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2011 to Jun 2015 (cat. no. 8165.0)
26 The most recent issues of other ABS releases related to innovation in business in Australia are:
Innovation in Australian Business, 2012-13 (cat. no. 8158)
Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2013-14 (cat. no. 8104.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 8111.0)
Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no. 8109.0)
27 The most recent issues of other ABS releases on the use and production of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Australia are:
Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2014-15 (cat. no. 8146.0)
BUSINESS LONGITUDINAL DATABASE - CONFIDENTIAL UNIT RECORD FILE
28 The primary outputs for the BLD are Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). The BLD design is comprised of panels (or waves) with each panel representing the entire population of in-scope small and medium businesses at the time of initialisation. Each panel is surveyed for five years. The most recent edition of the BLD CURF was released 18 June 2013 and contained the full five years of data for Panel Three (2006 -2011). The CURF is available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory which can be accessed via the ABS website (cat. 8168.0.55.001).
ROUNDING AND OTHER ADJUSTMENTS
29 Estimates of proportions have been calculated using unrounded figures, but are shown in the tables rounded to one tenth of a percentage point. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the component items and the total. Figures presented in the commentary have been rounded to the whole percentage.
30 The ABS acknowledges the ongoing contribution made by the Department of Industry and Science towards the conduct of the BCS and the collection of innovation statistics.
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