8696.0 - Community Services, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2010   
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Reference period




Definition of key terms

Survey design

Effects of rounding

Further information


1 This publication presents estimates of the economic and financial performance of community services businesses/organisations for 2008-09. The primary purpose of these estimates is to present detailed information on the financial performance and type of activity of businesses/organisations primarily engaged in the provision of community services. Estimates were produced from directly collected data from the Economic Activity Survey (EAS) Community Services conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


2 The period covered by the collection was, in general, the 12 months ended 30 June 2009.

3 Although financial estimates relate to the full twelve months, employment estimates relate to the last pay period ending in June 2009.

4 Financial data incorporate all units in scope of the Community Services Survey that were in operation at any time during the year. They also include any temporarily inactive units, i.e. those units which were in the development stage or which were not in operation, but which still existed and held assets and liabilities and/or incurred some non-operating expenses (e.g. depreciation, administration costs).


5 The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified:
  • by institutional sector, in accordance with the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA), which is detailed in Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) ( cat. no. 1218.0)
  • by industry, in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 edition ( cat. no. 1292.0)
  • by state and territory
  • by community service activity, in accordance with the National Classification of Community Services
  • by business size.


6 The scope of the collection consisted of all employing and significant non-employing businesses and organisations classified to the following ANZSIC classes:
  • 8601 Aged Care Residential Services
  • 8609 Other Residential Care Services
  • 8710 Child Care Services
  • 8790 Other Social Assistance Services

7 The following ANZSIC classes had only partial coverage:
  • 7211 Employment Placement and recruitment Services (part - only organisations providing services to persons with disabilities)
  • 7510 Central Government Administration (part - only departments/organisations with a significant role in funding and/or directly providing community services)
  • 7520 State Government Administration (part - only departments/organisations with a significant role in funding and/or directly providing community services)
  • 7530 Local Government Administration (part - only organisations with a significant role in funding and/or directly providing community services)
  • 9559 Other Interest Group Services n.e.c. (part - only peak bodies or organisations providing advocacy services).


8 This section discusses frame, statistical units, coverage issues and improvements to coverage.


9 Businesses contributing to the estimates in this publication were sourced from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR), which has two components as described below.

Statistical units

10 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses/organisations, and the structural relationships between related businesses/organisations. Within large and diverse business groups, the units model is used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

11 The current economic statistics units model was introduced in mid-2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System. This units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the ATO maintained population (ATOMP), while the remaining businesses are in the ABS maintained population (ABSMP). Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABSBR population.

ATO maintained population (ATOMP)

12 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO ABR. Most of these businesses/organisations have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN satisfies ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses/organisations, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATOMP, and the ABN unit is used as the statistical unit for all economic collections.

ABS maintained population (ABSMP)

13 For the population of businesses/organisations where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with the business/organisation. These businesses/organisations constitute the ABSMP. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses/organisations. The statistical units model described below caters for such businesses.
  • Enterprise Group: This 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), including legal entities such as companies, trusts and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising:
      • a single legal entity or business entity, or
      • more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional subsector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) subsector).
  • Type of activity unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.

14 The statistical unit for which non-government sector statistics were reported in the publication was the TAU or ABN.

15 For Commonwealth and State Government organisations the statistical unit generally equated to the relevant departments i.e. those departments whose main responsibility was the provision of community services. Where a department had responsibility for other activities the unit was required to report only in respect of those activities associated with the provision of community services. For local government, the unit was required to report in respect of only those activities associated with the provision of community services.

Coverage issues

16 The ANZSIC-based industry statistics presented in this publication are compiled differently from activity statistics. For industry statistics, each ABN unit or TAU on the ABSBR has been classified (by the ATO and the ABS respectively) to its single predominant industry class irrespective of any diversity of activities undertaken.

17 The ABS attempts to obtain data for those businesses selected for direct collection and which ceased operation during the year, but it is not possible to obtain data for all of them.

Improvements to coverage

18 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses/organisations to the ABSBR, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size. As an example, the effect of these adjustments is generally 3% or less for ANZSIC subdivisions 86 and 87 and for most states and territories.

19 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses/organisations in the estimates in the period in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABSBR. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

20 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


21 Selected key terms are described below.

Direct and non-direct community service provision

22 Provision of community services by businesses and organisations can be either direct or non-direct. Direct community service provision occurs when community services are provided to individuals or families on an interactive or face-to-face basis or on their behalf. Non-direct community service provision includes activities such as working on social policy, group advocacy, community development, service delivery support to other organisations, managerial activities, administrative support and fundraising.

Industry value added

23 Industry value added (IVA) is the measure of the contribution by businesses in each industry to gross domestic product.

24 There are two types of businesses: 'market' and 'non-market' producers. Market producers sell their output to achieve a profit, whereas non-market producers sell their output at economically insignificant prices. Industry value added is derived differently for market and non-market producers. The community services industry class in which non-market producers make the most significant contribution to industry value added is ANZSIC class 8790. See the glossary definition of IVA for further detail.

Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards

25 The new Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (AEIFRS) were progressively implemented in Australia from 1 January 2005. As a result, a number of items in the financial accounts of Australian businesses have been affected by changed definitions, which have in turn affected both income statements and balance sheets. A range of ABS economic collections source data from financial accounts of businesses and use those data to derive economic statistics. There have been no changes in the associated economic definitions.

26 Since the implementation of AEIFRS, analysis of published time series data has indicated structural breaks in series. The magnitude of such breaks, however, cannot be determined without imposing a disproportionate load upon data providers to ABS surveys and other administratively collected data. The ABS will continue to monitor developments and report any significant identified impacts as a result of AEIFRS.


27 In order to minimise the load placed on providers, the strategy for this survey was to use, as much as possible, information sourced from the ATO, thus reducing the size of the direct collect sample needed to maintain the range and quality of information available to users of statistical data. The frame (from which the direct collect sample was selected) was stratified using information held on the ABSBR. Businesses eligible for selection in the direct collect sample were then selected from the frame using stratified random sampling techniques.

28 Businesses were selected to participate in the survey (the direct collect sample) only if their turnover exceeded a threshold level or the business was identified as being an employing business (based on ATO information) as at the end of the reference period. Turnover thresholds were set for each ANZSIC class so that the contribution of surveyed businesses accounted for 97.5% of total industry class turnover as determined by BAS data (refer to Technical Note 1 for further information). A sample of 4,124 businesses /organisations was selected for the directly collected part of the 2008-09 Community Services Survey. Each business/organisation was asked to provide data sourced primarily from financial statements, mainly by mail out questionnaires. Businesses/organisations were also asked to supply key details of their operations by state and territory, as well as key data by region (i.e. capital cities/suburbs and other areas), enabling production of state/territory and broad regional estimates.

29 Businesses which met neither of these criteria are referred to as 'micro non-employing businesses/organisations'. Generally, these businesses/organisations were not eligible for selection in the sample, however, a small number of such units were included in the direct collect sample survey because they were deemed significant to activity based estimates.


30 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.

31 Proportions, ratios and other calculated figures shown in this publication have been calculated using unrounded estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, calculations based on the rounded estimates.


32 A range of further information is available, as described below.

Related publications

33 The following ABS publication present economy wide industry data:
  • Australian Industry, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8155.0)
  • Not-for-profit Organisations, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8106.0)

Other information available

34 More detailed estimates than those included in this publication are available in spreadsheet format free of charge online from the Statistics View on the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. Select Statistics/By Catalogue Number/8.Secondary Industry and Distribution/85-86. Service industries/8696.0 Community Services, 2008-09, then select the Downloads tab.

35 The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

36 Apart from the statistics included in this publication and its associated spreadsheets, it is unlikely that further data from the Community Services Survey will be available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


37 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Use of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data in this publication

38 The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the ABS under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, which requires that such data are only used for statistical purposes. No individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the ATO for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core operational requirements.

39 Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of these data have been followed. Only people authorised under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 have been allowed to view data about any particular organisation and/or person in conducting these analyses. No information about individual taxpayers (persons) has been released to the ABS. Aggregated personal income tax data are confidentialised by the ATO before release to the ABS. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation.