Financial Accounts Compilation

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The Australian Financial Accounts (cat. no. 5232.0) contains financial profiles of each subsector of the economy and the market for each conventional financial instrument. There are also tables showing inter-sectoral financial transactions and measures of sectoral financial surpluses and deficits.

    Financial accounts of various types – which are also called flow of funds statistics – are published by many Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) <> countries, including the United States of America (from 1945), the United Kingdom (from 1952) and Canada (from 1962). In Australia, the Reserve Bank produced annual flow of funds accounts for the reference years 1953-54 to 1988-89. The final edition of these was published in the Reserve Bank’s Bulletin for November 1989. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has published quarterly estimates commencing with experimental estimates of inter-sectoral financial transactions for the March and June quarters 1989. From the June 1998 reference quarter, the financial accounts dataset was produced according to a revised international standard, the System of National Accounts, released in 1993 (SNA93) under the auspices of five international organisations: Commission of the European Communities – Eurostat, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations, and World Bank.

    From the September 2009 reference quarter the financial accounts dataset has been produced according to the SNA08 There are significant conceptual differences between the SNA93-based ABS Financial Accounts and the SNA08 Financial Accounts (see Information Paper: cat. no. 5232.0.55.003). The dataset prior to September 2009 has been converted to the revised standard and backcast to June 1988 (stocks data) and September quarter 1988 (transactions data).

    An introduction of Financial Accounts is described in para 11.1 of the System of National Accounts copied below.

    XI. The financial account

    A. Introduction to the financial account

    11.1 The financial account is the final account in the full sequence of accounts that records transactions between institutional units. Net saving is the balancing item of the use of income accounts, and net saving plus net capital transfers receivable or payable can be used to accumulate non-financial assets. If they are not exhausted in this way, the resulting surplus is called net lending. Alternatively, if net saving and capital transfers are not sufficient to cover the net accumulation of non-financial assets, the resulting deficit is called net borrowing. This surplus or deficit, net lending or net borrowing, is the balancing item that is carried forward from the capital account into the financial account. The financial account does not have a balancing item that is carried forward to another account, as has been the case with all the accounts discussed in previous chapters. It simply explains how net lending or net borrowing is effected by means of changes in holdings of financial assets and liabilities. The sum of these changes is conceptually equal in magnitude, but on the opposite side of the account, to the balancing item of the capital account.

    For the scope of the Financial Accounts see SNA2008 para 11.2 copied below:

    11.2 The financial account records transactions that involve financial assets and liabilities and that take place between resident institutional units and between resident institutional units and the rest of the world.

    Coverage of the Australian Financial Accounts

    Estimates are compiled to cover all inter-subsector financial transactions and stocks. Intra-subsector transactions and stocks are not generally estimated (e.g. no estimates are prepared for household lending to households) but some partial data are available.


    Conceptual framework
    The conceptual framework is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA08). The latest version of the SNA08 manual may be found on the following website,

    See also chapter 25 of Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0). An updated version is due out in 2010.

    Main outputs

    1. financial assets and liabilities by institutional subsector
    2. financial transactions by institutional subsector
    3. financial market outstandings
    4. financial market transactions

    Standard Economic Sector Classification of Australia,
    Australian Standard Financial Instrument Classification

    Other concepts (summary)
    Stock and flow concepts


    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Basis of geographic coverage is financial transactions and outstandings by resident institutional units, using SNA08 and Balance of Payment (BoPs) definitions of residency.


    Frequency comments
    Annual statistics also compiled for financial years.

    July 1990 - Information Paper published: Australian National Accounts, Flow of Funds, Developmental Estimates, March and June Quarters 1989 (cat. no. 5232.0)

    June 92 - first in the series of quarterly Financial Accounts publications (for September Quarter 1989 to June Quarter 1991)

    Quarterly Financial Accounts were published on System of National Accounts 1968 (SNA68) basis from September 1992 to September 1998, usually at a lag of about eleven weeks after the reference quarter.

    Re-release of June quarter 1998 Financial Accounts on the new System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) basis see, Information Paper: Upgraded Australian National Accounts: Financial Accounts (cat. no.5254.0).

    Quarterly Financial Accounts are published on SNA93 basis from June quarter 1998 for the periods back to June quarter 1995, usually with a lag of about eleven weeks after the reference quarter.

    Quarterly Financial Accounts are published on SNA08 basis from September quarter 2009 for the periods back to June quarter 1988, usually with a lag of about eleven weeks after the reference quarter. See, Information Paper: For more information please see Information Paper : Product changes to Financial Accounts following revisions to international standards (cat. no. 5232.0.55.003).


    Data availability comments
    Quarterly publication and electronic tables

    24/06/2010 12:50 PM