5256.0 - Australian National Accounts: Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2015  Reissue
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The NPI satellite account has been compiled from a variety of data sources, including ABS economic and social collections. The sources used to compile the various data contained in the satellite account are outlined below.


The bulk of the data contained in the NPI satellite account are monetary aggregates. This includes data about income, use of income, capital expenditure and asset stocks, as well as the national accounting measures of output of goods and services and gross value added. The data used to compile this information were collected in the annual Economic Activity Survey (EAS), which for 2006-07 and 2012-13 covered all employing and significant non employing non-profit organisations. A range of information from a sample of these organisations, including detailed information about their financial performance over the reporting period was collected. Information from the ABS Business Register of organisations was used to compile data about the number of non-profit organisations.

Micro non employing non-profit organisations with turnover below a set threshold were excluded from the scope of the survey. Information for these organisations was taken from Business Activity Statement (BAS) data as collected by the ATO. Data available from BAS records included in the satellite account relate to sales and service income, labour costs (wages, salaries and superannuation), non capitalised purchases and capital expenditure. Data for other survey questionnaire items, including transfers and donations paid and received, were not available from BAS records, nor was a suitable imputation method apparent for these items.


Data in respect of permanent full time, permanent part time and casual paid employees of NPIs were also collected as part of the EAS. Given the nature of the administrative arrangements for deducting tax with respect to paid employees, the ABN based survey frame should cover all employing NPIs.

The 2006-07 EAS also collected information as to the number of volunteers that each organisation surveyed reported had worked for their organisation during the reporting period. However, as more detailed information on volunteering was available from the ABS publication, Voluntary Work, Australia 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0), those estimates were used. For this reason, the 2012-13 EAS did not collect information about volunteers.

Estimates on the number of volunteers were sourced from unpublished data from the ABS General Social Survey which released its results in June 2015. The ABS has compiled the number and contribution of volunteers to non-profit organisations for 2012-13. These data are included in this reissued publication.


The compilation of data about the value of volunteer services involves taking information on the annual hours volunteered from the 2014 General Social Survey and assigning a wage rate derived from unpublished data taken from the ABS 2012 Employee Earnings and Hours Survey. As detailed in the conceptual framework appendix, the Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts (the Handbook) recommends three alternative methods for estimating the value of volunteer services. The compilation of each of these methods for 2012-13 and the different results generated are outlined below.

Valuation methods to measure volunteer services provided to Non-Profit organisations

Valuation method
Volunteer services ($b)
Full-time equivalent persons (no.)

Opportunity cost
254 300
Replacement cost
265 600
Fallback option
266 400

The first valuation method described in the Handbook is the opportunity cost approach. Under this method, the appropriate wage rate to apply to each volunteer hour is what the volunteer could earn in their usual occupation. Data on the number of hours volunteered, classified by the usual occupation of the volunteer, was obtained from General Social Survey 2014. Occupation categories are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First edition (cat. no. 1220.0). The number of hours volunteered for each occupation category was then multiplied by the relevant wage rate for that occupation category. For each valuation method described, calculations were done separately for males and females and the average ordinary time hourly rate for non managerial employees was used. Where the volunteer did not nominate a usual occupation, for example they were retired or not in the labour force, the average wage rate for all occupation categories was applied. The opportunity cost approach valued total volunteer services at $18.1b. In addition, the total number of volunteer hours are able to be converted to full time equivalents by dividing hours volunteered by the average ordinary time hours worked in full time occupations associated with each occupation category. Full time equivalents will therefore vary with each valuation method, depending on the occupation categories used. Full time equivalents under the opportunity cost approach were 254,300 persons.

The second valuation method noted in the Handbook is the replacement cost approach. Under this method, the appropriate wage rate to apply to each volunteer hour is that associated with the activity being undertaken by the volunteer. The 2014 General Social Survey does not contain information about the number of hours volunteered by each type of activity, so a single wage rate was applied to each volunteer hour under this method. This wage rate was calculated in a two step process. Firstly, volunteer activities were matched to occupation categories to determine a wage rate for each activity. For some volunteer activities, more than one occupation category was matched to the activity and in these instances an average of the relevant occupations was used. The second step was to weight the results for each activity to calculate a single weighted average wage rate. This weighted average wage for all activities was then applied to each volunteer hour to calculate the value of volunteer services. Weights for each activity were based on the actual number of volunteer involvements associated with the activity compared with the average number of involvements for all activities. The value of volunteer services calculated using the replacement cost method have been included in the satellite account for 2012-13 as this valuation method was considered the most appropriate. As seen in the above table, volunteer services under this method were $17.3b and full time equivalents were 265,600 persons.

The Handbook recognises that data necessary to populate the opportunity or replacement cost approaches will not be available in all countries. Where detailed data on volunteering is not available, the Handbook recommends a fallback option which values each hour of volunteer time at the average gross wage for the community, welfare and social service occupation category. Under this approach, volunteer services were valued at $16.4b and full time equivalents were 266,400 persons. The number of full time equivalents differ under each approach as the average weekly hours worked in the relevant occupation categories are different.