Latest release

Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits methodology

Reference period
July 2016 - June 2020

How the data is collected

Source

Counts of Australian Businesses including Entries and Exits (CABEE) presents counts of actively trading businesses in the Australian economy, as at June 30 for the past five years. The data used to produce these counts are extracted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR). The ABSBR is populated using administrative data from ABN registrations recorded in the Australian Business Register (ABR), and business data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Data on the structures of large and complex businesses are also collected by ABS.

A conceptual and practical basis of counts has been published to show how the counts of businesses published in CABEE are derived from the total number of registered ABNs, and the counts published by the ABR.

The results in this publication are based, in part on ABR data supplied by the Registrar to the ABS under the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 and ATO data supplied to the ABS by the ATO under the Taxation Administration Act 1953. These require that such data is only used for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the ABS. In addition, no individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the Registrar or 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 ABR or ATO’s core operational requirements.

Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and confidentiality 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 firm in conducting these analyses. Results have been confidentialised in accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation.

Further information regarding these Acts can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation website. Information about the ABR can be obtained from the ABR website and the ATO website.

ABS statistics 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 and is subject to the requirements of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Scope

Counts of businesses in this release include only actively trading businesses in the Australian market sector. Actively trading businesses are:

  • Type of Activity Unit (TAUs) from the profiled population.
  • ABNs from the non-profiled population that are actively remitting Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Statistical unit

For the purposes of CABEE, a business is defined as a legal entity engaging in productive activity and/or other forms of economic activity in the market sector. Such entities accumulate assets on their own account and/or hold assets on behalf of others, and may incur liabilities.

The economic activities of individuals are excluded (except where an individual engages in productive activity either as a sole trader or in a partnership or trust).

Businesses are considered to be engaging in productive activity where they have a Goods and Services Tax (GST) role and are actively remitting GST through Business Activity Statements (BAS).

Two-population model

The businesses on the ABSBR are separated using a two population model. The two populations are known as the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure and the degree of intervention required to reflect the business structure for statistical purposes.

Non-profiled population

The vast majority of businesses included on the ABSBR are in the non-profiled population. Most of these businesses have simple structures that are suitable for ABS statistical purposes at the Australian Business Number (ABN) level. For the non-profiled population, one ABN equates to one business.

Profiled population

For a small number of businesses, the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS economic statistics purposes and the ABS maintains its own economic units structure through direct contact with businesses. These businesses constitute the profiled population and are represented by Type of Activity Unit’s (TAU’s). This population consists of large, complex and diverse groups of businesses.

A Type of Activity Unit (TAU) consists of one or more business entities, sub entities or branches of a business that can be grouped according to production activity, and can report a minimum set of data items. These TAUs are classified according to the industry of the main activity. The relationship between TAU’s and their associated legal entities (ABN’s) may be one-to-one, many-to-one, or one-to-many.

The statistical unit referred to as a 'business' consists of ABNs from the non-profiled population and TAUs from the profiled population.

Business activity statement (BAS)

Business Activity Statements (BAS) are reports that businesses lodge with the ATO on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They include the amount the business earned, the amount of GST collected, the amount of GST credits on goods and services purchased, pay as you go (PAYG) tax instalments and other tax reporting obligations.

A business may still be counted as actively trading at the end of the financial year even if it has ceased operating if the associated ABN has not been cancelled and the business has remitted GST within the last five quarters (or three years for annual remitters).

Long-term non remitters (LTNRs)

Businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) and/or have reported zero dollar amounts over five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters) are treated as 'long-term non-remitters' (LTNRs). These businesses are not considered to be actively trading and are excluded from the counts as they are not remitting GST.

A business may be classified as a LTNR at the end of the reference period, and therefore be excluded from the count of actively trading businesses in CABEE, then resume remitting GST at a later date. Such a business may have been operating during the period it was classified as a LTNR, despite not remitting GST during this time. These businesses are counted as exits in the reference period they become a LTNR, and again as entries in the reference period they resume remitting GST.

Classification

Units on the ABSBR have been classified according to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) 2008, Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) and Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. These classifications are used to determine whether a business unit is in scope of CABEE, and to publish counts.

For comparability, the ANZSIC, SISCA and TOLO codes that a business was classified to as of 30 June in the latest year of the publication are the codes that are used for that business for all years in this publication.

Standard institutional sector classification of Australia (SISCA)

SISCA is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA08) institutional sector classification. Entities classified to the following categories of SISCA are excluded:

  • 2110 Reserve Bank of Australia
  • 3000 General Government
  • 5000 Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households
  • 6000 Rest of the World
     

The exclusion of the General Government institutional sector particularly impacts on counts for the Public Administration and Safety, Education and Training, and Health Care and Social Assistance ANZSIC divisions (O, P and Q respectively).

For more information users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

Type of legal organisation (TOLO)

TOLO indicates whether a business is part of the private or public sector, and the type of ownership structure it has. Entities classified to the following TOLO categories are excluded:

  • 26 Other Unincorporated Entities
  • 33 Foreign Government

In-scope TOLO classifications are grouped in the data published in CABEE based on the following concordance:

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TOLO grouping in CABEE dataTolo Classification
Total Companies11 Proprietary Companies
12 Public Companies
13 Other Incorporated Entities
Sole Proprietors21 Sole Proprietors
Total Partnerships22 Family Partnership
23 Other Partnership
Trusts24 Trusts Regarded as Corporations
25 Other Trusts
Public Companies31 Government Companies
32 Other Government Entities

For more information users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

Industry

Each business has been classified to a single ANZSIC 2006 industry class. The industry class allocated is the activity which provides the main source of industry value added (sales of goods and services, wages and salaries or number of employees as a proxy), which is generally based on a description provided by the business.

Entities classified to the following 4 digit ANZSIC classes are excluded:

  • 6210 Central Banking
  • 7711 Police Services
  • 7713 Fire Protection and Other Emergency Services
  • 9540 Religious Services
  • 9551 Business and Professional Associations
  • 9552 Labour Association Services
  • 9559 Other Interest Group Services n.e.c.
  • 9601 Private Households Employing Staff
  • 9602 Undifferentiated Goods-Producing Activities of Private Households for Own Use
  • 9603 Undifferentiated Service-Producing Activities of Private Households for Own Use
     

For more information, users should refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

Coverage

There are actively trading businesses that have not registered for an ABN because they do not have any obligations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation. For example businesses that have turnover that is under the threshold for registration (currently $75,000) may choose not to apply for an ABN. These businesses have not been identified or quantified and are not included in the counts presented in this release.

The scope for business counts includes some businesses that are yet to be coded by the ATO to an industry, sector and/or geographical area. Analysis conducted on these businesses indicates that, despite not having a complete set of classificatory data, these businesses were actively trading and also met the other scoping criteria of the collection. These actively trading businesses have been grouped together into ‘Currently Unknown’ or ‘No Usual Address’ codes in the data cubes.

Counts for ‘Currently Unknown’ categories are included in the publication for completeness. However entry and exit rates and change percentage involving 'currently unknown' values are not published to ensure administrative changes are not misinterpreted.

Geographical coverage

Counts of businesses in CABEE are published at four geographical levels: Australia totals, Main State, Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and Local Government Area (LGA). Main State is derived from business information on the ABSBR, while SA2 is part of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

The ASGS is a framework of all of the regions which the ABS and other organisations use to collect, release and analyse geographically classified statistics. The ASGS ensures that these statistics are comparable and geospatially integrated, and provides users with a coherent set of standard regions to access, visualise, analyse and understand statistics.

For more information, users should refer to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (cat. no. 1270.0).

Multi-location businesses

Businesses can operate in more than one geographical location and be represented by a single ABN/TAU. These are referred to as multi-location businesses. For the purposes of this release, multi-location businesses are attributed to one geographical classification to prevent double counting of businesses. While the individual locations of businesses with multiple sites are not available in CABEE, some locations data at the SA1 level are available via the ABS BLADE product.

The issues of geocoding multi location businesses are more pronounced in counts at smaller geographies, as multi location businesses will only be attributed to a single SA2/LGA. As such, it cannot be assumed that business counts at each geographical level reflect all business operations within that geography.

Main state

For businesses in the non-profiled population, main state is derived from the main business address. The main business address of a business relates to the physical address where the main business activity takes place. For businesses in the profiled population, main state is the state or territory with the highest employment. Therefore, for some businesses in the profiled population, main state is not necessarily the state or territory of the main business address.

Statistical area level 2 (SA2)

SA2s are medium-sized general purpose areas which represent a community that interacts together socially and economically. The SA2 is the smallest area for the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) business counts statistics.

There are 2,310 SA2 regions covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. These include 18 non-spatial SA2 special purpose codes, comprising Migratory-Offshore-Shipping and No Usual Address for each State and Territory. The 9 Migratory Offshore Shipping SA2 are not published in CABEE, as businesses are not classified to these codes. This leaves a total of 2,301 SA2 regions published in CABEE, including No Usual Address for each State and Territory. SA2 data can be aggregated to larger geographical areas in the ASGS framework.

SA2 data is only coded for businesses in the non-profiled population. Units in the profiled population (TAU’s) are included in “Currently Unknown” SA2 categories.

Local government area (LGA)

LGAs are special purpose areas which do not align directly with the ASGS. Their purpose is to represent a community that is administered by one local government council. LGAs are geocoded using the Geocoded National Address File (GNAF). LGA data is only coded for businesses in the non-profiled population.

Units in the profiled population (TAU’s) are included in “No Usual Address” LGA categories.

Conceptual and practical basis of counts

The following table illustrates how the number of actively trading businesses presented in this ABS statistical release differs from the total number of entities with an Australian Business Number (ABN). For businesses that are within scope of this ABS statistical release, the table also details the number of profiled businesses relative to the number of non-profiled businesses.

 

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Derivation of CABEE frame from the Australian Business Register (ABR) (a)

June 2020

 

No. of Units

Total non-cancelled ABNs on the ABR (b)

8,179,886

- ABNs not actively trading in goods and services in Australia (no active GST role or is a GST long term non-remitter (LTNR))

5,673,994

Active ABNs on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR) trading in goods and services

2,505,892

- ABNs which are out of scope of CABEE

ABNs linked to complex business structures (profiled population) (c)

ABNs not operating in the market sector, i.e. with an out of scope industry (ANZSIC), institutional sector (SISCA) or type of legal organisation (TOLO)

88,745

Total ABNs (non-profiled population) in scope of CABEE

2,417,147

+ Profiled population (Type of Activity Units) in scope of CABEE

5,257

Total count of businesses in scope of CABEE

2,422,404

Reconciliation of CABEE frame from previous year

2019-20

 

No. of units

Count of businesses operating at the start of the financial year (June 2019)

2,375,753

+ Business entries

Includes new business registrations, reactivations of cancelled businesses, and businesses that have recommenced remitting GST. May also include a small number of units moving out of the profiled population.

344,472

- Business exits

Includes businesses that have ceased and cancelled their ABN, businesses that have ceased remitting GST for an extended period of time, and businesses that have been involved in mergers and acquisitions where the ABN has changed. May also include a small number of units moving into the profiled population.

297,821

Count of businesses operating at the end of the financial year (June 2020)

2,422,404

a.     Please refer to the Scope and Coverage sections of the Methodology for more detailed information.

b.    The ABSBR is updated monthly and data is extracted as close to 30 June as possible. Minor differences in the timing of the CABEE frame contribute to the difference between end of year business counts presented in this release and those published by the ABR.

c.     Businesses on the ABSBR are captured using an economic units model that has two populations; the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure. Businesses in the non-profiled population are represented by the ABN as they have simple structures. Businesses in the profiled population have large or complex structures and are represented by a statistical unit known as the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). Refer to the Scope section of the Methodology for more detailed information.

How the data is processed

Time series

This release contains snapshots of counts of actively trading businesses at regular points in time. While data presented in this release were produced on a broadly similar conceptual basis to data presented in previous releases, users seeking to analyse change over time should be aware that there may have been methodological, classificatory, definitional, administrative and content changes between the different releases of CABEE.

Depending on the analysis being undertaken, these changes could adversely affect the comparability of CABEE data over time, and users are advised to consult the Revisions to this release and History of changes sections of the Methodology to understand the nature and impact of such changes.

Updates to data

The ABSBR receives updated information when a business entity reports changes to either the ABR or the ATO, such as a new registration, revised classificatory information, or when the business entity reports changes in its business structure or activity. These reporting changes can impact upon the business entity's industry classification (ANZSIC), institutional classification (SISCA), legal classification (TOLO) or geographic classification. These changes to the ABSBR may generate updates to data previously published in earlier editions of CABEE.

Some of the revisions to currently unknown categories are attributable to updated classificatory information, such as ANZSIC, SISCA or geography, where this information did not previously exist for the business entity.

Accuracy

These counts are not subject to sampling error as they represent a complete enumeration of economically active businesses on the ABSBR. However they are subject to non-sampling error and the cyclical administrative workflows of the ATO may also impact on data interpretability. Revisions to data due to non-sampling error or updates to methodology are included as technical notes on the relevant publication, and are available in the History of changes section.

How the data is presented

Business events

Counts of active businesses are compared between consecutive years to identify business events, such as businesses that are entering and exiting the Australian economy, as well as businesses that continue to survive.

Business entry

A Business entry is counted when an actively trading business on the ABSBR at 30 June in the reference year, was not actively trading at 30 June the previous year. A business entry may occur when:

  • a business registers for a GST role for the first time.
  • a business recommences its GST role after it had been cancelled.
  • a business recommences remitting BAS data after a period of becoming a Long Term Non Remitter (LTNR).
  • a business moves into, or out of, the profiled population.
     

Business exit

A Business exit is counted when an actively trading business on the ABSBR at 30 June the previous year is no longer actively trading at 30 June in the reference year. A business exit may occur when:

  • all GST roles of a business are cancelled.
  • a business ceases to remit GST for at least five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters).
  • a business moves out of, or in to, the profiled population.
  • a business is sold and the ABN changes.
  • a business is taken over or involved in a merger.
     

Intra-year entries and exits

It is possible that a business can enter after 30 June in a given year and exit before 30 June in the following year. A small number of these instances occur in any given financial year. These businesses are not included in this publication.

Business survival

A surviving business is defined as a business on the ABSBR that is active at 30 June of the reference year and was also active at 30 June of the previous year.

Two types of survival tables are published in CABEE datacubes; businesses that were active in the first year captured by this release, and businesses that entered during the first year captured by this release, and have survived to consecutive years.

For business survival data cubes, changes in employment and turnover size ranges are not considered. That is, surviving businesses will remain classified to their original base year classification even when they have expanded or contracted. This is to more accurately reflect the survival rates for businesses in each strata classification.

Net movement of surviving businesses

Due to the nature of business growth/change with respect to location, employment and turnover, the movement between these strata are important characteristics in the classification and movement of businesses. For these variables, businesses are classified according to their size for the respective year for all datacubes and tables except survival tables.

The net movement of surviving businesses is calculated by taking the total inflow at the end of the financial year minus the total outflow at the end of the financial year. These counts are included in datacubes to quantify the change in counts of businesses within a financial year which are attributable to the movement of surviving businesses, not entries and exits to a strata.

The inflow at the end of a financial year is the count of surviving businesses that have moved into one size range out of another size range in a financial year (i.e. an employment or turnover size range). This does not include entries and exits.

The outflow is the count of surviving businesses that have moved out of a size range (i.e. an employment or turnover size range) and into another size range (for employment or turnover). This does not include entries and exits.

Employing businesses

A business which employs and pays a salary to (or plans to employ and pay a salary to) one or more persons is required to register an Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role with the ATO. These businesses are required to withhold payments of salaries and wages from their employees and send the amounts to the ATO.

All businesses in the profiled population are considered to be employing businesses, regardless of whether they have an active ITW role. These businesses report employment to the ABS as the number of persons who receive remuneration in wages or salaries (including working proprietors and working partners), or are paid a retainer fee by their employer. TAUs which report an employment count of zero are included in the 1-4 or 1-19 employment categories.

For the non-profiled population, businesses with an active ITW role which have remitted to the ATO at least once in the preceding five quarters (or three years for annual remitters) are considered to be employing businesses. There are a small number of businesses which have an active ITW role for purposes other than withholding amounts from wages and salaries, and therefore have an employee count of zero. These businesses are included in the 1-4 or 1-19 employee categories. Conversely, there are a small number of businesses which do not have an active ITW role, however have an employee count above zero. These businesses are included in the non-employing category.

For all businesses, employment excludes non-salaried directors, volunteers, persons paid by commission only, and self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors.

Annual employment size

The employment data typically published in CABEE is an annualised indicator of each business’ employment. This annualised indicator provides a good representation of the number of employees a business had during the past financial year, however does not readily capture short-term fluctuations.

Annualised employment estimates are derived from payees data reported to the ATO. This data is typically reported after the end of the financial year, with the majority of businesses reporting during August. Updates occur each month as new data is reported by businesses. Because this reporting for the current financial year occurs after the data is extracted for CABEE, the annualised employment for most businesses in CABEE is derived from payees data from the previous financial year. These estimates are used to determine the employment size range of a business.

Experimental point-in-time employment size

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABS has created an experimental point-in-time employment indicator. This indicator is derived from Single Touch Payroll (STP) data as the primary input, and supplemented with payees information for businesses yet to commence reporting through STP.

This indicator is created monthly using the highest reported payroll jobs for that calendar month. Due to the timeliness of this reporting, data is available very close to the CABEE reference period. For businesses operating at the end of the financial year, short-term employment data from May is used, as this is the closest alignment to the other data extracts used in CABEE.

Employees who are made redundant and do not receive ongoing payments, are temporarily stood down without pay, or are on unpaid leave during the employment reference period are not counted as employees in this indicator. Employees receiving JobKeeper, paid leave, or other entitlements during the employment reference period are counted as employees due to their ongoing ties to the business.

In the 2020 release of CABEE, to assist users to understand the impact of COVID-19 on employment, tables will be released using both the annualised employment indicator, and the experimental point-in-time employment indicator.

Annual turnover size

For businesses in the non-profiled population, annual turnover values are based on data reported to the ATO through Business Activity Statements (BAS). For businesses in the profiled population, annual turnover reported via BAS for ABNs is apportioned to the relevant TAU.

Due to the timing of businesses reporting BAS information, the turnover data in CABEE is lagged by six months. That is, turnover data for businesses operating at the end of a financial year is derived from BAS reporting from the four quarters ending December the previous year.

Other administrative data sources, such as Single Touch Payroll (STP) and payment summaries, may be used where BAS data is missing to improve the coverage of turnover data. Some businesses receive an imputed turnover value where this data is missing.

Comparison with other business counts data

Users comparing data from this release with other ABS data should do so with care, as some other ABS data may exclude non-employing businesses or particular industries or sectors. Further information about the scope and coverage of other ABS releases can be found in the Methodology section of each publication.

Confidentiality

There is a legislative requirement to protect the privacy of businesses and individuals represented in the data published by the ABS. In order to do this, a confidentialisation process has been applied to counts presented in CABEE to ensure no business or individual is able to be identified.

This process is expected to maximise the availability of data without introducing any bias to the counts. It perturbs data in such a way that the data presented at detailed levels will not always be additive. That is, component values will not always sum to the total (both horizontally and vertically) due to perturbation. Each cell is individually perturbed, and the effect on individual cells is minimal.

No data in datacube 1 has been subject to perturbation. In datacubes 2-11, all cells may have been subject to perturbation with the exclusion of high-level totals. These totals include: industry division, state, employment size, turnover size and Australia totals. These counts are also found in datacube 1, and are included as unperturbed values in datacubes 2-11 to ensure any repeated counts are consistent between datacubes.

Revisions to this release

There are three known revisions to this release of CABEE:

  • Since the last release there has been a change to the methodology used to create the turnover data in CABEE. This change utilises additional administrative data sources such as Single Touch Payroll (STP) and payment summaries, and improves the accuracy of turnover imputation for businesses which do not report, or report a $0 value in a current or adjacent period. This change in methodology has been applied to historic periods captured by this release (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019), and has resulted in a revision to the turnover size range data for these years. Please refer to the Technical Note for further information.
  • Since the previous release of this publication, some additional administrative data sources for Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) information have been used to update business information on the ABSBR, resulting in a change to the classification of some businesses. These changes are quality improvements to the accuracy and representativeness of the SISCA classification. As the SISCA classification of a business is backcast to previous years covered by a publication, this has resulted in a revision of the SISCA data previously published for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Please refer to the Technical Note for further information.
  • In 2020 there were updates to a small number of local government area (LGA) boundaries, and two changes to LGA codes. For comparability, from this release of CABEE, businesses are allocated to LGA’s based on the updated boundaries for all years within the publication.

History of changes

CABEE 2015-2019

  • Since the previous release of CABEE, updated employment data was received for some businesses. This resulted in a revision to the employment size range data previously published for the 2017-18 financial year. Counts by employment size range for 2017-18 in this release of CABEE are considered to be the most accurate and up-to-date.
  • Since the previous release of CABEE there was a change to the turnover imputation methodology. This affected businesses which had not reported BAS, or had reported a $0 value, and had no recent BAS reporting history. In previous releases, these businesses received an alternate turnover indicator that was derived from other ABSBR data items, such as industry and size. From this release, the alternate indicator is no longer used and these businesses are now assigned a turnover value of $0.

CABEE 2014-2018

  • In 2018, there were updates to local government area (LGA) boundaries and the associated meshblock allocations. For comparability, from CABEE 2014-2018, businesses are allocated to LGA’s based on the updated boundaries for all years within the publication.

CABEE 2013-2017

  • Two new datacubes were added to this release which present counts of businesses by Local Government Area (LGA) by Industry Division by employment and turnover sizes. These are datacubes 10 & 11 respectively.
  • There was a change in the definition of a ‘small business’ used in the Australian Taxation System. Updated turnover size ranges were introduced to CABEE datacubes to reflect this, affecting datacubes 3, 6, 7 and 9. This does not change the raw data, only the strata in which it is presented in the datacubes.

CABEE 2012-2016

  • In 2016 the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) was updated to ASGS 2016. From CABEE 2012-2016, businesses are allocated to geographical areas based on the ASGS 2016 for all years within the publication.
  • A new confidentialisation method was implemented in 2012-16 CABEE. The change was made to enhance the current process and utilise existing ABS infrastructure. The confidentialisation process applied maximises the availability of data without introducing any bias to the counts. It perturbs data in such a way that the data presented at detailed levels will not always be additive.

CABEE 2009-2013

  • Datacube 1 was added for this release. It includes tables 1-20 which were previously published in the PDF publication download. From this release, the PDF publication will no longer be created, instead the analysis and information can be found on the website.
  • The methodology used to derive the non-profiled population business counts for employment size changed in 2009-2013 CABEE to provide a more accurate representation of the size of businesses. A more detailed description of the methodology and its effects are described in Improved Employment Range (Technical Note) in 2009-2013 and 2010-2014 CABEE.
  • Prior to this release, the strata classification for all variables were held constant for all years within a publication, specifically the latest available data were used to represent a business for all periods within each release of CABEE. Due to the nature of business growth with respect to employment and turnover, it was identified that the movement between these strata are important characteristics in the classification and movement of businesses. From CABEE 2009-2013, for these two variables, businesses are classified according to the size for the respective year. This change resulted in the addition of Tables 14 & 18 to Datacube 1, and the inclusion of “Net movement of surviving businesses” to tables 13 and 17.

CABEE 2007-2011

  • Two data cubes were added for this release which present counts of businesses by Industry division by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) by business size (employment size and annual turnover size ranges). These datacubes replaced those which previously showed counts of businesses by Statistical Division and Statistical Local Area.
  • In June 2010, the ABS implemented a new methodology for identifying annual long term non remitters (LTNRs). These are businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) for a defined period of time, and are considered dormant businesses and therefore excluded from the counts. This change has primarily resulted in an increase in business entries, as those businesses who would have previously been excluded have been brought back into scope, and therefore appear as business entries.

Technical note - New turnover data methodology

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revised the methods and processes that underly the turnover data presented in CABEE. These changes improve the quality and coherence of turnover indicators.

For businesses in the non-profiled population, annual turnover values are based on data reported to the ATO through Business Activity Statements (BAS). Due to the time it takes a majority of businesses to report the relevant BAS information, the data used to create the annual turnover size ranges is from six months prior to the reference period.

The revised methodology utilises other administrative data sources such as Single Touch Payroll (STP) and payment summaries to improve coverage, and improves the accuracy of turnover imputation for businesses which do not report, or report a $0 value in a current or adjacent period, and includes improved imputation methods where turnover data is missing.

These changes result in a decrease in the number of businesses receiving imputed turnover data, and improved accuracy of the imputed figures. The new method recognises where a unit has reported a value of zero in both the current and an adjacent year, deriving zero turnover for the current year, rather than a median impute.

The revised methodology has been implemented across the entire 5 years in this release of CABEE. This has resulted in a revision to the turnover data for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 years and this data is not comparable to previous publications. The data in this release are considered to be the most up-to-date, and representative of a business’ turnover for each year.

As a result of the change in methodology, 6.8% (162,276 businesses) changed turnover range at the end of the 2018-19 financial year. The majority (80.2%) of these businesses moved to a lower turnover size range. Across each of the 5 years the majority of the difference between the previous and current methodology is seen in the turnover size ranges of 'zero to less than $50k', '$50k to less than $200k' and '$200k to less than $2m'.

Download
Comparison of Table 17 Businesses by Annual Turnover Size Range, June 2018 – June 2019
 Operating at start of financial yearEntriesExitsNet movement of surviving businessesOperating at end of financial yearChangePercentage changeEntry rateExit rate
 no.no.no.no.no.no.%%%
2018-19 - Previous Turnover Methodology 
Zero to less than $50k572,826101,477114,34132,934592,89620,0703.517.720.2
$50k to less than $200k792,373163,406110,249-35,060810,47018,0972.320.613.8
$200k to less than $2m787,68585,96562,556-4,846806,24818,5632.410.97.9
$2m to less than $5m92,1263,1213,7543,53995,0322,9063.23.44.0
$5m to less than $10m32,4838321,1231,45133,6431,1603.62.63.4
$10m or more35,7989211,2371,98237,4641,6664.72.63.4
Total2,313,291355,722293,26002,375,75362,4622.715.412.7
2018-19 - New Turnover Methodology 
Zero to less than $50k656,221153,740140,2394,822674,54418,3232.823.421.4
$50k to less than $200k744,487136,29392,398-24,884763,49819,0112.618.312.4
$200k to less than $2m753,74961,54154,72811,926772,48818,7392.58.27.3
$2m to less than $5m91,1192,5833,5954,42294,5293,4103.72.83.9
$5m to less than $10m32,1987471,0801,57633,4411,2433.92.33.4
$10m or more35,5178181,2202,13837,2531,7364.92.33.4
Total2,313,291355,722293,26002,375,75362,4622.715.412.7

Technical note - SISCA changes

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) receives business information from multiple sources and this information is used to populate the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR). Since the previous release of this publication, some additional administrative data sources for the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) have been used to update business information on the ABSBR for approximately 174,000 businesses (7.2% of the population). These changes are quality improvements to the accuracy and representativeness of the SISCA classification.

As a result of these changes in SISCA classifications there were a small number of consequential updates to ANZSIC classification information, impacting approximately 500 businesses.

In the CABEE publication, the ANZSIC and SISCA classification of a business in the final year of the publication are applied to the entire 5-year period of the publication. Thus, the changes to the ANZSIC and SISCA classifications have resulted in a revision to the ANZSIC and SISCA data in the 2015-19 CABEE publication.

Technical note - Experimental employment data

The employment data typically published in CABEE is an annualised indicator of each businesses employment. This indicator is derived from businesses payment summaries, which are typically lodged after the end of the financial year. This annualised indicator provides a good representation of the number of employees a business had during the past financial year, and captures workers, such as seasonal employees, who may not be employed throughout the full year. The primary limitation of the annualised indicator is that it does not readily capture short-term fluctuations in the number of employees a businesses has. This means that for most businesses the 2019-20 data does not reflect changes to a businesses employment as a result of COVID-19.

To assist users in understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, an experimental point-in-time employment indicator has been published alongside the annualised employment indicator in this release of CABEE. This experimental point-in-time indicator includes Single Touch Payroll information, and is derived on a monthly basis from the highest number of payroll jobs during the calendar month. To align with the other data extracts utilised in CABEE, the experimental point-in-time employment indicator from May is used to represent businesses employment at the end of the financial year. The primary limitation of the experimental indicator is that it may not capture seasonal workers when presented in an annual context, and therefore may not provide good coverage of industries with highly seasonal workforces, such as Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. 

All regular datacubes have been published using the annualised employment indicator. Where the experimental point-in-time data is also available, this data is published alongside the annualised data in datacubes 1, 2, 8 & 10.
 
While providing interesting insights on the changes to businesses during these events, due to the experimental nature of the point-in-time employment data, care should be taken when using the data for analysis or to draw conclusions about the impact on the economy. As such, the two employment indicators should not be used as a comparison to each other, and the experimental point-in-time indicator should not be used in time series analysis with the annualised indicator.