Economic Activity Survey

Survey Participant Information

Responding to the Economic Activity Survey

The Economic Activity Survey (EAS) is conducted every year in order to collect the most up-to date data on the economic health of Australian industries. Your participation in EAS is essential to the compilation of the Australian National Accounts including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures. By completing this survey, you help to ensure the results truly reflect the current state of the industry. 

About the EAS
The EAS includes a large sample of business/organisation across Australia, varying in size and industry, to best reflect the Australian economy. Small business/organisation have different characteristics from large or medium size business/organisation and make an important contribution to the Australian economy. Please see the EAS survey FAQ's below for more information about why the business/organisation was selected. 

Thank you for your participation
We acknowledge and value your time and effort participating in this survey. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce the statistics that inform important decisions affecting various industries.

Click the button below to create and log into your ABS Survey Account and complete your survey online.

Need help completing the EAS?

For assistance with completing the EAS questions, please refer to the industry help pages:

For information about how to complete this survey in accordance with AASB 16 accounting standards, refer to AASB 16  help page.

You can also use our online Business Survey Contact Form to outline the details of your situation and we will be in touch, alternatively, you can contact us on 1800 010 223 during business hours for further help.

ABS analysts may contact the business/organisation in the future to ask questions about the data you provide to us. To avoid us having to call you back with follow-up queries, please see the frequently asked questions below. 

Frequently asked questions

What questions are asked in EAS?

EAS includes questions on employment, income and expenditure, profit or loss, inventories, and capital expenditure. 

Do I need to complete the survey right now?

We greatly appreciate the effort it takes for you to provide us these figures by the due date. Your timely response will directly inform significant decisions impacting the Australian economy.  The data you provide is used in the production of the Australian National Accounts, including the Gross Domestic Product measures.

Do we have to answer the questions?

Yes. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, you are obliged to provide the information requested by the ABS.  We understand this is a difficult time and we are here to help. We conduct follow-up of delayed response and we will assist you if you are having difficulties. 

Why does the survey have questions that don't apply to this business/organisation?

The form you receive for the EAS is based on the main industry of the business, according to the ABS Business Register, information provided by Screen Australia alongside additional research. The majority of the questions asked on the EAS are the same for all industries (with minor exceptions). If the survey form has some questions which don't apply to the business industry, you should still complete the survey noting the correct business activity in the survey form.

Our financial accounts are not yet finalised. How do we complete the survey?

We understand that this business/organisation may not yet have finalised its accounts or completed its tax return. Please note that we accept careful estimates where final data is not yet available. If you need more time, please log in to your ABS Survey Account and enter the Form Access Code on your invitation letter or email, then call us on 1800 010 223 to request an extension.

Why was this business/organisation selected?

This survey includes a range of businesses/organisations, varying in size and industry, across Australia to best reflect the Australian economy. Your participation is vital because you represent other businesses/organisations in your industry with similar characteristics, and every industry is important. Some businesses/organisations must be included in the sample for this survey each year because they contribute substantially to their industry, region, or group.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business sold before the beginning of, or during the reference period?

Please complete your survey form with comments indicating the sale of the entity and the date of the sale. If the business/organisation operated by the selected entity (e.g. ABN) was sold during the reference period, then the survey should be completed using figures up to, and including, the day that the business was sold, as well as figures relating to any other new activity undertaken by the selected entity for the remainder of the financial year. Please also provide the name of the new business owners.

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business/organisation is still operating but didn't trade during the reference period?

You will still need to submit the survey with comments stating that the business/organisation did not trade this year. You do not need to include any figures or zero values. 

Do we still need to complete the survey if the business/organisation has gone into liquidation or administration during the reference period?

Please complete the survey using figures up to, and including, the day that the business/organisation was liquidated or went into administration. It is also important to report the date that this occurred. If you are unable to access the accounts, then the liquidator or administrator should complete the survey. Where this is not possible, best available estimates of the data should be provided. It is acceptable to provide an estimate based on a percentage change from the previous year’s figures. Where estimates are not possible, or the business/organisation did not trade during the reference period, please call us on 1800 010 223 and one of our team will be happy to assist you.  

Are these confidential figures kept confidential?

Yes. Your completed form and personal information will remain strictly confidential to the ABS. The information is used to compile statistics. These are only released in the form of aggregated data that do not allow identification of individuals, businesses, or organisations.

Where are the statistics produced from this survey?

The ABS provides statistics free-of-charge via the ABS website. The EAS statistics are published in Australian Industry. You can use this publication for its industry analysis, business performance by size, and impacts of COVID-19 on businesses. 

What can I do to reduce the need for ABS to contact me with further enquiries?

The purpose of this checklist is to assist you, to check the information which you have supplied in the survey before submitting it to ABS. Use of the checklist may reduce the need for us to contact you with further enquiries. The points covered reflect some of the most common reporting errors.

Employment 

  • Are the reported numbers a headcount of persons working for the business/organisation? (Should not be FTE.) 
  • Have you reported only those who worked for the business/organisation in the last pay period ending in June 2022? 
  • Working proprietors and partners should only be reported for an unincorporated businesses/organisations, not if the business/organisation is incorporated (e.g. Pty Ltd). 

Financial information 

  • Are all reported financial items reported in $'000s (thousands)? For example, if business/organisation income for the year were $123,456, it should be reported as 123 on the survey.
  • Have the nature and amount of the main components of 'Other...' items been provided in Other Income and Other operating expenses? 
  • If income from sales of goods produced by the business/organisation has been reported, have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water? 
  • If income from sales of goods not produced by the business/organisation has been reported, have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of finished goods for resale? 
  • Have the values of both opening and closing inventories been reported, where applicable? 
  • If cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation is reported, the value must be less than or equal to the sum of Capital expenditure items.

Other information 

  • Have you provided comments on any unusual movements regarding the information you have supplied. By taking the opportunity to do this you will enhance the value of the data you supply as well as minimising the chance of ABS staff being required to call you directly for clarification. 
  • Have you provided an estimate of the time taken to complete this survey? (Please note that we use the time taken information)

 

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