Retail and Wholesale
For links to the help pages for other industries and general information about EAS, please see this page
This help page is for businesses operating in RETAIL AND WHOLESALE INDUSTRIES selected in the Economic Activity Survey. It includes guidance for completing the following sections of the survey form:
What should be reported in Employment?
Employment is a headcount of all persons who worked for the business/organisation as proprietors, partners, salaried directors or other employees in the last pay period ending in June 2023. Report headcount rather than number of persons on a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) basis. Report for the last pay period ending in June 2023 even if this is not the last pay period in the business/organisation's financial reporting year. Please ensure each person is counted only once in the total headcount to provide an accurate total number of persons who were paid in the last pay period in June 2023.
What should be reported in Working proprietors and partners?
If this is an unincorporated business/organisation (e.g. sole trader, partnership, joint venture), include a count of all owner-operators or partners. Skip this question if this is an incorporated business/organisation, for example, a company.
What should be reported in Employees?
A headcount of all other persons who worked for the business/organisation, including salaried directors, and persons employed on a fixed term contract or casual basis (only if they were paid through the payroll in the last pay period of June 2023 and Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax was deducted for them). Non-salaried directors are excluded and should not be counted in Employment.
What about persons working for the business/organisation under contract?
Businesses/organisations or individuals contracted by this businesses/organisations that have a registered ABN and are paid on a fee for service, on invoice or on a commission only basis should not be counted in Employment. Staff who carried out work for this business/organisation during the last pay period ending in June 2023 but were paid through another business/organisation, for example, a labour hire company, should not be counted in Employment.
Note: Discounts or rebates given to customers by this business/organisation should be netted off the income item to which the discount/rebate applied (e.g. Income from Services or Sales of Goods). Discounts or rebates received by a business/organisation from its suppliers should not be reported as income, but should be deducted from the expense item to which the discount or rebate applied (e.g. Purchases or Other operating expenses).
How do I report Sales of goods produced by this business/organisation (or for it on commission)?
Sales of goods produced occurs when the business/organisation that sells a good is the same business/organisation which undertook production of the good, or had the good produced for it by a third party on a contract, sub-contract or commission basis.
How do I report Sales of goods NOT produced by this business/organisation?
Sales of goods not produced are those goods the business/organisation purchased ready-made, then resold without making changes to the goods. Both wholesale and retail sales of goods should be reported here. For example, include income from: the sale in Australia of equipment purchased locally or imported from an overseas manufacturer; and food and beverages sold over the counter in original packaging (e.g. bottled water or confectionery). The purchase of these items during the year should be reported in Purchases of finished goods for resale.
What should be reported in Income from delivery service charges separately itemised to customers for goods sold by this business/organisation?
This item refers to the amount of income generated from charging customers separately on invoice for the delivery of goods. Income received from the delivery of goods not separately invoiced should be included in Sales of Goods.
What should be reported in Income from services?
Generally, payment received for the provision of services, regardless of whether the service is a primary or secondary activity of the business/organisation, should be reported in Income from services. This includes payments received from government and non-government sources for providing services as well as rent, leasing and hiring income.
Income from services includes any sales of goods that are bundled together and invoiced in conjunction with a service. Where sales of goods are invoiced separately to an accompanying service provided (i.e. 'unbundled' from the cost of the service provided), the income received from these sales should be reported in Sales of goods. This includes payments received for providing services to other businesses/organisations.
Report services in the following categories:
- Commission income paid on goods sold
- Other commission/concession income including gift cards
- Repair and maintenance services
- Other services
What should be reported for Government funding for operational costs?
Funding for operational costs includes all income received for ongoing operations and that helped to fund programs or pay for business overheads (e.g. wages and salaries, rent, food).
What should be reported in Other income?
Other income includes income from all other sources, not already reported in income items that appear earlier on the form. Donations and bequests received should be included where the donor receives no material benefit other than a tax deduction (if eligible). However, if the donor receives some material benefit e.g. advertising, report this income in Income from Services.
How do I report asset sales?
The profit or loss from the sale of assets should be reported in Other income as a positive or negative value. Asset revaluation/impairment should be reported as either a net gain or loss in Other Income. Negative revaluations and impairments should not be reported as an expense. This follows the same principles that apply to other examples listed in the survey, such as share trading. The proceeds received from the sale of assets however should be reported as disposals in the relevant category under Capital Expenditure and Disposal of assets. For example:
- Asset revalued upwards and then sold for more than the new value: Asset purchased for $1,000 then revalued to be worth $1,200. It is then disposed of (sold) for $1,500. Thus we have Disposals = $1,500 and Other income = $300 ($1,500 - $1,200).
- Asset revalued downwards then sold for less than the new value: Asset purchased for $2,000 then revalued to be worth $1,600. It is then disposed of (sold) for $1,400. Thus we have Disposals = $1,400 and Other income = -$200 ($1,400 - $1,600).
- Asset revalued but no change in value: Asset purchased for $1,000 then assessed to be still worth $1,000. It is then disposed of (sold) for $1,500. Thus we have Disposals = $1,500 and Other income = $500 ($1,500 - $1,000).
Note: Discounts or rebates received by a business/organisation from its suppliers should be deducted from the expense item to which the discount or rebate applied (e.g. in Purchases or Other operating expenses). Discounts or rebates given to customers by this business/organisation should not be reported as an expense item, but should be netted off the income item to which the discount/rebate applied (e.g. Income from Services or Sales of Goods).
How do I report Employer contributions to superannuation?
Personal superannuation contributions of business owners drawing a wage from the business should be included in Employer contributions paid into superannuation. Personal superannuation contributions of business owners not drawing a wage should be excluded.
How do I report Workers compensation premiums/costs?
If this business/organisation self-insures, include workers compensation provisions that are recognised as an expense. A provision should be recognised as an expense when the occurrence of the related obligation is probable and one can reasonably estimate the amount of the expense.
How do I report Payroll tax (excluding Pay As You Go withholding tax)?
Payroll tax is levied by state/territory governments on businesses when the total wage bill of an employer (or group of employers) exceeds a threshold amount. The payroll tax rates and thresholds vary between states and territories. Do not include PAYG withholding amounts for employees.
How do I report Payments to other businesses/organisations (e.g. employment agencies) for staff?
Report payments made to another business/organisation (e.g. employment agencies) for the supply of staff on a fee or contract basis, where the staff entitlements are paid by the business/organisation supplying the employees.
How do I report wages and salaries (including provisions for employee entitlements)?
Wages and salaries including provisions for employee entitlements do not include contractors or sub-contractors operating under their own ABN.
Report gross (i.e. before tax) wages and salaries. Capitalised wages and salaries (i.e. wages and salaries for work relating to the creation of capital assets) should be excluded from Wages and salaries including provisions for employee entitlements. Include capitalised wages and salaries in Cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation.
How do I report Insurance premiums?
- Optional third party insurance premiums for motor vehicles, should be included in Insurance premiums.
- Compulsory third party insurance premiums, payable as part of the vehicle registration process should be excluded from Insurance premiums but included in Other operating expenses.
How do I report Interest expenses and Depreciation and amortisation expenses?
Repayments under a finance lease agreement consist of an interest and capital component. The interest component only should be included in Total Interest expenses. Capital repayments should not be reported.
Report operating lease payments as follows:
- Interest component – include in Total interest expenses and Interest expenses in respect of operating leases;
- Depreciation component – include in Total depreciation and amortisation and Depreciation expenses in respect of operating leases;
- Operating expenses (for variable lease payments not included in the measurement of the lease liability, or service components previously embedded in the lease) – include in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses.
For more information on the accounting standard, please see AASB 16 Leases.
What should be reported in Purchases?
In the context of selling finished goods, Purchases (expenses) are not the same as cost of goods sold. Purchases represent the amount actually expended by the business/organisation in the reporting period. Cost of goods sold, which is not collected in this survey, represents the amount expended only on goods actually sold in the reporting period (cost of goods sold is equal to purchases plus opening inventories minus closing inventories).
Any purchases that have been capitalised i.e. purchases made to create capital assets, should be excluded from Purchases. Instead, these costs should be reported in Capitalised expenditure including cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation.
Include the following Purchases of materials, electricity, fuels and water:
- Office supplies and equipment purchased for the running of the business;
- All utility costs associated with the business.
Exclude the following payments from Purchases of materials, electricity, fuels and water:
- Payments to other businesses for the movement of goods. These payments should instead be included in Payments to contractors and other businesses for freight, cartage, delivery and transport services;
- Rent, leasing and hiring expenses.
How do I report the Purchases of finished goods for resale?
The purchase value of goods that are to be on sold without transformation, should be reported in Purchases of finished goods for resale. For example: beverages sold for consumption off the premises (e.g. bottle shop sales) or software purchased to be on sold to customer without transformation.
What should be reported in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses?
The operating expense component of operating leases should be reported in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses. For more information, please refer to AASB 16 Leases.
- 'Dry hire' of equipment by the business/organisation, that is, the hire of equipment to be operated by its own employees should be included in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses.
- 'Wet hire' of equipment by the business/organisation, that is, the hire of equipment with an operator, should be excluded from Rent, leasing and hiring expenses but included in Other Operating Expenses.
Do not include expenses associated with hiring staff.
What should be reported in Other operating expenses?
The expense questions on this form should be mutually exclusive. Report other operating expenses not included in other expense items on the form.
Include the following:
- 'Wet hire' of equipment by the business/organisation, i.e. payments for the hire of equipment with an operator;
- payments to contractors and other businesses not reported elsewhere on the form. A contractor or subcontractor has a registered ABN, that is they have their own business/organisation (e.g. locums, contracted allied health professionals, building cleaning services, IT specialists). This includes contractors paid on invoice. Include expenses associated with services delivered by contractors, subcontractors and consultants that are not employees of the business/organisation and do not receive a payment summary;
- compulsory third party insurance premiums, payable as part of the business/organisation vehicle registration process;
- travel and accommodation expenses, including those incurred by employees undertaking professional development and training.
Exclude the following:
- 'Dry hire' i.e. payments for the hire of equipment without an operator. Include these payments in Rent, leasing and hiring expenses;
- payments to contractors and other businesses reported in Payments made to contractors and other businesses for selected services;
- capitalised contractor payments. Include these payments in Other capitalised costs;
- donations made to other parties not tied to an expected benefit.
What should be reported in Inventories?
Inventories excludes depreciable assets of the business/organisation. These assets should be reported in the relevant categories in Capital expenditure and disposal of assets. Inventories are categorised as follows:
- Raw materials, fuels, containers etc: Goods that a business/organisation holds with the intention of using them to produce other goods or in rendering services. For example, paper supplies for use in printing newspapers (good produced) or raw food to make a meal (provide a service).
- Work in progress less progress payments billed: Goods that require some transformation to reach the condition they are to be sold in, for example, partially assembled machinery. The value of work in progress inventories should be reported net of progress payments billed.
- Finished goods (including inventories for resale): Goods that are to be sold in their current condition, including goods for resale
Capital expenditure and disposal of assets
What should be reported in Capital expenditure and disposal of assets?
Note: Report acquisition and disposals of new and used assets by each asset category. Include assets acquired under finance leases and exclude right of use assets acquired under operating leases. Only include assets acquired or disposed of in the reporting year.
Capital expenditure refers to the amount spent by a business/organisation in the current reporting period on the acquisition of non-current assets. It can be considered the amount spent to purchase or upgrade productive assets like buildings or machinery to increase the business/organisation’s capacity or efficiency. If the business/organisation hires contractors to carry out capital work, then these contractor payments should be included in Other capitalised costs.
The value of an asset, for example, a company car acquired under a finance lease arrangement, should be included in the relevant category under Capital expenditure and disposal of assets:
- Land, building and infrastructure
- Machinery and equipment
- Information technology
- Intangible assets
Only include figures for assets acquired or disposed of in the reporting year. Do not include all balance sheet items unless all the assets are acquired or disposed of during the reporting year.
- Additions represents the expenditure on assets on an accruals basis.
- Report any Capital Work in Progress (CWIP) values against the relevant asset.
- Exclude additions to inventories.
- Leasehold improvements to a right-of-use asset should be reported by the lessee in Additions to Land, buildings and infrastructure.
- Under AASB 16, the assets created for new or pre-existing operating leases should not be reported as Capital expenditure for the lessee. The value of the underlying asset is reported by the lessor.
- Assets acquired through finance leases during the period should continue to be reported as Additions in the Capital expenditure and disposal of assets section against the appropriate asset.
- Any leasehold improvements to a right-of-use asset should be reported by the lessee as Additions in the Capital expenditure and disposal of assets section against the appropriate asset.
- Disposals refers to the sale of the asset to another individual or business/organisation. It can also include the discarding of an asset. Only report the proceeds from the sale of the assets.
What should be reported in Cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation?
Capitalised wages and salaries: If the business/organisation's staff develop an asset, for example a new piece of software for in-house use only and is not intended to be sold to another business/organisation, then the wages and salaries of the employees of the business/organisation who contributed to the development, building, construction and/or creation of the asset (including any additional ‘on-costs’ such as Fringe Benefits Tax, workers compensation, superannuation) should be reported in Capitalised wages and salaries.
Exclude the cost of contractors, consultants and other persons not on the businesses/organisation's payroll who contributed to the development of the asset - these costs should instead be reported in Other capitalised costs.
Other capitalised costs: This may include both capitalised services and capitalised goods used as inputs to the building and development of the asset. If an upgrade or improvement to an existing building or infrastructure asset was project managed in-house then the cost of any goods or materials used and/or contractors undertaking the work should be reported in Other capitalised costs. The wages of the employees project managing should be reported under Capitalised wages and salaries.
The cost of work undertaken by own employees of this business/organisation to install any asset acquired under a financial lease to make it operational should be reported in the relevant category.
Do I need to provide data on multi-state operations?
Only medium and large size businesses/organisations will be asked to report state data. If your survey includes this question please provide a response.
- Report Employment and Wages and salaries for each state or territory of the office or location in which the staff are based. For staff who travel interstate or overseas to undertake work, report against the state or territory in which they are usually based.
- Report Income from sales of goods and services for each state or territory where the sale was made or the service was provided. Include export sales against the state or territory from which the sale was made.