Survey of Financial Information - Definitions page

This definitions page is designed to assist you to complete the Survey of Financial Information. It gives advice on:

  • Types of financial instruments
  • Types of counterparties and business units

Help Available

If you require any clarification of terms contained in this booklet or in the form itself, or if you require further copies, please email


This definitions page is designed to assist you to complete the Survey of Financial Information. The page is divided into three parts:

  • Instructions
  • Types of financial instruments (listed in alphabetical order)
  • Types of counterparties and business units (also listed in alphabetical order)

Purpose of the Survey of Financial Information

This survey collects quarterly financial information used in the compilation of five publications:

  • Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (Catalogue number 5206.0)
  • Assets and liabilities of Australian Securitisers (Catalogue number 5232.0.55.001)
  • Australian System of National Accounts (Catalogue number 5204.0)
  • Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth (Catalogue number 5232.0)
  • Managed Funds, Australia (Catalogue number 5655.0)

These publications can be accessed free-of-charge from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website by searching for the catalogue number.


  • Please report on an accruals basis as recorded in this business’s Statement of Financial Position.
  • Report all income items exclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Report all expense items exclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST) where this is recoverable as an input tax credit.
  • If exact figures are not available please provide careful estimates so that you can return the form to us on time.
  • The items listed under Including and Excluding are examples and should not be taken to be a complete list of items to be included or excluded. If you are unsure where to classify a particular instrument or institution, please discuss with the ABS contact listed on the front of this document.
  • Report the primary financial instruments which you actually hold, not the assets underlying them. For example, mortgage backed bonds should be reported under long term debt securities not housing loans. Note however, that any assets held in internal trust funds or by wholly owned investment subsidiaries located in Australia should be consolidated into the appropriate asset.
  • Report on a consolidated basis if you are reporting on the ‘Non-Financial Trading Corporations’ (PNFCE) form and are reporting for a group of related companies operating in Australia. Consolidation is the accounting process of adding together transactions or balance sheet items but excluding those between entities in the same subsector or company group to produce a net measure of financial flows between that grouping and the rest of the economy. In a commercial accounting sense, this process is applied to entities where a parent/subsidiary relationship exists. For example, a loan from one Non-Financial Trading Corporation to another in the group is eliminated from the consolidated total of assets and liabilities of the subsector because, in such cases, there is no asset or liability held with an entity outside the non-financial corporations subsector.
  • For income and expense questions, report in thousands of Australian dollars (A$’000). Where the value in this business’s accounts is not expressed in thousands of dollars, round the value up or down to the nearest thousand dollars.
  • Please report all other monetary values in millions of Australian dollars (A$’000,000). Where the value in this business’s accounts is not expressed in millions of dollars, round up or down to the nearest million dollars.

Types of financial instruments

Bills of exchange

Commercial paper (CP)

Debt securities



Listed shares

Loans and placements

Long-term debt securities

Negotiable certificates of deposit (NCDs)

Non-resident assets

Notes and coin

Other financial assets and liabilities

Repurchase agreement (Repos)

Units in trusts

Short-term debt securities

Treasury notes


Unlisted shares

Types of counterparties and business units

For a market transaction to occur there must be a willing buyer and a willing seller. To the buyer, the seller is the counterparty, and vice versa. The counterparty in a derivative contract is the party assuming the credit risk.

An important distinction is made by ABS between resident counterparties and non-residents. Australian residents are those persons, companies and other entities domiciled in Australia for one year or more. All others are classified as non-residents.

Australian Commonwealth government

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)


Cash management trusts

Cash common funds

Common funds

Friendly societies

General and health insurance companies

Investment companies

Internal trusts

Life insurance companies

Listed investment companies (LICs)

Listed trading enterprises

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

Wholesale trusts

Non-resident counterparties

Other common funds

Other deposit taking institutions

Property and infrastructure trusts

Retail public (offer) unit trusts

Resident counterparties


State and territory borrowing authorities

State, territory and local government

Superannuation funds

Trading enterprises

Trading enterprises owned by state, territory and local government

Trading enterprises owned by the Commonwealth government

Individuals and unincorporated trading businesses

Back to top of the page