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Annual Enterprise Survey: 2007 financial year (provisional)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  03 October 2008
Technical notes

What the Annual Enterprise Survey measures

The Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) provides financial information by industry and sector groups. This includes measures of financial performance and financial position. Output variables include income, expenditure, profit, purchases of fixed assets and equity. From this data, economic ratios such as the return on assets and profit margin on sales can be derived. The AES data also forms the basis of national accounting variables, such as value-added, gross output and gross fixed capital formation.

The information contained in the tables in this release is only a sample of the information available. Further information is available on Statistics New Zealand's website ( or on request.


The target population for AES is all economically significant businesses (see definition below) operating within New Zealand. However, some industries are excluded on pragmatic grounds. In total, AES is estimated to cover approximately 90 percent of New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) industry exclusions are:

  • Residential property operators (L671100)
  • Foreign government representation (O755200)
  • Religious services (S954000)
  • Private households employing staff and undifferentiated goods- and service-producing activities of households for own use (S960100-300).

Design of the Annual Enterprise Survey

The current design of the AES is being introduced for the first time in the 2007 financial year due to the introduction of the ANZSIC06 classification system. The AES was designed as the principal collection vehicle of data used in the compilation of New Zealand's National Accounts. The data collected feeds into the calculation of the economy's GDP, through the current price annual industry accounts, which are compiled within an input-output framework.

The AES collects financial data for most of the industries operating in the New Zealand economy. The AES industries are based on the ANZSIC06. The AES survey is designed at approximately the four-digit ANZSIC level, or 113 industries. Data at lower levels can also be produced (subject to confidentiality constraints) but it may have considerably higher sample errors. In addition, limited analysis has been conducted at this level.

The population for the AES 2007 financial year is 440,904 units and consists of:

  • 222,775 (50.5 percent) sourced from IR 10 information
  • 22,075 (5.0 percent) sourced from the postal survey
  • 3,156 (0.7 percent) sourced from other Statistics New Zealand surveys
  • 654 units (0.1 percent) sourced from Ministry of Economic Development data
  • 192,244 (43.6 percent) non-sample units.

IR 10s sourced from Inland Revenue are used for sole traders and partnerships, as well as to represent all businesses in the agriculture industries (ANZSIC06 groups A011-A019).

In AES 2007, the 22,075 postal survey unit responses are weighted to represent the 192,244 non-sample units. The corporate response rate required for the postal collection is set at 85 percent of the industry's goods and services tax (GST) sales. In 2007, this response rate was 91 percent, compared with 89 percent in 2006.

Graph, Population by Source of Data.

The population for this survey is selected from the Statistics New Zealand Business Frame.

The Business Frame is a database of all known individual private and public sector businesses and organisations engaged in the production of goods and services in New Zealand that meet significance criteria. The Business Frame provides a consistent reference to standard classifications, which facilitates the integration of statistical outputs and allows it to be used as a classification tool. It also provides links to all economic and financial survey data and the tax system, which allows more effective use of tax data to reduce respondent load.

The structure of each business on the Business Frame consists of an enterprise, a kind-of-activity unit (KAU) and a geographic unit. These are collectively referred to as statistical units. Larger or more complex businesses may have a number of statistical units. Each of the statistical units is given an industry classification based on its predominant activity. Different divisions of a company may be spread across several industries, depending on how the company has been structured. The collection unit for the AES is the KAU. By definition, a KAU is engaged in predominantly one activity for which a single set of accounting records is available.

Sample design:

  • The AES is a stratified sample. Each industry contains between one and four strata, defined by size of turnover (sourced from GST information) and rolling mean employment. Each industry has a full coverage strata made up of large units with significant economic activity within their industry group. Most industries also have a tax strata where IR 10 information is used for self-employed individuals and partnerships up to a level of $10 million turnover. The remaining strata contain a sample of medium-sized units, which are weighted to represent non-sampled units. For example, a unit may have a weight of five, meaning it represents itself and four other businesses. Smaller businesses have less chance of being selected, and consequently when selected have larger weights representing more units.
  • Selection of sample. Every unit on the Business Frame is given a random number, which is used to determine the sample. The random number is allocated at the enterprise level. Currently, the AES has a limit on the number of units sampled each year, and one method of maintaining this is to adjust the range of the random number line.
  • The AES has a two-component design, which is effectively two sample designs for one survey.
    • Component one collects financial position data, and is designed to provide accurate estimates for total assets and total liabilities for institutional sector accounts.
    • Component two collects financial performance and fixed asset data, and is designed to provide accurate estimates of value-added, total income and gross fixed capital formation by industry and for institutional sectors.
    • The two-component design aims to reduce respondent load by limiting the number of respondents that have to complete the full set of questions.
  • The wide range of activities undertaken by New Zealand businesses makes it necessary to have different types of questionnaires. These different questionnaires are referred to as formtypes. Formtypes ask for similar information, but the format and wording of the questionnaires are tailored to suit groups of businesses.
  • Currently, three different lengths of formtype are sent to businesses selected in the sample. The most comprehensive of these questionnaires, for units selected in both components, asks for financial performance, position, and fixed assets information. The other two questionnaires ask specifically for component one or two information.
  • The AES is designed to measure industry levels for a given year. Incremental improvements in measurement, sample design, classification and data collection may influence the inter-period movements, particularly over longer time periods. Work has been done to minimise the impact of these changes and present a consistent time series in the published tables.

Introduction of a new industrial classification for 2007

The AES for 2007 has been designed and published using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06). Previous Annual Enterprise Surveys, including 2005 and 2006, were designed and published on an ANZSIC96 basis.

The conversion of AES to ANZSIC06 was completed using the following steps:

  • The sample for AES 2007 was designed and optimised on an ANZSIC06 basis.
  • There was a large sample boost in AES 2006 to ensure adequate coverage of units on an ANZSIC06 basis. AES 2007 had a smaller boost to ensure adequate coverage of units under the ANZSIC96 basis.
  • AES 2007 questionnaires were re-allocated on an ANZSIC06 basis. This means that a number of units will have received different industry questionnaires in 2007 than they did in 2006.
  • Imputation cells for AES 2007 were reviewed and created on an ANZSIC06 basis.
    Analysis of AES 2006 data was completed on an ANZSIC96 basis. Analysis of AES 2007 data was completed on an ANZSIC06 basis.
  • The design change was backdated to 2005 on an ANZSIC06 basis.

For further information on the conversion process and on backdating, please contact Tissa Abeykoon or Craig Liken:

Availability of results

The supplementary tables contain a selection of tables available. Data is available at the design level (113 industries) upwards, subject to confidentiality. Tables at an even less aggregated level may also be available.

This is the first release of AES results for the 2007 financial year. These results are provisional. They may be revised as further information becomes available over the next two years.


Data collected and information contained in this publication must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. This requires that published information maintains the confidentiality of individual respondents.


Detailed information on the following, and other terms, is available on our website or on request.

Economically significant

An enterprise that meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • has greater than $30,000 annual GST expenses or sales
  • has RMEs greater than three
  • is in a GST-exempt industry (except residential property leasing and rental)
  • is part of a group of enterprises
  • is a new GST registration that is compulsory, special or forced
  • is registered for GST and involved in agriculture or forestry.


A single business entity operating in New Zealand either as a legally constituted body such as a company, partnership, trust, local or central government trading organisation, incorporated society, or a self-employed individual.

Kind-of-activity unit (KAU)

A subdivision of an enterprise engaged in predominantly one activity and for which a single set of accounting records is available. This is the statistical unit used in the AES.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1996 (ANZSIC96)

The ANZSIC96 was developed for use in Australia and New Zealand for the production and analysis of industry statistics. Prior to 2007 the AES has been designed using the ANZSIC96 classification, with some subdivisions and groups re-aggregated to reflect New Zealand operations.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06)

The ANZSIC06 has been developed for use in Australia and New Zealand for the production and analysis of industry statistics. The AES for 2007 has been designed using the ANZSIC06 classification, with some subdivisions and groups re-aggregated to reflect New Zealand operations. Further information on ANZSIC06 is available on our website.

Employee count (EC)

Head count of salary and wage earners sourced from taxation data. EC data is available on a monthly basis. This is mostly employees but can include a small number of working proprietors (who pay themselves a salary or wage).

Rolling mean employment (RME)

RME is a 12-month moving average of the monthly employee count figure, which replaces the numbers of full-time and part-time employees in the AES.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) persons engaged

The total number of full-time employees and working proprietors plus half the number of part-time employees and working proprietors.

Surplus before income tax

Total income less total expenditure (excluding salaries and wages to working proprietors).

Surplus per RME

Surplus before income tax divided by rolling mean employment.

Current ratio

Current assets divided by current liabilities.

Quick ratio

Current assets less closing stocks divided by current liabilities.

Margin on sales of goods for resale

Sales of goods not further processed less purchases of goods bought for resale, as a percentage of sales of goods not further processed.

Return on equity

Surplus before income tax divided by shareholders' funds.

Return on total assets

Surplus before income tax divided by total assets.

Liabilities structure

Shareholders' funds divided by total capital and liabilities.

For more information, follow the link from the technical notes of this release on the Statistics New Zealand website.


Information obtained from Statistics New Zealand may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics New Zealand must be acknowledged as the source.


While care has been used in processing, analysing and extracting information, Statistics New Zealand gives no warranty that the information supplied is free from error. Statistics New Zealand shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.


Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand accepts no responsibility for any such delays.


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