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Annual Enterprise Survey: 2013 financial year (provisional)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  29 August 2014
Data quality

Period-specific information

This section is for information that changes between periods

General information

This section is for information that does not changes between releases

Period-specific information

Reference period

This is the first release of the Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) results for the 2013 financial year. We collected data from businesses with balance dates between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013. These results are provisional and we may revise them as further information becomes available over the next two years.

Accuracy of the data

As part of ongoing development to AES, we improved the survey by further increasing our use of administrative data to replace sampled units

AES 2013 population

The population for the AES 2013 financial year was 444,479 units, consisting of:

  • 312,462 (70.3 percent) sourced from IR 10 information
  • 16,277 (3.7 percent) sourced from the postal survey
  • 5,305 (1.2 percent) sourced from other government data
  • 479 (0.1 percent) sourced from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data
  • 109,956 (24.7 percent) non-sample units.

In AES 2013, we weighted the postal survey unit responses to represent the 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. The response rate in 2013 was 90 percent.
Graph, Annual enterprise survey population by source of data, 2004 to 2013 financial years.

Charities Commission data in 2013

To continue to reduce respondent load, in the 2013 financial year AES sourced more data from the Charities Commission. In 2013, we sourced 2,196 units from the Charities Commission, compared with 1,849 in 2012. We first used Charities Commission data in 2011.

Administrative data use in 2013 and its effect on published variables

Our main administrative data source is Inland Revenue’s IR 10 form. Following a review by Inland Revenue in 2011, the IR 10 form was redesigned in 2013 to improve the quality of data collection. The new form clarifies some of the existing IR 10 keypoints to make the items collected clearer. It also includes some new keypoints, such as related-party remuneration and exceptional items. Inland Revenue removed some of the less important keypoints.

The IR 10 form changes have resulted in discontinuities in how we measure variables such as shareholders’ funds/owners’ equity, current liabilities, and non-operating income. One of the biggest changes is that liabilities and equity are presented in a standard accounting format. A new equity keypoint has been added, which is simply total assets less total liabilities. 'Balance of owners’ current accounts' is now explicitly included in the other current liabilities keypoint.

The discontinuities are more significant in industries for which we use IR 10 as their predominant data source. Industries for which we do not use IR 10 data, such as department stores and life insurance, are not affected by the changes. Affected publication tables are noted.

General information

Data sources

Data used in AES is compiled from sources that include:

  • a sample survey of business financial data
  • business financial data from Inland Revenue (IR 10)
  • central government data from the Treasury's Crown Financial Information System
  • superannuation data from the New Zealand Companies Office (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment)
  • local government data from Statistics NZ's local authority statistics
  • not-for-profit data from the Charities Commission.


The target population for AES is all economically significant businesses (see definitions) operating within New Zealand. However, we exclude some industries on pragmatic grounds.

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).

Superannuation funds (K633000) are included in the population. However, they are excluded from the release tables.

Survey design

AES is the principal collection vehicle for data used in compiling New Zealand's national accounts. The data collected feeds into calculating the economy's GDP, through the current price annual industry accounts, which we compile within an input-output framework.

AES collects financial data for most industries operating in New Zealand's economy. The AES industries are based on ANZSIC06. AES is designed predominantly at the four-digit ANZSIC level (113 industries). We can produce data at lower levels (subject to confidentiality constraints) but it may have considerably higher sample errors. In addition, we have done limited analysis at this level.

The population for AES is selected from the Statistics NZ Business Frame.

The Business Frame is a database of all known individual private and public sector businesses and organisations engaged in producing goods and services in New Zealand that meet significance criteria. The Business Frame provides a consistent reference to standard classifications, which helps to integrate statistical outputs and allows us to use it as a classification tool. The frame also provides links to all economic and financial survey data, and the tax system, which means a more effective use of tax data that reduces 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. Collectively, they are referred to as statistical units. Larger or more complex businesses may have a number of statistical units. We give each statistical unit an industry classification based on its predominant activity. Different divisions of a company may be spread across several industries, depending on how the company is structured. The collection unit for AES is the KAU. By definition, a KAU is engaged in predominantly one activity for which a single set of accounting records is available.

We use a stratified sample design to select the AES sample from units on the Business Frame. 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 stratum made up of large units with significant economic activity within their industry group. 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 that represent more units. Most industries also have a tax stratum for smaller units, where IR 10 information is used instead of a postal survey response.

The wide range of activities undertaken by New Zealand businesses means we need to have different types of questionnaires. All questionnaires capture financial performance and position information, but the format and the wording of the questionnaires are tailored to suit different groups of businesses.

AES is designed to measure industry levels for a given year. Our incremental improvements in measurement, sample design, classification, and data collection may influence the inter-period movements, particularly over longer time periods. We work to minimise the impact of these changes and to present a consistent time series in the published tables.

Interpreting the data

AES provides a wealth of information to help users understand the structure and performance of industries within New Zealand's economy. When using AES data, it is important to be aware of these design issues that may affect results:

1. How companies structure themselves can affect how their data is captured and reported in AES. Large corporates often set up separate entities to manage different divisions of their business. We classify these divisions based on their predominant activity. For example, their administration (head office) and their asset-owning activities may be classified to management and related consulting services (in division M), and to financial asset investors (in division K), respectively. This may mean that a manufacturing unit will not have these support activities recorded in the manufacturing industry.

If a business is divided into different divisions, this can mean that AES results will include inter-company flows between divisions (gross flows).

2. AES time series can be affected by the restructuring of companies. For example, if divisions within a company are restructured or amalgamated, the following could happen:

  • consolidating the units would remove the gross flows and leave net flows
  • we would determine the industrial classification of the resulting unit/s by predominant activity – activity in the other industries would disappear
  • value added would remain the same in both options.

The reverse may also occur, when restructuring results in net flows being represented in a gross form.

3. The 'all industries' table sums divisional tables and therefore includes gross flows.

4. We present AES results for a nominal March year. However, we collect data from businesses with balance dates between 1 October in one year and 30 September the following year. The table below lists, for each industry, the predominant balance date by total income.

Predominant balance dates by industry
Industry Year ended
A – Agriculture, forestry, and fishing March
B – Mining December
C – Manufacturing March
D – Electricity, gas, water, and waste services June
E – Construction March
F – Wholesale trade March
G & H – Retail trade and accommodation March
I – Transport, postal, and warehousing June
J – Information media and telecommunications June
K – Financial and insurance services June
L – Rental, hiring, and real estate services March
M & N – Professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services March
O – Public administration and safety June
P – Education and training December
Q – Health care and social assistance June
R & S – Arts, recreation, and other services March
Note: This table is produced using weighted total income data and therefore reflects the population as it is represented in AES. The count of predominant balance dates may produce different results to this table, which is based on total income. This is because the count is dominated by the small businesses sourced from IR 10s, which have small values of total income.

5. In the postal collection, we specifically request additions and disposals of fixed assets. However, in the administrative data source (IR 10), only the closing book value of fixed assets and depreciation are requested. Hence, where IR 10s are used, we model values for additions and disposals.

6. Statistics NZ has a legal obligation to protect companies' privacy and industry-sensitive information.  We apply confidentiality rules to all tables released – to protect the information supplied by an individual company. Once all confidential financial items are identified, we suppress further items to complete the protection of the confidential value.

Use of AES data

In addition to its use in the national accounts regional GDP, GDP, and sectoral accounts, AES is also a data source for other of our existing and upcoming outputs, including:

  • industry benchmarking
  • the Tatauranga Umanga Māori publication. In AES2013, we increased the sample was to include more Māori business units. This increase will provide an opportunity for us to analyse and produce Māori business statistics at an industry level.
  • longitudinal research of business dynamics (see Longitudinal business database)
  • business price indexes.

In recent years, we have had increased demand for non-standard output from users. We are providing more input into research surrounding these requests. Examples include:

  • frequent requests from other government departments, such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • requests for data/information by turnover bands, which can add significant analytical value and is a popular request
  • requests from businesses for financial data to gauge their performance against industry averages.

Results availability

The supplementary tables available from the 'Downloads' box contain a selection of the tables available from AES. In most cases, tables are published to New Zealand Standard Industrial Output Classification (NZSIOC) level 4. In some cases, tables at an even less-aggregated level may also be available.

Please contact our Information Centre to request information.


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.

More information

See more information about the Annual Enterprise Survey.

Statistics in this release have been produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.

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