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Survey Participant Information - Economic Activity Survey - Agriculture
 

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SURVEY - AGRICULTURE

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Employment
Income Items
Expense Items
Inventories
Capital Expenditure and Disposal of Assets
Multi-state operations
Checklist

EMPLOYMENT

How should I report employment?

Employment
is a headcount of all persons who worked for the business as proprietors, partners, salaried directors or other employees in the last pay period in June 2015. You should report for the last pay period in June 2015 even if this is not the last pay period in your financial reporting year.

Working proprietors and partners (Q3a)

If you are the owner-operator or partner of an unincorporated business, include yourself (and other partners) in Q3a (working proprietors and partners). Owners/directors of Pty Ltd companies should not be counted as working proprietors, but should be included in Q3b (Salaried directors) or Q3c (Other employees).

Other employees (Q3c)

This is a headcount of all persons who worked for the business and were paid through the payroll in the last pay period in June 2015.

What about persons working for the business under contract?

    • Contractors and subcontractors who are other businesses (i.e. have their own ABN and are paid on a fee for service or commission only basis) should not be counted in Employment.
    • If the business paid another business for contract staff, and those persons were on the payroll of the other business, they should not be counted in Employment.
    • Persons employed on a fixed-term contract, e.g. temporary staff/workforce, should be included in Other employees (Q3c) only if they were paid through the payroll in the last pay period of June 2015 and PAYG tax was deducted for them.


INCOME ITEMS

What is the difference between Sales of goods produced and Sales of goods not produced?
What should be reported as income from services?
Where do I report my particular income activity?


What is the difference between Sales of goods produced and Sales of goods not produced?

Sales of goods produced
(Q4a) occur when the business that sells a commodity is the same business which undertook production of the commodity, or had the commodity produced for it by a third party on a contract, sub-contract or commission basis. Examples include income from sales of:
  • fruit and/or vegetables grown by the business;
  • animals raised for meat, skin, wool or fur;
  • grain crops raised by the business;
  • raw milk from cattle owned by the business;
  • turf grown by the business;
  • plants raised from seed in a nursery.

Sales of goods not produced
(Q4b) are those goods the business purchased ready-made, then resold without making changes to the goods. Wholesale and retail sales of goods should be reported here. For example, if a co-operative buys the produce of a number of growers and on-sells it to a mill or to an exporter, the income from that sale would be included in Sales of goods not produced (Q4b).

Information on Animal Sales can be found under Where do I report my particular income activity?.
Delivery charges separately invoiced or itemised to customers for goods sold by this business/organisation (Q5)
This item refers to the amount of income that is charged separately on invoice for the delivery of sale of goods to customers. For delivery of sales of goods not separately invoiced include income in sales of goods.


What should be reported as income from services?

Generally, payment received for the provision of any services, regardless of whether they are a primary or secondary activity of the business, should be reported as Income from services (Q6).

Where the business receives payment for agricultural work performed for another business on a commission, contract or fee basis only, (i.e. where the business does not own the inputs to production or the goods produced), such payment should be reported as Income from services (Q6). Agricultural services may include:
  • agistment;
  • crop dusting;
  • farm management;
  • irrigation services;
  • shearing;
  • the work of a self-employed farm hand.

Other examples of Income from services (Q6) include:
  • sales commission;
  • repairs and maintenance service. (Please note that, if a business providing repairs and maintenance services, invoices customers for parts and service separately, income from both parts and service is included in Income from services [Q6].)
  • management fees/charges from related and unrelated businesses



Rent, leasing and hiring income
is conceptually a service income, but income from this source should be reported in Rent, leasing and hiring income (Q7).
Distinction: "Wet" and "dry" hire
Some equipment, e.g. machinery or vehicles, may be hired either with or without operator/driver. This distinction, sometimes referred to as "wet" and "dry" hire, determines how this type of income should be reported.
  • Where the business derives income from hiring out equipment without operator ("dry" hire), that income should be reported as Rent, leasing and hiring income (Q7).
  • Where the business derives income from hiring out equipment with operator ("wet" hire), the income should be reported as Income from services (Q6).

Royalties income
is also conceptually a service income, but income from this source should be reported in Royalties income (Q8). It includes payments received for the right to extract natural resources from land owned by the business and for the use of intellectual property owned by the business, e.g. patents and copyright.
Where do I report my particular income activity?

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does address some of the common reporting problems encountered by businesses.

Animal sales:
Reporting of the proceeds of animal sales varies, depending largely on the purpose for which the animal has been acquired.
  • If an animal was purchased for long-term use (e.g. as breeding stock, milking stock or as a working animal), it is considered to be an asset of the business, in the same sense as plant or equipment used to assist in the production of goods for sale. Therefore, if that animal is subsequently sold, the profit (capital gain) or loss on that sale should be reported as a positive or negative value in Other income (Q11).
  • If an animal was purchased with a view to raising it until it can be sold in a different condition, or if the progeny of breeding stock is raised until it can be sold as a more mature animal, the amount received from the sale of the animal should be included in Sales of goods produced (Q4a).
  • If an animal was purchased with a view to immediate on-selling, income from that source should be included in Sales of goods not produced (Q4b).

Discounts/Rebates received:
Discount or rebates received by a business 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 [Q17], Other operating expenses[Q22]).

Asset sales:
The proceeds from the sale of certain assets should be reported as Disposal of assets (Q28-33). The profit or loss from the sale of any assets should be reported in Other Income (Q11) as a positive or negative value.

Asset revaluation/impairment:
should be reported under Other income (Q11) as either a net gain or loss. 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 or sales of assets.

Export sales (f.o.b):
Where goods are produced or purchased in Australia for sale overseas, income from Sales of goods (Q4) should represent the free-on-board (f.o.b.) price of the goods, i.e. a price which may cover the cost of transporting goods to the Australian customs frontier, (point of exit from Australia), only, and not the cost of transporting the goods outside Australia. (Note the exclusion of Export freight charges from the concept of Sales of goods)
EXPENSE ITEMS

How should I report Labour costs?
How should I report Purchases?
How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for services?
Where do I report my specific expense item?

How should I report Labour costs?

Payments made to another (related or unrelated) business for the supply of staff on a fee or contract basis, where the staff entitlements are paid by the business supplying the employees, should be recorded in Payments to employment agencies for staff (Q13e). Payment to another business for recruitment services (i.e. advertising vacancies, conducting interviews) on behalf of your business should also be included in Payments to employment agencies for staff (Q13e). However, any costs incurred by your business in the conduct of its own recruitment processes (e.g. payment directly to newspapers for running job vacancy advertisements) should be reported in Other operating expenses (Q22).

Labour costs
(Q13) exclude payments to contractors or sub-contractors operating under their own ABN. Information on payments to contractors can be found under How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for services?

Only include Employer contributions paid into superannuation in Q13a. This does not include personal superannuation contributions for business owners not drawing a wage.

Payroll tax
(Q13d) is levied by State/Territory governments on businesses with large payrolls (usually greater than $0.5 million in a year). It does not refer to income tax withholding for employees.

Wages and salaries including provisions for employee entitlements
(Q13f) - gross (i.e. before tax) wages and salaries should be reported.
Capitalised wages and salaries (i.e. wages and salaries for work relating to the creation of capital assets) should not be included in Labour costs but instead at Capitalised wages and salaries (Q34a).

How should I report Purchases?

If a commodity is purchased to be used or consumed in the production of goods or services (including office consumables), or for repairs and maintenance of equipment, its cost should be reported as Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a). If the same commodity is purchased simply to be on-sold in the same form (without transformation), its cost should be reported as Purchases of finished goods for resale (Q17b). For example:
  • where a business buys fertiliser to assist in the growing of a commercial crop, the cost of the fertiliser should be included in Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a); but
  • where a business buys fertiliser and supplies it to growers (without processing it), the cost of the fertiliser should be included in Purchases of finished goods for resale (Q17b).

The following examples illustrate what a business might be expected to report as Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a):
1. electricity to power plant and machinery;
2. fuel for transport and farm vehicles;
3. plants and seeds for cultivation;
4. fodder for livestock;
5. parts for repairs and maintenance of vehicles, plant or machinery.
Information on Animal Purchases can be found under Where do I report my specific expense item?

Note: 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 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 of materials that have been capitalised i.e. purchases made to create capital assets, should not be reported in Q17. Instead, they should be reported in Capitalised expenditure including cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q34) and Capitalised wages and salaries (Q34a) and Other capitalised costs (Q34b).

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How should I report payments to contractors and other businesses for services?

There is a specific question for Payments made to contractors and other businesses for freight, cartage, delivery and transport services (Q17). Otherwise, all payments to other businesses for non-transport-related services provided should be reported in Other operating expenses (Q22).

The following examples show how some commonly incurred expenses should be reported.
1. Postage costs - include in Payments made to contractors and other businesses for freight, cartage, delivery and transport services (Q17).
2. Payments made to owner-drivers to transport goods sold by your business to customers - include in Outward freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q17a).
3. Payments made for the movements of goods between different locations of this business/organisation by a third party - include in Internal freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q17b).
4. Payment made to a courier for pick-up of goods and delivery to your place of business - include in Other freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q17c).
5. Payment of separately invoiced delivery charges to a supplier of goods - include in Other freight, cartage, delivery and transport expenses (Q17c)
6. Payments for veterinary services - report as Other operating expenses (Q22).
7. Payment to self-employed farm hand for labour - report as Other operating expenses (Q22).
8. Payment to another business for agistment services - report as Other operating expenses (Q22).
9. Payment to another business for repairs and maintenance to vehicles, machinery, plant or equipment - include in Other operating expenses (Q22).

Where do I report my specific expense item?

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does address some of the common reporting problems encountered by businesses:

Animal purchases:
Reporting the cost of acquiring animals varies, depending largely on the purpose for which the animal has been acquired.
a. If an animal was purchased for long-term use (e.g. as breeding stock, milking stock or as a working animal), it is considered to be an asset of the business, in the same sense as plant or equipment used to assist in the production of goods for sale. Therefore, the amount paid to acquire an animal as an asset of the business should be included in Biological assets (Q28).
b. The purchase price of livestock to be matured before being sold should be included in Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a).
c. If an animal was purchased with a view to immediate on-selling, the purchase price of that animal should be included in Purchases of finished goods for resale (Q17b).

Consumables:
Consumables such as stationery, staff amenity supplies, cleaning materials etc. should be reported as Purchases of materials, components, containers, packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a).

Discounts/Rebates given:
Discounts or rebates given by your business to its customers should not be reported as an expense item, but should be netted off the income item to which the discount/rebate applied, e.g. Sales of goods (Q4) or Income from services (Q6).

Sponsorship Payments
: Sponsorship is not considered the same as a donation, as it involves a transaction, usually advertising or promotional benefits for the individual or business making the payment. It should therefore be reported as Other operating expenses (Q22), whereas donations are excluded altogether.

Finance lease payments:
When an asset, e.g. company car, is acquired under a finance lease arrangement, the value of the acquisition should be included in Capital expenditure (Q28-33).
If any work is undertaken by own employees of this business to install any asset acquired under a financial lease to make it operational please include the cost of this work within Capital expenditure (Q28-33) and Cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q34) (if applicable)

Repayments under a finance lease agreement consist of two components: interest and capital repayments. Capital repayments should not be reported in this survey. The interest component only should be included in Interest expenses (Q14)

Motor vehicle insurance premiums:
  • Optional third party insurance premiums, payable at the discretion of the business, should be included in Other operating expenses (Q22).
  • Compulsory third party insurance premiums, payable as part of the vehicle registration process should be included in Other operating expenses (Q22).


INVENTORIES

How should I report inventories?


Inventories
(Q27) are divided into three sections; Raw materials, Work-in-progress and Finished goods.

Raw materials
(Q27a) consist of goods that a business holds with the intention of using to produce other goods or in rendering services. For example, the following might be included in opening and/or closing inventories of raw materials:
  • feed for livestock owned by the business
  • grain and seed for sowing
  • fertilisers
  • fuels

Work-in-progress
(Q27b) consists of goods that still require work before being ready for sale. The value of work-in-progress inventories should be reported net of progress payments billed. (For further information, go to Inventories of livestock, crops, etc )

Finished goods
(Q27c) consist of goods that are intended for sale in their current condition, including agricultural produce such as eggs, honey, hay and fruit.

Inventories of livestock, crops, etc
Animals or plants may be owned by a business for one of two basic purposes:
a. for repeated production of goods or services, e.g. fruit trees, working animals, breeding stock, milk or wool production; or
b. to be sold

If the business owns animals or plants acquired for the purpose of being sold, their value as Inventories (stocks) should be reported as follows:
  • livestock being matured, plants and crops under cultivation (i.e. requiring more work before they are ready for sale) should be reported as Work-in-progress less progress payments billed (Q27b);
  • livestock, harvested plants and crops ready for sale in their current condition (i.e. not requiring further work) should be reported as Finished goods (including inventories for resale) (Q27c).

Animals or plants owned by the business for the purpose of continuous or repeat production of goods or services (e.g. fruit trees, working animals, breeding stock, milk or wool production) should NOT be included in Inventories, as these represent assets of the business and should be reported under Biological assets (Q28)


Inventories do not include depreciable assets of the business. These should be reported in capital expenditure and disposal of assets (Q28-33)
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND DISPOSAL OF ASSETS

How should I report capital expenditure?
What is the cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation?
What are the impacts of the legislation change introduced in the May 2015 Budget for small business owners?


How should I report capital expenditure?

Capital expenditure and disposal of assets (Q28-33)

Capital expenditure
refers to the amount spent by a business 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’ capacity or efficiency. If the business hires contractors to carry out capital work, then these contractor payments should be included in the cost of the capital works. It does not include additions to inventories

Additions: represents the expenditure on assets on an accruals basis. Further to this you are required to report any Capital Work in Progress (CWIP) values against the relevant asset, as best as you possibly can.

This survey aims to capture the activity and production in the economy as it is happening rather than when the asset is capitalised.

Disposals: Refers to the sale of the asset to another individual or business. It can also include the discarding of an asset. For survey purposes we only require businesses to report the proceeds from sales of the assets. Furthermore animal stock deaths should not be included in this figure as ABS model animal stock deaths based off other survey data.

The examples against each asset are intended to give an indication of the nature of assets a business may have placed into each category however it is not an exhaustive list. Further examples for each asset type can be found below.

Biological assets (Q28): are assets bearing repeat produce or services such as animals, trees or plants. Further examples include: livestock, breeding stock, vineyards, orchards and plantations.
Any animals or plants that are raised for sale or slaughter should be excluded from this question and reported under Inventories or Purchases.

Land (Q29a): purchases or acquisition of land

Dwellings, other buildings and structures
(Q29b):
- Dwelling: used entirely as residences including structures such as garages, and all permanent fixtures customarily installed in residences

- Other buildings and structures: comprise of non-residential buildings, other structures and land improvements. These may include things such as highways, roads, airfield runways, bridges, tunnels, subways, harbours, dams and other water works, pipelines, communication and power lines, constructions for mining and manufacturing, warehouses and industrial or commercial buildings. Leasehold improvements that alter and improve the structure and value of the building should be included here (this does not include things such as painting and carpet additions but refers more to structural changes).
Road vehicles (Q30a): this category is for vehicles that are primarily to be used on the road such as cars, trucks, motorcycles and utes.

Other transport vehicles and equipment
(Q30b): this category consists of equipment and vehicles for moving people and objects. This may include items such as trailers, semi-trailers, ships, railway and tramway locomotives, rolling stock and aircraft.

Industrial machinery and equipment
(Q30c): whilst some items within this category may be mobile and capable of transporting people or goods, their primary business function is for use in the production of goods and/or services which is why they fall under this category. Additional items that could be included are:

Ploughs
Seeders, planters and transplanters
Mowers
Combine harvester / threshers
Machines for cleaning and sorting eggs, fruit and other agriculture produce
Milking and dairy machines
Agricultural tractors
Machinery for preparing animal feeding stuff
Poultry keeping machinery
Bottling machinery
Appliances for dispersing liquids and powders of agriculture/horticulture.
Cool rooms

Electrical machinery and electronic equipment (Q30d): this may include things such as electrical generators and motors, electrical transformers, static converters and inductors, electricity distribution or control apparatus, lighting equipment, electrical ignition or starting equipment, electrical signalling equipment.

Communications equipment (Q30e): this may include things such as radio broadcast and television receivers, video and digital cameras, microphones, loudspeakers, amplifiers.

Other plant and equipment (Q30f): consists of machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified, this may include items such as office furniture and fencing materials.

Computer hardware (Q31a): this may include things such as, hard drives, monitor screens, mouses, keyboards, printers, scanners, automatic data processing machines, and sound/video and/or network cards.

Computer Software (Q31b): any software that may be installed in the businesses systems that enable it to operate more efficiently such as Microsoft suite, financial systems, software that operates large machinery etc.

Computer software purchased from another business/organisation (Q31b (i)): any software that has been purchased from another business to be installed on computers used by your staff to enable them to operate and perform their work.
Computer software developed in house by employees of this business (Q31b(ii)): any software that may have been developed for use by employees of your business.


Intangibles (Q32): This may include items such as trademarks, mastheads, spectrums, company brand, customer bases, licenses, patents and goodwill etc


What is the cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q34)?

This question aims to capture the extra layer of production in the economy that might never be exchanged in the market. Activity reported here is a subset of that reported at Capital expenditure (Q28-33) (and therefore should not exceed it).

For example if employees of your business carry-out any work on the farm such as fixing up a fence, making improvements to a dam, build a shed or barn then this is considered to be capital work done by own employees. As such, your employee wages and salaries including any additional ‘on-costs’ such as Fringe Benefits Tax, workers compensation, superannuation attributed to the work needs to be reported in the Capitalised wages and salaries question.

Another example may be an employee of your business who is tasked with project managing the building and construction of an asset. Whilst they aren’t actually involved in the physical build of the asset, their insight and involvement is integral to the completion of the asset and as a result their wages are deemed as ‘capitalised wages’. The other capital costs such as hiring contractors and the materials purchased to build the asset would be deemed as ‘other capitalised costs’.

‘Other capitalised costs’ can include the cost of contractor services and goods or materials that are used as inputs to build the asset.

If a figure is reported for capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation then this value must be less than or equal to the amount reported under Total Capital expenditure for that asset category.


What are the impacts of the legislation change introduced in the May 2015 Budget for small business owners?

In the May 2015 Budget, the Federal Treasurer announced a new incentive for Small Business owners to immediately write off assets costing less than $20,000.

The ABS expect small business owners to continue reporting these eligible capital asset purchases under capital expenditure, with the relevant write off amount reflected in Depreciation and amortisation expense (Q15).

MULTI-STATE OPERATIONS

How do I report income from sales of goods and services by state (Q36)

Income from sales of goods and services should align with amounts reported in Question 4-8 It should be reported against the state or territory where the sale was made or the service was provided. For export sales, report against the state or territory from which the sale was made.




CHECKLIST

The purpose of this checklist is to assist you, if you wish, 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 (Q3)
  • Are the reported numbers a headcount of persons working for the business? (Should not be FTE.)
  • Have you reported only those who worked for the business in the last pay period ending in June 2015?
  • Working proprietors and partners (Q3a) should only be reported for an unincorporated business, not if the business is incorporated (e.g. Pty Ltd).
  • If the business had offices/locations with staff in more than one state or territory, does the total for Australia (Q36) equal Total number of persons (Q3d)?

Financial information
  • Are all reported financial items reported in $'000s ( thousands)? For example, if business 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 Q11 (Other Income) and Q22 (Other operating expenses)?
  • If income from sales of goods produced by the business has been reported, have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of materials, components, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water (Q17a)?
  • If income from sales of goods not produced by the business has been reported, have associated purchases been reported correctly, i.e. as Purchases of finished goods for resale (Q17b)?
  • Have the values of both opening and closing inventories (Q27) been reported, where applicable?
  • Have livestock and plants been reported in the appropriate inventory type - Work-in-progress less progress payments billed (Q27b) or Finished goods (including inventories for resale) (Q27c)?
  • If cost of capital assets developed in-house by employees of this business/organisation (Q34) is reported, the value must be less than or equal to the sum of Capital expenditure items reported in Q28-33.



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 to help us to design effective surveys while minimising the burden on our providers.)
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