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Comparability

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Business Development, Business Statistics
Charlotte Hansen
+45 3917 3177

chh@dst.dk

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Accounts Statistics for Non-Agricultural Private Sector

The new type of accounts statistics is largely comparable with, and supplemented by, the SKAT data based accounts statistics which were discontinued after 1998. Statistics Denmark publishes statistics on various subjects related to business accounts, notably VAT-related turnover, manufacturers' sales of commodities, and short-term statistics of order books and sales. However, these statistics are not directly comparable with the accounts statistics, because of differences in units, coverage or concepts.

Comparability - geographical

Every year figures are submitted to the statistical office of EU, Eurostat. This includes special industry aggregates, not published nationally. Data for all EU countries can be found in the Eurostat database. The statistics are produced following the principles of an EU regulation, so the results are comparable.

Comparability over time

At enterprise level, comparable statistics (time series) are available from 1994 for construction and retail trade, from 1995 for manufacturing industries, from 1998 for wholesale trade, and from 1999 for the remaining part of the private secondary and tertiary industries. Starting with the reference year 2000 the estimation method has been changed for enterprises with no more than 1 employee (full-time equivalence) and from which there is no information from questionnaire or SKAT. This change in estimation method is considered to make the data for these enterprises more reliable, but makes it more difficult to compare with previous years, in particular in sectors where this type of enterprise makes up a substantial part.

Starting with the reference year 2002 The Danish Law on Annual Reports was revised. Among the major changes can be mentioned:

a) Intangibles and financial fixed assets and also assets acquired by financial leasing must to a higher extent than earlier be included in the balance sheet, and as a principal rule it must be valued at market prices, whereas earlier it could alternatively be valued at historical cost prices or the like.

b) Work in progress, not for own account (contract work), is moved from current stocks to debts receivable.

The previous type of accounts statistics for manufacturing industries, which ended with the year 1994, covered all manufacturing enterprises with 20 or more employees. The new type of accounts statistics covers all enterprises irrespective of size. Consequently, the two types of statistics are not directly comparable.

At establishment level, comparable statistics are available from 1995 for construction, retail trade and manufacturing, from 1998 for wholesale trade, and from 1999 for the remaining part of the private secondary and tertiary industries.

The accounts statistics do not cover inactive businesses and enterprises with very limited activity. The threshold limit regarding the level of economic activity required, was raised substantially with effect from the reference year 1999. Until 1998 an enterprise to be included in the statistics should have employees or an annual VAT at at least 20,000 DKK. Since 1999 to be included in the statistics an enterprise should have had an annual performance corresponding to at least a half year's work for one person. Consequently, the number of enterprises and establishments (workplaces) dropped considerably and the number of employed people dropped slightly. The effect on the economic variables relating to the accounting items was minimal.

The purpose of Accounts statistics is to analyze the activity level and of the structure of the Danish business sector. This means that the statistics should be seen as a primary source of financial data for analytical studies of Danish business enterprises, including data required for the evaluation and conception of Government policies and decisions affecting the business community. Moreover, the accounts statistics are an essential input to the Danish national accounts statistics, and they provide the bulk of Denmark's contribution to EUROSTAT's structural business statistics at European level. Until the late 1980's, Statistics Denmark produced questionnaire-based accounts statistics covering manufacturing industries, construction and the distributive trades. Apart from manufacturing, these statistics were discontinued because it was introduced in 1986, that Danish business enterprises should submit to the tax authorities (SKAT) a standardized list of items from their accounts. These items were well suited for statistical purposes, but just a few years later the list of items was cut drastically and many firms were exempted from the system, so it became necessary to reintroduce statistical questionnaires and use the SKAT data as a supplement only. Otherwise it would not have been possible to satisfy national and Eurostat requirements in the field of structural business statistics. From 2005 the following accounts data are available from SKAT: turnover, consumption of goods, depreciations, profit or loss before financial and extraordinary items and corporation tax, profit or loss before corporation tax, corporation tax, closing stocks, fixed assets, capital and reserves, total assets/liabilities, increase in investment, and decrease in investment. Furthermore are from SKAT received employers' reports on the wages and salaries to their employees. The new type of business accounts statistics started with the reference year 1994, covering construction and retail trade at the enterprise level. Manufacturing was added from 1995, when the former type of statistics for that sector was discontinued. At the establishment (i.e. workplace) level, regional statistics have been published since the reference year 1995, covering manufacturing, construction and retail trade. Wholesale trade was added from 1998 and the remaining part of the private secondary and tertiary industries from 1999. So results are published at the national level relating to enterprises (legal units) and from 1995 also at the regional level relating to workplaces. The new statistics of business accounts cover construction and retail trade from the reference year 1994 at enterprise level (i.e. for legal units, such as corporations and sole traders) and from the reference year 1995 at establishment (workplace) level. The coverage was extended to manufacturing industries from 1995, to wholesale trade from 1998, and to the remaining part (with a few exceptions) of the service industries from 1999 (air transport, post and telecommunications only from 2001).

As of 2017, in addition to data from enterprises in the sample and data from SKAT, data from the enterprises official annual reports in electronic XBRL format has been used. Data used in the annual reports are the entire balance sheet, turnover, other operating income, consumption of goods, wages, pension costs, other social security costs, depreciation and write-downs of tangible and intangible assets, write-downs of current assets, secondary costs, income from investments, interest income, write-downs of financial assets, interest expenses, corporation tax, profit for the year and dividends. Not all of this information may be available in all annual reports, but if available, it is used.

It is published annually at the corporate level, and from 1995 onwards an annual regional distributed accounting statistics is published, which refers to the level of the workplace.

Coherence - cross domain

The new type of accounts statistics is largely comparable with, and supplemented by, the SKAT data based accounts statistics which were discontinued after 1998. Statistics Denmark publishes statistics on various subjects related to business accounts, notably VAT-related turnover, manufacturers' sales of commodities, and short-term statistics of order books and sales. However, these statistics are not directly comparable with the accounts statistics, because of differences in units, coverage or concepts.

Coherence - internal

There are a large number of internal consistencies that must apply in an account, and this therefore also applies to the final basic data for the accounting statistics. It is part of the validation and the final calculations to ensure this consistency in final data.