Accuracy and reliability
Contact infoGovernment Finances, Economic Statistics.
Jesper Søgaard Dreesen
+45 3917 3054
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The ability of the national accounts' financial accounts to accurately describe the economic reality depends partly on the uncertainty associated with the sources and partly on the model assumptions on which the preparation is based. Some parts can be calculated more accurately than others, as there is better access to source data. The initial bids for a period's financial accounts will be more uncertain than the final version, which comes after two and a half years, as new sources are continuously revised when new sources become available.
The set-up of the account system involves a series of consistency checks, data confrontations and checks when comparing with the non-financial national accounts.
Data come from so many different sources that in practice it is difficult to calculate a number for the uncertainty. However, the difference between the net lending / borrowing calculated from the financial side of the national accounts and the net lending / borrowing calculated from the non-financial part of the national accounts, can be seen as an expression of the total uncertainty in both the financial and non-financial parts of the national accounts.
Not relevant for these statistics.
Some parts of the national accounts can be calculated more accurately than others because there is better source data in these areas. For example, there is generally fairly accurate data for the financial companies, while for Danish-based companies that make a living from buying and reselling goods abroad, there is less accurate data. There are also areas where there is virtually no source data, including for example for the NPISH sector. In these areas, financial accounts depend almost entirely on counter-sector information, which is why the uncertainty here may be greater. The use of counter-sector information means that instead of obtaining information directly from all units in a sector, eg on loans, the information one has from the primary statistics, eg the statistics on monetary financial institutions, which calculates lending to the given sector, is used instead.
Another condition that affects the uncertainty and reliability of financial accounts is that in the national accounts' many source statistics can be corrected after the final version of the national accounts has been prepared. At this time, these corrections cannot be taken into account in the national accounts until a major audit is carried out at annual intervals, where long time series of final years can be corrected. This helps to increase the uncertainty of the national accounts.
Consistency management and detailed incorporation of data on the large groups is resource-intensive. Therefore, there is greater uncertainty about the early versions of foreign trade and the balance of payments, and all other things being equal, this also leads to audits in the national accounts.
Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.
Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.
Financial accounts are first published three months after the end of a quarter or year. Already at the first publication, the statement for most sectors is based on reported data concerning the financial sector, the balance of payments and information on securities. In the following publications, more accounting information on public administration and service is incorporated, just as the information from the companies' annual accounts is incorporated.
The set-up of the account system involves consistency checks and data confrontations that support as accurate a description of the financial system as possible.
Given data comes from so many different sources, it is in practice difficult to calculate a number for the uncertainty. However, the difference between the acquisition of receivables, net calculated from the financial side of the national accounts and the acquisition of receivables, net calculated from the real part of the national accounts, can be seen as an expression of the total uncertainty in both the financial and non-financial part of the national accounts
Data revision - policy
Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.
Data revision practice
Preliminary annual financial sector accounts are prepared and published three times a year: at the end of March, at the end of June and at the end of September. Final annual national accounts are published once a year at the end of June for two and a half years of the reference year.
At annual intervals, main audits are carried out, in which long time series of final national financial years are corrected. This improves the accuracy and reliability of the national accounts, because all corrections in the source statistics and calculation errors are taken into account.
As the main purpose of the financial sector accounts is to provide a basis for an overall assessment of the financial situation of the economy, the continuity of time series is given great weight, and level errors that occur are therefore usually only corrected during the main audits.