Show download pdf controls
  • How we calculate our industry benchmarks

    Financial ratios

    The financial ratios tables contain the following:

    • net profit ratio equals (total business income less total expenses) divided by total business income
    • gross profit ratio equals (total business income less cost of sales) divided by total business income
    • wage to turnover ratio equals salary and wages paid divided by total business income.
    Table 24: Tax return labels used to calculate the financial ratios

    Data item

    Entity type

    Tax return label

    Total business income

    Individuals

    Total business income, Item P8

    Companies

    Total income, Item 6, label S

    Partnerships and trusts

    Total business income, Item 5

    Cost of sales

    Individuals

    Cost of sales, Item P8, (label K + label L – label M)

    Companies

    Cost of sales, Item 6, label A

    Partnerships and trusts

    Cost of sales, Item 5, label E

    Total expenses

    Individuals

    Total expenses, Item P8, (label S + label T)

    Companies

    Total expenses, Item 6, label Q

    Partnerships and trusts

    Total expenses, Item 5, label O

    Salary and wages paid

    Individuals

    Total salary & wage expenses, Item P13, label G

    Companies

    Total salary & wage expenses, Item 8, label D

    Partnerships and trusts

    Total salary & wage expenses, Item 43, label L

    Activity statement ratios

    The activity statement ratios tables contain the following:

    • expense to sales ratio equals (non-capital purchases plus total salary & wages) divided by total sales
    • net GST to sales ratio equals (GST on sales less GST on purchases) divided by total sales
    • wages to sales ratio equals total salary & wages divided by total sales
    Table 25: Activity statement labels used to calculate the ratios

    Data item

    BAS label

    Total sales

    Total sales, label G1

    Total salary & wages

    Total salary, wages and other payments, label W1

    Non-capital purchases

    Non-capital purchases, label G11

    GST on sales

    GST on sales or GST instalments, label 1A

    GST on purchases

    GST on purchases, label 1B

    Exclusion criteria

    In any large population being analysed, there are cases that would tend to produce misleading results if included. For example, when:

    • tax return labels have either not been filled in or not been used correctly
    • the ratios for an individual entity are exceptional and would distort the calculation of a true industry average.

    In an attempt to remove these cases from the calculation of the ratios and improve the quality of our industry benchmarks, we apply exclusion criteria. The exclusion criteria used and the reason for using them are detailed below.

    Despite applying these exclusion criteria, it is still important to recognise that the benchmarks developed are not definitive and should not be used in isolation. For example, there are a range of legitimate reasons why businesses vary from industry averages and, conversely, why businesses with ratios close to the industry average may have compliance problems or other financial difficulties. Also, an average ratio calculated using a large population is generally more reliable than one calculated from a small population.

    Table 26: Selection criteria used to extract data for our industry benchmarks

    Financial ratio

    Data item

    Criteria – all entities

    Criteria – 'profitable' entities

    Net profit

    Total business income

    Greater than or equal to $10,000

    Greater than or equal to $10,000

    Total expenses

    Greater than $0

    Greater than $0

    Net profit ratio

    Between −100% and +100%

    Greater than or equal to 0%

    Gross profit

    As for net profit ratio PLUS

     

     

    Cost of sales

    Greater than $0

    Greater than $0

    Total expenses

    Not equal to cost of sales

    Not equal to cost of sales

    Gross profit ratio

    Between −100% and +100%

    Greater than or equal to 0%

    Wages to turnover

    As for net profit ratio PLUS

     

     

    Salary and wage paid

    Greater than or equal to $20,000

    Greater than or equal to $20,000

    Less than or equal to total expenses

    Less than or equal to total expenses

    Activity statement ratio

    Data item

    Criteria – all entities

    Criteria – 'profitable' entities

    Wages to sales

     

    Total sales

    Greater than $50,000

    Greater than $50,000

    Total salary & wages

    Greater than or equal to $10,000

    Greater than or equal to $10,000

    Expenses to sales

     

    Total sales

    Greater than $50,000

    na

    Total salary & wages

    Greater than or equal to $0

    na

    Net GST to sales

     

    Total sales

    Greater than $50,000

    Greater than $50,000

    Greater than GST on sales

    Greater than GST on sales

    Table 27: Why we exclude some data from the calculation of our industry benchmarks

    Data item

    Reason for exclusion criteria

    Total expenses

    It is expected that most businesses would have some expenses (such as rent, motor vehicle, depreciation). Cases where total expenses are less than or equal to $0 have therefore been excluded due to doubts about the quality of the data.

    As businesses would normally have other expenses such as bad debts, rent, interest and motor vehicle expenses, cases where total expenses equals cost of sales (in the gross profit ratio), have also been excluded.

    Net profit ratio

    There were a small number of cases that had a net profit ratio less than −100%. These values are considered to be statistical 'outliers' and while they could legitimately exist, they were excluded as they tend to unfairly skew the end result.

    Cost of sales

    While technically possible to be less than $0, in these cases the gross profit ratio would be greater than 100% and therefore were excluded. Where cost of sales equals $0, these cases were excluded due to doubts about the quality of the data.

    Gross profit ratio

    A few cases that fell into this range were excluded for the same reason as the net profit less than −100% cases.

    Salary and wage expenses

    Entities with salary and wage expenses < $20,000 are unlikely to have permanent full-time staff and were excluded. Cases with salary and wages expenses > total expenses were excluded due to doubts about data quality.

      Last modified: 08 Aug 2019QC 51717