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  • Industry benchmarks

    Industry benchmarks are financial and activity statement ratios calculated from information provided to us on tax returns and activity statements.

    They can be used to:

    • analyse business activity and performance
    • identify businesses who vary significantly from industry averages.

    We produce separate benchmarks for:

    • individuals
    • companies
    • partnerships
    • trusts.

    We also produce a set of benchmarks that combines data for them.

    Two sets of ratios – one for all entities and one for profitable entities – are produced for each of the 3 levels of industry:

    • broad industry
    • fine industry
    • business industry code.

    The industry grouping is based on the industry codes provided on tax returns. Some tables are further divided by business status – new or established businesses – while others are broken down by business income ranges. For each sub-population, we show the:

    • number of entities
    • average ratio
    • median ratio.

    Along with the industry benchmarks, we also produce small business benchmarks for selected industries. These benchmarks are slightly different and are only for businesses whose turnover is up to $15 million.

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    Caution when using industry benchmarks

    These benchmarks are not definitive and should not be used in isolation. For example, some businesses' ratios may vary from the industry averages. Conversely, businesses' ratios close to the industry averages may have compliance problems or other financial difficulties.

    A ratio calculated using a large population is generally more reliable than one calculated from a small one.

    In any analysis, there are times when misleading results can be produced. For example, when:

    • amounts listed at tax return labels appear to be an error, or unexpected, like when cost of sales or total expenses are zero
    • businesses are too small, like when total income is less than $10,000
    • the ratios for a single entity are exceptional and would distort the calculation of an industry average.

    In our calculations we exclude records like these, to prevent unwanted impacts. For more information, refer to table 1External Link below.

    Financial ratios

    We use data from tax returns to calculate the following financial ratios industry benchmarks:

    • Net profit ratio = (Total business income − Total expenses) ÷ Total business income
    • Gross profit ratio = (Total business income − Cost of sales) ÷ Total business income
    • Wage to turnover ratio = Salary and wages paid ÷ Total business income
    • Expense to turnover ratio = Total expenses ÷ Total business income

    Activity statement ratios

    We use data from business activity statements to calculate the following activity statement ratios industry benchmarks:

    • Net GST to sales ratio = (GST on sales − GST on purchases) ÷ Total sales
    • Wages to sales ratio = Total salary and wages ÷ Total sales

    Industry benchmarks detailed tables

    Table 1:External Link How we calculate our industry benchmarks

    2019–20 financial ratios

    Table F1:External Link Individual financial ratios for the 2019–20 income year

    Table F2:External Link Company financial ratios for the 2019–20 income year

    Table F3:External Link Partnerships financial ratios for the 2019–20 income year

    Table F4:External Link Trusts financial ratios for the 2019–20 income year

    Table F5:External Link All entities financial ratios for the 2019–20 income year.

    2020–21 activity statement ratios

    Table A1:External Link Individual activity statement ratios for the 2020–21 financial year

    Table A2:External Link Company activity statement ratios for the 2020–21 financial year

    Table A3:External Link Partnership activity statement ratios for the 2020–21 financial year

    Table A4:External Link Trust activity statement ratios for the 2020–21 financial year

    Table A5:External Link All entities activity statement ratios for the 2020–21 financial year

    See also

      Last modified: 08 Aug 2022QC 70151