Annual Survey of Service Industries: Accounting and Bookkeeping

Detailed information for 1999





Record number:


The survey collects financial and operating data needed to produce statistics for the Canadian accounting and bookkeeping industry.

Data release - November 27, 2001


This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to produce statistics on the Accounting and Bookkeeping Services Industry in Canada. These data are aggregated with information from other sources to produce official estimates of national and provincial economic production in Canada.

The estimates are used by government for national and regional programs and policy planning and by the private sector for industry performance measurement and market development.

The data are produced as part of Statistics Canada's Unified Enterprise Survey (UES), the main purpose of which is to ensure Statistics Canada receives consistent and integrated data from many types of surveys and sizes of businesses with enough detail to produce accurate provincial statistics.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Unified Enterprise Survey program (UES). The UES program has been designed to integrate, gradually over time, the approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The UES aims at collecting more industry and product detail at the provincial level than was previously possible while avoiding overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content. The unified approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts.

This survey is part of the Service Industries Program. The survey data gathered are used to compile aggregate statistics for over thirty service industry groupings. Financial data, including revenue, expense and profit statistics are available for all of the surveys in the program. In addition, many compile and disseminate industry-specific information.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: November to August


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all statistical establishments (sometimes referred to as firms or units) classified as Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services (NAICS 5412) according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 1997 during the reference year.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The survey frame is drawn from Statistics Canada's Business Register and encompasses all establishments that were alive for at least one day during the reference period 1999. The frame was updated and verified prior to sample selection. Before the sample was taken, the 19,000 establishments classified to accounting and bookkeeping were stratified by province. Two sources of data were used to derive the estimates:
* A probability sample survey of establishments with a gross business revenue greater than or equal to a cut-off that varied by province from $30,000 to $250,000.
* Taxation data to estimate for businesses with gross business revenue found on the Business Register less than a small cut-off that varied by province from $30,000 to $250,000.

A probability sample with network sampling was employed. The sample selected targeted 800 respondents covering 1,400 establishments.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Questionnaires were mailed to respondents selected in the sample in the spring of 2000. Respondents were asked to report information for their 12-month fiscal period for which the final day occurs on or between January 1st and December 31st 1999. The collection period ended in October 2000. Separate English and French questionnaires were used in data collection.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .


Records with partial responses were imputed to make them complete and were added to a donor pool along with completed records. Data for non-respondents, unable to locate and no-contacts were imputed using nearest neighbour donor imputation. Tax data were used in order to identify nearest neighbour donors.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data accuracy

All surveys are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Statistics Canada uses a variety of methods to minimize all types of errors. Measures of sampling error along with other indicators of quality are provided.

The coefficients of variation, a measure of sampling error, were computed. The quality of the estimates are classified as: Excellent (CV is 0.01 to 4.99%); Very good (CV is 5.00% to 9.99%); Good (CV is 10.00% to 14.99%); Acceptable (CV is 15.00% to 24.99%); Use with caution (CV is 25.00% to 34.99%); and Unreliable (> 35.00%).

Using these ratings, for revenue and expenses, at the national 4-digit NAICS level the CV's indicated that the quality of the estimates were excellent.

The sample of accounting and bookkeeping services represented 92% of the estimated industry revenues. Small businesses that were not included in the sample and where tax data was used to provide an estimate represented the remainder of the industry revenues.

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