Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises (AFTS)

Detailed information for 2018





Record number:


These statistics are used in two broad ways. First they provide a measure of financial position and performance of incorporated businesses by industry aggregations. Second, they are used as the benchmark for the quarterly estimates of corporate profits in the Canadian System of National Accounts (CSNA).

Data release - March 12, 2020


The objective of this annual series is to cover business activity within a calendar reference period. The data presented herein comprise financial statements typically prepared by incorporated businesses to record their financial position and performance. The data include: asset, liability and equity items encompassed in a balance sheet, revenue and expense items as reported on an income statement, a reconciliation of profit to taxable income and taxes payable, along with several common financial performance ratios.

These statistics are used in two broad ways. First, they provide a measure of financial position and performance of incorporated businesses by industry aggregations. They are used by a wide variety of economists and industry analysts in both the private and government sectors. Second they are used as the benchmark for the quarterly estimates of corporate profits in the Canadian System of National Accounts (CSNA).

Reference period: Calendar year


  • Business performance and ownership
  • Corporate taxation
  • Financial statements and performance

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The statistical unit for this program is the enterprise. An enterprise can be a single corporation or a family of corporations under common ownership and/or control, for which a set of consolidated financial statements are produced.

These enterprises are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In the case of simple enterprises, the enterprise and the establishment coincide and both are classified to the same industry. However, there exist many multi-establishment enterprises whose establishments may belong to one or more industries. Such enterprises are classified to the predominant industry of their establishments. For example, a petroleum enterprise may be involved in exploration, mining, refining, shipping and retailing of petroleum products. Under NAICS, such an enterprise is classified to the individual NAICS code that relates to the activity that provides the most value-added.

It should be noted that NAICS Canada data compiled on an enterprise basis cannot be directly compared with NAICS Canada data on an establishment basis.

The financial and taxation statistics cover all incorporated enterprises within the domestic economy of Canada, including federal and provincial government business enterprises (GBEs), but excluding enterprises classified to Management of Companies and Enterprises (NAICS 55); Religious Organizations (NAICS 8131); Political Organizations (NAICS 81394); Public Administration (NAICS 91); as well as Funds and other Financial Vehicles (NAICS 526). GBEs are public sector enterprises engaged in operations of a commercial nature. In addition, non-profit enterprises considered to be part of the incorporated business sector are also included. Unincorporated businesses are not included.

This program's statistical enterprise data, based on the NAICS codes, have been aggregated into 67 special industry groupings. Other levels of aggregation may be available upon request on a cost recovery basis.

Instrument design

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

Three sources of data are combined to form a census of all units in the population of interest. These consist of:

- Annualized data from the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements (QFS, record number 2501) obtained from the Industrial Organization and Finance Division at Statistics Canada.

- Data from a survey of provincial or federal level government business enterprises (GBE) that operated in the business sector obtained from the Public Sector Statistics Division at Statistics Canada.

- Administrative corporate taxation data in the form of T2 Corporation Income Tax returns and the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) obtained from the Data Stewardship Division at Statistics Canada. Taxation statistics are available beginning with the reference year 2000.

Information from all three data sources was provided in different formats with different sets of variables. In order to merge the data files, it was necessary to transform all three data sources into a common set of variables that contained a complete set of financial statement information. Certain details were omitted in the process due to the unavailability of data from all sources.

While QFS and GBE data were collected at the enterprise level, the administrative corporate taxation data, on the other hand, were collected at the non-consolidated single legal entity level. Data for single legal entities belonging to a corporate family (multi-legals) are then rolled up to the enterprise level.

The objective of this annual series is to cover business activity within a calendar reference period. Data derived from the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements approximate the calendar period. The government business enterprise data reflect fiscal periods which often are governed by the April to March fiscal year of governments. The administrative data used from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are based on financial statements filed along with annual income tax returns by corporations. Historically, data from fiscal periods ending at any time between January and December were included in the reference year. However, beginning with 2004 and 2003 revised, data from income tax returns for fiscal periods ending between April and March have been included in order to better represent business activity in the calendar period.

Starting with the revised data for reference year 2011, results for Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) have been compiled using the Canadian Government Finance Statistics (CGFS) standard. Previously, data for federal and provincial GBEs were classified according to a modified version of the Statistics Canada Chart of Accounts (COA). The data mapped under a CGFS basis are transformed to a common format in order to present balance sheet and income statement information in a manner consistent with other sources used in AFTS (QFS and GIFI). The use of the CGFS standard starting with the 2011 data means that caution should be used when comparing GBE results with prior years.

Error detection

At the micro level, several checks are performed on the data to verify internal consistency and identify extreme values. At the macro level, the data are subjected to a detailed quality review process, including a comparative analysis to prior year; material errors are thereby identified and corrected.


Imputation for complete non-response is performed by two general methods. The preferred and most common method makes use of historical information about the non-responding unit and current trends in principal characteristics of similar units. When historical information is not available, such as in the case of births, a donor of similar size and industry is substituted for the missing unit.


Since data are obtained from one of the three data sources for each enterprise in the population of interest, estimates are derived from the simple tabulation of data.

Due to certain financial reporting constraints, data for enterprises in the insurance industry could not be obtained through the administrative data source. Rather, the insurance industry estimates come from two data sources: the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements (QFS) and government business enterprises (GBE) estimates. Although the QFS source covers the vast majority of the insurance industry, it is not a census. The undercoverage resulting from the non-inclusion of tax records is estimated to be less than 5% of the operating revenue and less than 1% of total assets in the insurance industry.

The estimates are produced according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Starting on January 1, 2011, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Accounting Handbook contains both International Financial Reporting standards (IFRS) and Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE).

Quality evaluation

The combined survey results are analyzed before publication. In general, the analysis includes a detailed review of the individual responses (especially for the largest enterprises), a review of general economic conditions as well as historic trends and comparisons with other data sources.

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.

The confidentiality of the reported statistics is protected under the provisions of the Statistics Act. For this reason, statistics are released in aggregate form only, with no potential identification of individually reported information. The confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act override the provisions of the Access to Information Act to guarantee the confidentiality of reported data of individual respondents.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Each year, the previous year's data are revised. Beginning with the 2011 publication and up till the revised 2016, the Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises series used the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012. Historical data on a NAICS Canada 2012 basis were created using a concordance that converted the old NAICS Canada 2007 codes to the new NAICS Canada 2012 codes.

Since the 2017 reference year, the Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises has used the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017.

Changes in the data from year to year may be due to a number of reasons including economic growth/decline, mergers and acquisitions activity, industry reclassifications and revisions to the data.

Data accuracy

While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all collection and processing operations, the resulting estimates are inevitably subject to a certain degree of error. There are two categories of errors in statistical information - sampling errors and non-sampling errors.


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