The brochure accompanying the 32 page Economic Activity Survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics says that they work to minimise the costs to the business community. Based on the three and a half hours I have lost providing a more comprehensive breakdown about revenue and expenses than in my company tax return or even used for our management accounts I’d say they have failed in their goal.

Since Tower Systems employs more than 20, the ABS does not offer us the opportunity of an exemption – having completed three of these in consecutive years. I think this is a small business. It surprises me how many different benchmarks the government has for a small business – it’s another example of red tape.

But back to this Economic Survey. This is the fourth or fifth ABS survey I have been asked to complete this year and it is by far the worst.the accounting breakdown is onerous. The requirement to provide the data is frustrating since it is close to the end of the 2006/07 Financial Year – given that this is a busy time of year for us, completing last year’s accounts is thre last thing on our mind right now.