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TheManFromPOST

Australian Bureau of Statistics can kiss my hairy ….

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Rant on

 

Got a letter today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics stating that I must take part in a ‘Business Characteristics Survey’

I have to go online and complete a survey. They estimate that it should only take 45 minutes

I will also have to do this survey once a year for the next five years

 

This is bulls***

Australian government, you want me to fill in a survey, my time is valuable, how about a little $$$?

This is a complete waste of my time, there is nothing in this for me or my business. The government (local, state, federal)(labor, liberal) do not give a shit about small business. There are no policies to help us, just rules and regulations

 

ABS, kiss my hairy ….

 

Peeved small business owner

 

Rant off

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Send them an invoice and see what happens. :)

I have been randomly selected for a personal survey twice

being a workaholic stuffs up the survey (87 hour week)

 

so far, I have done 10 questions out of 60

what was my turnover for the year ? (how would I know, tax return is not due for a few months)

what was your expenditure for the year?

how do these answers compare to last year? (now I have to wade through last years tax return, if I can find it)

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:)

 

Typical.

 

They do just love making work for people, I just NEVER get their requests done on time, including tax returns when they owe me, matter of principle :)

 

Ah well TMFP at least your line of work doesn't involve submitting quotations as a consequence of being on purchasing panels when you know damned well your quote will not make the cut because there is a preferred supplier, they just need us to make up their required three quotes but if not done don't get renewed on the panel and just SOMETIMES we are actually the preferred supplier :)

 

Cheers

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ye of glass-half-empty.

 

There's no disclaimer on there that says what you're refilling in has to be TRUE, is there? It's only a survey.

 

Cos I can see you can easily turn this into 45 mins of shits and giggles.

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Send them an invoice and see what happens. :)

I have been randomly selected for a personal survey twice

being a workaholic stuffs up the survey (87 hour week)

 

so far, I have done 10 questions out of 60

what was my turnover for the year ? (how would I know, tax return is not due for a few months)

what was your expenditure for the year?

how do these answers compare to last year? (now I have to wade through last years tax return, if I can find it)

 

Just say the dog ate your work and you can't bring up the info needed.

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Do you have a kid? Offer them $10 to fill it in with whatever they want (Think Homer giving Bart his psych evaluation form)

 

Send the form back with a letter stating "Some of us have to work to make money. My rate is $x/hr. @ 45 minutes it comes to $y. Please send form back if you agree to these conditions."

 

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Gah fuck third try at this.

 

The surveys can actually help businesses though not directly, as they provide information for Government planning through the relevant Government departments.

As for the data needed you should be able to pull all that from your accounting programme without having to resort to the tax returns.

 

At least you only need to do one, In 2012 I had to do the Land Management Practices Survey and the Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey. Each one took me several hours.

Last year it was only the Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey. At least it looks like the new Land Management and Agricultural Commodities survey will be replacing the lot in to one survey, which it damn well should as there was a lot of commonality between the two surveys.

Haven't had to do a Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey as yet.

 

 

 

Edited by aliali
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These surveys are how the government knows whats going on. These surveys are what you point to when pinheads in parliament try to make nonsensical rules.

 

The ABS website is filled with awesome facts about whats actually going on in Australia.

 

what was my turnover for the year ? (how would I know, tax return is not due for a few months)

what was your expenditure for the year?

 

Really? Do you just cross your fingers and hope for the best each year?

 

Don't get me wrong, I would also be a bit annoyed if I had to fill in a survey like that, but I feel like there's a bit of hyperbole going on here.

 

Rob.

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Throw in a quote from your accountant, too.

Well if you use an accountant for all your day to day book work providing that sort of info should be included in what you already pay them whether they are "in house" or the local bod who does several businesses.

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Robzy, yes, I am making a mountain out of a molehill

As I said in my original post, this will take time, I regard my time to be valuable

There is ZERO benefit for me to jump though government hoops

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Robzy, yes, I am making a mountain out of a molehill

As I said in my original post, this will take time, I regard my time to be valuable

There is ZERO benefit for me to jump though government hoops

 

Imagine a world where a pompus stuck-up parliament was making rules that they claimed would help small business, but actually strange small business.

 

Things might be tough now, but in this imaginary world things would be flat-out impossible. You'd have 5 weeks of operating capital left, after which you'd have to close up shop.

 

Small business advocacy groups are begging the government to consult them. To consult business owners. To run surveys. To understand this important part of the Australian economy.

 

You get an invitation to participate in a survey, and you are mother fucking happy that you get to contribute to the government cleaning up its act.

 

In this scenario you'd be more than happy to fill in a survey.

 

Its all about context.

 

And it could be said that fill in the survey in the real-world context is just as valuable as my imaginary one above, because it keeps us planted in a better place.

 

Of course, I don't particularly want the government to ask me to spend 45 minutes for the next 5 years filling in a survey. That sounds a bit annoying. But not much more annoying than the local ward office in Tokyo refusing to certify my "Rob" hanko because "Rob" isn't my legal name despite the fact that to the best of my knowledge your hanko can have anything on it.

 

Rob.

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I get one day off per week

For the last two months that 'day off' has been spent doing work on the business

I was looking forward to a 'me' weekend, then this survey arrived and has robbed me of that precious time

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Hanko? Is that like a monogramed hankerchief?

 

As for surveys impacting? Hardly. More often their worded in such a way to 'justify the direction already chosen'. I'm a cynical bastard who has filled out a few surveys and seen how they are tightly worded. "You either agree with me, or you think mandatory euthenasia for over 60s is right"

 

Mine was for my apprenticeship. Had to fill out a few successions. And not ONE question directly had an impact on the dropout rates. They were all about supporting the policy of the government of the day.

 

I sent a letter to my local member about my complaints of this survey and told them that I believed it was a crap survey.

 

Anyways.

 

Rant over.

 

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What's been annoying me about this is that a bigger business with more staff would allocate the financial controller

to do the relevant research to complete the questionnaire. Fairly simple procedure for them with the boss giving it

his signature of approval, or not. For a small business as TMFP says, it's a bloody intrusion into critical down time for him.

 

Perhaps he could put that ^^ on the questionnaire and leave it at that. I mean, it's a well known fact that R&R is critical

to all members of the workforce . Good business practice relies on a healthy workforce, especially if that workforce is

made up of one or two staff.

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Hanko? Is that like a monogramed hankerchief?

 

As for surveys impacting? Hardly. More often their worded in such a way to 'justify the direction already chosen'. I'm a cynical bastard who has filled out a few surveys and seen how they are tightly worded. "You either agree with me, or you think mandatory euthenasia for over 60s is right"

 

Mine was for my apprenticeship. Had to fill out a few successions. And not ONE question directly had an impact on the dropout rates. They were all about supporting the policy of the government of the day.

 

I sent a letter to my local member about my complaints of this survey and told them that I believed it was a crap survey.

 

Anyways.

 

Rant over.

 

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Heh, a hanko is a personal stamp used instead of a signature :)

 

I understand that your survey might've been crap, but that doesn't mean all surveys are crap.

 

I'd expect that the ABS would have quite a high calibre of rigour.

 

I'd also hazard a guess (based on whats been shared so far) that the survey asks more about concrete facts than it would about sentiment.

 

Rob.

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Heh, a hanko is a personal stamp used instead of a signature :)

 

Thought those were called "chop"s. Or is that just the Chinese ivory ones?

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There is 'concrete' Robzy. "How much did you spend on tools?" "How much did you spend maintaining your tools?"

 

Excellent questions.

Now 2 questions that are just as important:

How much more did you need to spend on tools?

How much more did you need to spend to maintain tools correctly?

 

I got some great tools in the trade as an apprentice. But I couldn't afford all I needed. So the amount I spent vs what I needed to spend are competing.

And what's a tool?

Technically I had to maintain my car. I needed it to get to sites. It was a requirement of my employment. Do I include maintenance costs of that as well? It's not implied or suggested in the survey.

 

The surveys were dodgy bad. They were done with best intent. I can see that. But at the end of the day? I could have given a dozen suggestions that would work better.

Here's one suggestion on how to improve the situation of apprentices, just off the top of my head:

Let them be eligible for student cards.

Apprentices don't do enough hours to get a student card.

Most have to pay adult prices on busses, at the movies etc etc.

I earnt less than a friend who worked at McDonalds whilst doing their degree. And they got student rates at movies and I didn't. I couldn't afford to go to movies.

It's demoralizing. And I place a good bet you'd get another 10% of apprentices completing their apprenticeships if you made apprentices eligible for student discounts. Really that simple.

 

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There is 'concrete' Robzy. "How much did you spend on tools?" "How much did you spend maintaining your tools?"

 

Excellent questions.

Now 2 questions that are just as important:

How much more did you need to spend on tools?

How much more did you need to spend to maintain tools correctly?

 

I got some great tools in the trade as an apprentice. But I couldn't afford all I needed. So the amount I spent vs what I needed to spend are competing.

And what's a tool?

Technically I had to maintain my car. I needed it to get to sites. It was a requirement of my employment. Do I include maintenance costs of that as well? It's not implied or suggested in the survey.

 

The surveys were dodgy bad. They were done with best intent. I can see that. But at the end of the day? I could have given a dozen suggestions that would work better.

Here's one suggestion on how to improve the situation of apprentices, just off the top of my head:

Let them be eligible for student cards.

Apprentices don't do enough hours to get a student card.

Most have to pay adult prices on busses, at the movies etc etc.

I earnt less than a friend who worked at McDonalds whilst doing their degree. And they got student rates at movies and I didn't. I couldn't afford to go to movies.

It's demoralizing. And I place a good bet you'd get another 10% of apprentices completing their apprenticeships if you made apprentices eligible for student discounts. Really that simple.

 

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Yes and no, AD.

 

The questions you pose are indeed also useful, but useful for analysing a different area. The first two questions are useful for looking at what proportion of your income you spend on your trade, verses what proportion you spend on yourself. It's also useful when looking at the total capital stock in an industry, etc. The second set of questions are tailored to a different area of inquiry - whether that level of captial stock is sufficient to provide an efficient use of the labour available. This area is also important, but was probably covered by a different survey.

 

As for your suggestion, that's a policy issue. The job of the ABS is to provide data, not policy. They are asked for facts (how many people are unemployed, how much did our economy grow last year, how are prices changing in aggregate, etc) and analysis (what does this number mean), rather than policy (what should we do about those numbers). There is a vast difference between a statistical survey and a political survey or poll.

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Cool. You know. You get a cover letter with the surveys.

 

The primary focus of the survey was keeping apprentices in the trade.

 

Ultimately, the survey was arse. (It was over 10 years ago. Can't recall exact questions. Usual. What year are you? How much? Do you feel like quitting? )

 

The could have asked meaningful questions. They didn't. "apprentice x spent y% of their income on tools". They did not cover "Apprentice x needed to spend z on their tools but could only afford y" Different trades = different spending.

 

I feel sorry for carpenters. They get SLAUGHTERED on tool costs.

 

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You have to remember a first year apprentice gets not much pay. Second and third year is not much bbetter

In the building trades you are expected to buy your own tools, not easy on the low wages

 

I like the student card idea

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