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Industry Benchmarking Tool

Screenshot of the industry benchmarking tool homepage on the Inland Revenue website.

The Industry Benchmarking Tool is a joint initiative between Statistics NZ and Inland Revenue to provide information on the financial performance of businesses in 45 industries.

Features of the Industry Benchmarking Tool

The tool:

  • provides data on the financial performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grouped by the Australia and NZ Industrial Standard Classification (ANZSIC) categories
  • includes performance benchmarks represented by key financial ratios such as: gross profit ratio; stock turnover ratio; salaries and wages to turnover ratio; return on total assets; return on equity; current ratio; quick ratio; and liability structure
  • is updated annually and data is currently available for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial years
  • makes data available for re-use in Excel and HTML formats.

The joint release ensures a common understanding of the data and its potential uses between Statistics NZ and Inland Revenue.

Industry Benchmarks on the IRD website [deprecated - no longer available]
Industry Benchmarks on the Stats NZ website

Sources of data

The data is sourced from Inland Revenue, using the IR10 return provided annually by businesses to Inland Revenue.  Statistics NZ edits the data to ensure that it is fit for industry benchmarking.

Where necessary, Statistics NZ adjusts the data to make sure no individual or business can be identified using techniques such as random rounding, collapsing categories and suppressing cells.

Extracts from the tool

 Wine and alcoholic beverages - find your performance benchmark. Screenshot.


Extract from the tool.


Extract from the tool showing industry benchmarks.

Economic outcomes

This tool enables businesses to:

  • compare themselves with other like businesses and use the benchmarks to understand the competitive position of their business  compared with similar sized businesses in their sector
  • identify trouble spots or areas for improvement
  • make operational, planning or budgeting decisions.

Businesses can get the information directly from the Inland Revenue website without having to contact Statistics NZ or Inland Revenue. Data downloads averaged 320 a month since the tool became available in April 2012.

Inland Revenue uses industry benchmarks, amongst other indicators, to identify where businesses may not be returning all their income or overstating their expenses.

Find out more

This case study was last updated in April 2014.