The framework encapsulated within the European System of Accounts (ESA) and the System of National Accounts (SNA) methodology manuals provides national accounts which are:
comprehensive, in that all designated activities and the consequences for all agents in an economy are covered;
consistent, because identical values are used to establish the consequences of a single action on all parties concerned using the same accounting rules;
integrated, in that all the consequences of a single action by one agent are necessarily reflected in the resulting accounts, including the impact on measurement of wealth captured in balance sheets.
(System of National Accounts (2008); p1; para. 1.1)
National Accounts are more than just a snapshot in time as they are produced for a succession of time periods thus providing an indispensable flow of information which is used for the monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the performance of an economy. It is for reasons of accuracy of this monitoring, analysis and evaluation that the SNA, ESA and Balance of Payments manuals are revised and updated to reflect economic reality as far as possible.
Key ESA conceptual changes (18.8 Kb Pdf)
Key BPM6 conceptual changes (26 Kb Pdf)
Comparison of ESA10 and ESA95 National Accounts Codes (100.5 Kb Excel sheet)