Your hard work has paid off. You have happy customers and your business is thriving. With consistent effort and proper management, you can continue to make your business thrive. One of the ways you can ensure the success of your company is having a healthy balance sheet at the end of the fiscal year.
Finding out that something is amiss with your financial statements can and that you’re being questioned by the tax office can be very stressful, especially for small business owners. To avoid this, your financial records must be accurate to the dot. If you’re not personally tracking and managing your financial records and generating your own financial reports, you need to hire a bookkeeper who is also a registered BAS agent to do this for you.
Who is a BAS Agent?
A BAS Agent or a Business Activity Statement Agent is registered accounting professional trained to assist business owners and other professionals with the preparation and submission of Business Activity Statements (BAS). They also give advice to business owners about their liabilities, entitlements and obligations. They make sure that all statements and documents of a business conform to the ATO regulations under the BAS provisions.
BAS agents can also process gross wages, employee termination payments, various payroll duties and PAYG summaries. They can also monitor super guarantee contributions, lodge tax file number declarations, and submit annual taxable payments to the ATO. In addition, they can also liaise directly with the ATO regarding your BAS.
The role of a BAS agent is relatively new, introduced only back in 2009. This was done to regulate the BAS related services offered by contract bookkeepers. It is very important to remember that a BAS Agent is the only person legally allowed to charge you to prepare and lodge a BAS statement.
Why Hire a Registered BAS Agent instead of a Regular Bookkeeper?
Your bookkeeper is the person in-charge of tracking and managing your financial transactions. They ensure your books are balanced at the end of each quarter and at the end of the year. They also process, reconcile, and report your transactions.
A bookkeeper can also be a registered BAS agent. To be a BAS agent, a person must have proper schooling and must have been awarded at least a Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) or a Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting). They must also have completed specific units within the courses covering GST and BAS taxation principles in order to qualify for BAS registration.
Another requirement for BAS Agent qualification is the completion of 1,400 hours of relevant work experience under the control and supervision of a registered BAS or Tax agent within the last 4 years before registration.
With their education and experience, BAS agents can handle all the bookkeeping responsibilities. A bookkeeper may handle several tasks, but a BAS agent can do more. They can offer you more assistance, advice and services when it comes to tax and other ATO transactions compared to regular bookkeepers.
General Tasks of BAS Agents
- Generate financial reports for tax purposes.
- Prepare and lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS).
- Register businesses for PAYG, GST and other services.
- Advise clients regarding compliance with GST, Super Guarantee, Fringe Benefits Tax and other legislation.
- Liaise with the Australian Taxation Office on behalf of clients.
- Identify and address financial discrepancies.
BAS agents are generally organized, methodical and efficient. They have solid problem-solving skills and an analytical mind, ensuring precision, accuracy and organization of your financial data.
Skills & Attributes of BAS Agents
- Methodical and ordered work habits.
- Logical and efficient.
- Technical proficiency.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Great organizational skills.
- Patient and dedicated.
A bookkeeper can help you manage your business finances, but having a bookkeeper who is a registered BAS agent can offer more services to your business. A BAS agent needs to be properly certified by the Tax Practitioners Board.
Your business deserves efficient bookkeeping and proper representation. As a registered BAS Agent, ACT bookkeeping group can help you make sure that you are practicing quality bookkeeping. Contact us today to book a free consultation to deal with your bookkeeping needs.