Based in Melbourne?
Whether you are based in Melbourne, like us. Or not. You’ll find there are different types of bookkeeping services out there. A range of activities fall under the same banner. This can cause some confusion. So what’s what?
Jack of all trades? Master of none?
For instance, some individuals specialize solely in bookkeeping. But others combine bookkeeping with the role of a BAS (Business Activity Statement) agent. As a business owner, you may think they are one and the same.
To offer BAS services, a bookkeeper must be a registered BAS agent. Only registered BAS agents, unless they are company employees, have the authority to represent a business when dealing with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Like a drunken McGregor, combine the right bookkeeping moves!
At one point or another, you may opt for a combination of the following services:
- Maintain a comprehensive record of all financial transactions.
- Conduct bank reconciliations.
- Handle and manage bank statements.
- Manage accounts receivable operations.
- Oversee tasks related to accounts payable.
- Prepare various financial reports.
- Collaborate with the company’s tax agent or accountant to ensure tax compliance.
- Work Alongside the business owner or management team on specifics payroll and Human Resource functions.
Most smaller businesses will outsource #2 above. Then they branch out from there.
Proper accountants make proper bookkeepers
Also, there is another segment that provides bookkeeping services. Depending on the size of your our business, this may be the way to go. These guys are CPA’s that are bona fide accountants – except they don’t file your income tax return. They are quite expensive – so why use them? I am glad you asked (yes – I am going to pretend I am not just talking to myself here).
Let’s say they charge $90 per hour. That is still less than a junior tax practice, charging $150 per hour. Which is well less than $300 per hour i.e. what your usual competent tax practice rate. And these CPA can do 50% of what your bookkeeper can’t do i.e. 50% of what your tax agent would charge a lot more for. I hope that makes sense.
Just to be extra careful!
To verify a BAS agent’s registration, you can either look for the registered practitioner symbol or search their information in the register maintained by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
BAS agents may provide guidance on a client’s responsibilities, liabilities, or entitlements under BAS provisions. They may as well represent a client in interactions with the Commissioner of Taxation related to BAS provisions. This is more so when the client relies on the service to meet their obligations or claim entitlements under these provisions. This also includes determining or advising on a client’s responsibilities, liabilities, or entitlements under BAS provisions.
Doing the right thing.
One thing you should know. Registered BAS Agents are obligated to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct for tax agents. The Code outlines its core principles across five categories: honesty and integrity, independence, confidentiality, and competence. Additionally, they must actively participate in ongoing professional education programs throughout the year. A BAS Agent is equipped to handle all the tasks and responsibilities of a bookkeeper, along with a diverse range of other functions. They typically possess an advanced level of knowledge and experience in bookkeeping.
If you’re a business owner seeking to contract a bookkeeper to perform BAS services, it’s your responsibility to engage a registered BAS Agent for this purpose.
If you need help with any of this,
Don’t hesitate to contact us on 1 800 672 670.