What is the difference?
Firstly, not all Bookkeepers need to become BAS Agents! A Bookkeeper can also be a BAS Agent! However, if a business requires a contract Bookkeeper to provide a BAS service, they must be a registered BAS Agent. Only a BAS Agent can interact with the ATO and your obligations to the ATO on your behalf unless they are your employee.
Both a Bookkeeper and BAS Agent play a necessary part in any business. However, it is essential to note a distinct line between the two roles and responsibilities as detailed below.
Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping can look different from business to business. However, the most common tasks that a Bookkeeper will generally undertake include:
- Record financial transactions
- Bank reconciliations
- Manage bank feeds
- Process accounts receivable
- Process accounts payable
- Prepare financial reports
- Work with the business Tax Agent / Accountant to assist with taxation compliance.
- Work with the Business owner or Business Management on:
- Some human resource functions
- Some payroll functions*
Responsibilities of a BAS Agent
A registered BAS Agent must have the required qualifications and experience outlined in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR). Refer to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
BAS services / Advanced bookkeeping services include but are not limited to:
- ABN, TFN Business name registration
- GST, PAYG registration
- Software installation and training
- Single Touch Payroll (STP) processing
- EOFY reporting for STP
- Taxable payments annual report
- Preparation and lodgement of BAS/IAS – Monthly or Quarterly
- Complex budgeting
- Reporting – quarterly review/year-end review
- Representation in dealing with the Commissioner of Taxation
Note: A BAS Agent can perform all the duties and responsibilities of a Bookkeeper and many other functions and is usually at an advanced level of bookkeeping knowledge and experience.
Contracted Bookkeepers providing BAS services for a fee must be registered BAS Agents. Additionally, undertake continuing professional education programs throughout each year.
As a Business Owner, if you want your contract Bookkeeper to complete and undertake BAS services, it is your responsibility to engage a registered BAS Agent.
If you are unsure if your Bookkeeper is registered, please refer to the TPB website and search the register.
Look for this symbol, including the Agent’s registered BAS number.