Bookkeeper vs BAS Agent

Firstly, not all Bookkeepers are BAS Agents – although they may be both.

However, if a business requires a contract Bookkeeper to provide a BAS service, they must be a registered BAS Agent.

Only a registered BAS Agent can interact with the ATO on your behalf, unless they are your employee.

A Bookkeeper and BAS Agent play an integral part in any business. They are engaged with an expectation of keeping or assist in keeping accurate and up-to-date financial records for every month and quarter, as well as the end of the financial year.

However, it is imperative to note there is 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 undertakes include:

  • Recording financial transactions
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Managing bank feeds
  • Processing accounts receivable
  • Processing accounts payable
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Working with their clients' business Tax Agent / Accountant to assist with taxation compliance

A Bookkeeper will also work closely with the Business owner or Business Management on:

  • Some human resource functions
  • Some payroll functions

Contracted Bookkeepers who provide BAS services for a fee must be registered BAS Agents. Additionally, we are obliged to undertake continuing professional education programs throughout each year. 

Responsibilities of a BAS Agent

A registered BAS Agent must have the required qualifications and experience as outlined in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR). Refer to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) for more detail.

BAS services / Advanced bookkeeping services include but are not limited to:

  • ABN, TFN and Business name registration
  • GST, PAYG registration
  • Software installation and training
  • Single Touch Payroll (STP) processing
  • EOFY reporting for STP
  • Superannuation
  • Taxable payments annual report
  • Preparation and lodgement of BAS/IAS – Monthly or Quarterly
  • Complex budgeting
  • Reporting – quarterly and or year-end reviews
  • Representation in dealing with the Commissioner of Taxation

In Conclusion

As a Business Owner or Manager, it is your responsibility to engage a registered BAS Agent if you are wanting that contract Bookkeeper to complete and undertake BAS services.

EDF Australia's Principal is both an experienced and registered BAS Agent.

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