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Expert Bookkeeping Services in Bunbury, Western Australia 

Number crunching and finance management usually get put under the same job category as bookkeeping or accounting by most people.  This is not the case and it is a mistake to categorise accountants, bookkeepers, BAS agents and tax agents all under the same banner. 

Each one has a different job function, different qualifications and some of them are governed by legislation in Australia.

Bookkeepers

It is quite possible that you have used a bookkeeper for your business needs already.   If you have put someone in charge of your accounting, you have a bookkeeper as an employee.   Your everyday bookkeeper you put financial trust in because they make sure your books are balanced during each quarter and also at year-end.  They will process, carry out reconciliations and report transactions.   Mostly, they will use accounting software such as XERO or MYOB to make things simpler for their day to day accounting activities.  Your bookkeeper will quickly become very proficient using the software of your choice which is great when year-end comes around because your numbers need to be right on target so your accountant has less work to do.

BAS Agents

Registered BAS Agents are able to handle all bookkeeping responsibilities just as your bookkeeper does but they must be correctly schooled and qualified to use the BAS Agent title.   The guidelines and rules of a Registered BAS Agent are very strict.

BAS Agents prepare and lodge the Business Activity Statement and will provide recommendations on BAS and payroll obligations including the liabilities and entitlements.

They supervise, design, check and advise on your compliance system around GST, indirect taxes on the BAS and payroll systems.

Your BAS Agent will take care of everything that needs to be presented to the ATO regarding BAS provisions and payroll matters such as single touch payroll, tax file number, reporting of superannuation, Australia Business Number application submission in Australia, etc.

Similarities

So, you may ask, what is the difference.   Both bookkeepers and BAS Agents typically handle the same kinds of activities.  Your books are balanced by both, both can prepare financial statements, prepare internal reports, accumulate financial information for businesses and they can assist you, the owner, make business decisions.

Similarly, bookkeepers and BAS Agents, to be a great accountant for a business requires schooling, either a bachelors degree in accounting or they may be working toward CA or CPA qualifications.

Differences

Anyone can call themselves a bookkeeper or an accountant, even you, not everyone can call themselves a registered BAS Agent.   Your bookkeeper will handle a few tasks while BAS Agents can carry a heavier load.  BAS Agents have seriously more clout when dealing with the Australian Taxation Office than a bookkeeper does including assisting business with certain matters that bookkeepers are not allowed to do including GST, wine taxes, fuel taxes, luxury care taxes, FBT payments, all aspects of payroll relating to withholding tax amounts and reporting those amounts to the Australian Tax Office, any other PAYG withholding amounts, and all aspects of income tax payments via PAYG instalments.   If your business requires representation to the Australian Tax Office on these matters, a BAS Agents is required.  Bookkeepers simply will not do.

Not all bookkeepers need to become a BAS Agent.  However, if you are a business in Australia and you need BAS services and you are hiring a third party for it, then you must ensure that they are registered BAS Agents to comply with the code.  A registered BAS Agent must have the required qualifications and experience as stated in the Tax Agent Services Regulations 2009 (TASR).

A bookkeeper can elect to become a BAS Agent but he/she will need to registere with the Tax Practitioners Board.  A BAS Agent is qualified and can provide many services which are beyond the capacity of a bookkeeper.  A bookkeeper can complete the data entry of transactions which involve GST and payroll, if they are supervised by a BAS Agent.

Supervision is compulsory and the Tax Practitioners Board is very particular about checking the controls exerted on the tasks being performed by a bookkeeping company in Australia.

Many bookkeepers don’t have all the licences and insurances that you need to ensure that you are getting the BEST service possible.  All of our bookkeepers at Bookkeepers Bunbury are licenced by the Tax Practitioners Board and have full professional indemnity insurance.  At Bookkeepers Bunbury we are qualified experts, with up to the minute training in XERO and MYOB, just as you would expect an expert to be.   We also use other mainstream accounting software packages, but mainly the request is for XERO and MYOB – there is also reasons for this so please contact us and ask on 0427 66 99 69.

Some Of The Risks Of Using An Unregistered Bookkeeper

Why take unnecessary risks if you don’t have to in business.  However, not realising, you may be taking a risk if you choose to use an unregistered bookkeeper, so let us have a quick look at some of the risks.

Privacy – your confidential information may be misused by an unregistered bookkeeper for their own personal gain.   If they share this personal information, your business and your personal affair may run the risk of identity theft, etc.

No insurance – if you choose not to use a registered bookkeeper then it is extremely likely that this person will not have Professional Indemnity Insurance.  So, if they cause your business any loss or they cause errors as a result of their service to you then there will not be any compensation available to you.

Unethical conduct – this means they do not abide by any ethical or professional standards or hold a registration with the Tax Practitioners Board and they do not belong to a professional bookkeeping body.

If your bookkeeper is unregistered, you and your business are at serious risk and could suffer financial loss.  A registered BAS Agent should, have a minimum qualification as a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, or Diploma of Accounting.  You can always check their certification at www.tpb.gov.au