- Jessica Muir
BAS Agent vs Bookkeeper
You may be thinking... What's 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. It is only a BAS Agent that can interact with the ATO and your obligations to 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 to keep or assist in keeping accurate and up to date financial records for every month, quarter, and at 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 will generally undertake include:
Record financial transactions
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 as 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
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 a multitude of 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 are wanting your contract Bookkeeper to complete and undertake BAS services, it is your responsibility that you 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.