Business Bookkeeping Services

Are you ready for an ATO audit of your business books NOW?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking it could never happen to your business. Record Keeping for Small Business is a Top Priority for the ATO. It could be your turn.

If the ATO decides to audit your small business this year you could find yourself spending a lot of time pulling together the requested records and documentation. It can be a stressful process and can take your time away from serving your customers. So, save yourself the future stress and worry and be ready for if and when the ATO decides to audit your business.

Which businesses does the ATO audit?

It could be any business, even yours.

The ATO may decide to audit a business due to discrepancies found in financial reporting such as between BAS and tax returns. However sometimes the ATO chooses to review businesses with certain types of expenses where GST is being claimed or tax deductions. It could be a random selection. Or, the ATO may choose to audit a business if they determine a more in-depth review of the businesses financial position is warranted.

What will a small business need to provide if audited by the ATO?

Detailed business records may be requested. As a business owner you may be called upon by the ATO to provide your business financial records in relation to a prior tax year. The depth of information required can vary.

Generally, records relating to your businesses tax, superannuation and employer obligations will be requested during an ATO audit.

How long do you need to keep your records?

As a rule, you need to keep business records for 5 years. However, there are instances where records need to be kept for longer time periods. As an example, records of depreciating assets, records of capital gains tax assets and records relating to a tax return or document that has been amended may need to be kept for longer than 5 years. There are other instances as well, so be sure to understand the rules on record keeping in detail.

An experienced bookkeeper can assist you to understand how long to retain various records for.

How to ensure your business bookkeeping meets ATO requirements?

Whether you are audited by the ATO or not, having accurate financial records that are well organised will assist you with the successful operation of your business.

Maintaining best practice bookkeeping for your business will ensure you meet the ATO requirements if ever you are audited. The rules and regulations for record keeping does change from time to time so keeping up to date with latest legislation is essential.

The simplest way to stay on top of this is to recruit an experienced bookkeeper and registered BAS agent. They can take care of your bookkeeping in line with current ATO rules and make the process a lot more streamlined in the event that your business is ever audited. Work smarter not harder by utilising the right tools.

Need help to keep your business books on track?

Focus on working on the parts of your business you love AND sleep well at night.

Deb at Your Trade Bookkeeping can help get your business books up to scratch. Click here to see the bookkeeping services we provide.

CALL NOW on 0428 954 577 or book a free Strategy Call here .

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The Difference Between A Bookkeeper And A BAS Agent

If you’re ready to outsource your bookkeeping and tax to a professional, you might be wondering whether you need to work with a Bookkeeper or a BAS Agent. 

Bookkeeping is more than data entry. Having accurate and up-to-date finances is an essential part of the success of your business. Yet, it can be a steep learning curve trying to manage it all yourself. That’s why many small businesses choose to outsource their bookkeeping to a trusted expert. 

In this post, we will explain the key differences between a Bookkeeper and a BAS agent, so that you can choose the right professional for your business.


1. Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is usually one of the first services that many tradies (and small businesses in general) will outsource. 

A Bookkeeper is a professional who can help you with the day-to-day tasks involved in keeping your financial records up-to-date to free up your time and enable you to focus on what YOU do best. 

While bookkeeping responsibilities will look different from business to business, there are some common tasks a Bookkeeper does: 

  • Managing bank feeds and bank reconciliations to ensure the data is accurate
  • Processing and managing Accounts Receivable
  • Keeping a record of all the financial transactions (incomings and outgoings) of the business, usually with the help of accounting software such as Xero (as long as the business is not registered for GST – if any transactions have GST the business will need to use a Bookkeeper who is also a BAS Agent)
  • Processing and managing Accounts Payable
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Working with a Tax Agent or Accountant to assist with tax compliance

The main limitation of Bookkeepers who provide services as a professional is that they also need to be also registered as a BAS Agent (by law), otherwise they are limited to doing non-GST bookkeeping (for businesses not registered for GST). Only BAS Agents (bookkeepers with additional registrations and qualifications) can do bookkeeping for GST registered businesses, prepare and lodge Activity Statements, deal with the Tax Office, handle payroll and associated payroll tasks such as superannuation, payroll tax and STP.

The only exception to the above is Bookkeepers who are employees of the business, however they still need to have a high level of knowledge and skill to do bookkeeping, handle GST transactions and payroll properly and accurately otherwise it may adversely impact the business.

2. Responsibilities of a BAS Agent

A registered BAS Agent must hold the required qualifications and experience (as outlined in the Tax Agent Regulations 2009, or TASR) to provide advice and manage your Business Activity Statement (BAS) on your behalf. 

A registered BAS Agent can provide your business with a range of advanced bookkeeping services, including: 

  • GST and PAYG registration
  • ABN, TFN and business name registration
  • Preparing and lodging BAS / IAS (either monthly or quarterly)
  • Software installation and training
  • Working with the business owner or management to process payroll and employee entitlements
  • Superannuation
  • Taxable payments annual reporting
  • Single Touch Payroll (STP) processing
  • Quarterly and end of year reporting
  • Dealing with the Tax Office on your behalf

It might be helpful to note that a BAS Agent can perform all the duties and responsibilities of a Bookkeeper, as well as a range of other advanced functions. Due to their registration requirements, BAS Agents need to continually maintain their knowledge to stay across any legislative changes and important updates. 

Please note: BAS Agents cannot complete Income Tax Returns on your behalf as this is the role of a Registered Tax Agent.

3. Educational requirements of a Bookkeeper and BAS Agent

Bookkeepers are required to complete a Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), in order to work in this capacity. 

A BAS Agent must do additional study and complete a Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) approved course in GST and BAS taxation principles and obtain a minimum of 1000 hours of work experience under supervision of a tax professional. 

It’s this additional training and experience that allows BAS Agents to much better support a business with both their bookkeeping, GST and payroll functions. 

4. Why would a business need a BAS agent?

Every type of business can benefit from working with a BAS Agent to make sure that their financials are up-to-date and in compliance with the Tax Office. 

BAS agents hold training and skills to manage day-to-day financial tasks, as well as specialised skills and accreditation that allows them to manage and advise on more complex factors such as GST, BAS and payroll systems, and presenting to the Tax Office on behalf of your business. 

Even if you’re not yet registered for GST, a BAS Agent can support you as you scale your business. 

While BAS Agents may charge a bit more than a Bookkeeper, you’re investing in the higher level of knowledge and expertise they bring to the financial health of your business.

Key takeaways

As a business owner, if you’re wanting professional bookkeeping services that include BAS services, you will need to work with a Registered BAS Agent. 

If you’re unsure whether your Bookkeeper is also a registered BAS Agent, you can find out by searching the register on the TPB Website

Get professional help 

If you’re ready to put your bookkeeping in trusted hands, finding the right-fit bookkeeping services can be a game changer. 

Your Trade Bookkeeping provides a complete bookkeeping, BAS lodgement and payroll service for Tradies in Australia.

We work virtually, to provide professional bookkeeping and BAS services to business owners across Australia. We’re here to give you rock-solid peace of mind about where your business is at financially, so you can focus on doing what you love and leave the financial side of things in experienced hands. 

To find out more about how professional bookkeeping services can save you time and money, phone Deb today on 0428 954 577, or book a Free Strategy Call here.

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