Working With True Professionals Makes You Smile
Have you ever had an experience that made you smile in relation to other people delivering bookkeeping services to you? I’m not talking a simple polite grin here, I’m referring to you being genuinely chuffed and surprisingly pleased about the experience. If so, perhaps you may have been working with a Registered BAS Agent?
Go ahead and stop for a moment. Use your imagination and visualise a time when you were really happy about a service that was provided to you.
For someone in this enviable position, think about what it is that makes them feel that way. It’s more than likely they experience a few of the following:
- The service is provided the ‘right’ way;
- The people delivering the service are friendly, approachable and listen;
- There is an obvious high level of supporting education and experience behind the work;
- Things like ethics, respect, conduct, honesty and integrity are core principles;
When you work with a bookkeeper who is a Registered BAS Agent, you’re going to get all this as part of the services they deliver.
Read on to find out more about what makes a Registered BAS Agent and why the best bookkeepers hold this credential.
Don’t Get Duped by Dodgy Pretenders
In all walks of life, especially in business, there are dodgy operators that skulk around in the shadows doing what they can to make a quick buck while steering clear of industry regulations. I can recall one or two experiences myself where I was basically ripped off by unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of me. Has this ever happened to you?
Unfortunately, like most industries, the bookkeeping profession has a small element of people that just want to be involved but don’t put in the effort to deliver services professionally. Thankfully, these types of backyard operators and cottage-industry amateurs are the exception rather than the norm. In this post, I take you through some of the background behind Australia’s BAS Agent Registration system and things you can look out for.
My goal is that you end up smiling whenever you work with a bookkeeper, rather than getting stung in the proverbial.
What’s This BAS Agent Thing All About?
Why Does Australia Need a BAS Agent Registration System?
When the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) first introduced Business Activity Statements (BAS) as part of the GST system, an entirely new industry sprang up. In Australia today, over half a million businesses utilise the services of external bookkeepers to get their BAS completed. Predictably, many service providers wanted to get in on that action. As you would expect, there were a small handful of cases where the BAS services provided were of a low quality.
Thankfully, most bookkeepers are proud of the education, experience and code of conduct they continuously develop throughout their careers. However, it’s the ones that don’t hold these values that cause trouble for everyone else.
To address this, a new government organisation called the Tax Practitioner’s Board (TPB) was formed and as of March 2010 it became a legal requirement for anyone providing BAS services to be a Registered BAS Agent.
The system exists to protect your business.
What Are BAS Services?
If you are looking to get a bookkeeper to provide any of the following for you, then they are providing BAS services:
- Applying to the Registrar for an ABN on behalf of a client;
- Coding transactions, tax invoices and transferring data onto a computer program for clients through processes that require the interpretation or application of a BAS provision;
- Confirming figures to be included on a client’s activity statement;
- Completing activity statements on behalf of an entity or instructing the entity which figures to include;
- Confirming the withholding tax obligations for the employees of a client;
- Services declared to be a BAS service by way of a legislative instrument issued by the TPB;
- Preparation and provision of a payment summary that may include reportable fringe benefits amounts and the reportable employer superannuation contributions;
- Registering or providing advice on registration for GST or PAYG withholding;
- Services under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to the extent that they relate to a payroll function or payments to contractors;
- Determining and reporting the superannuation guarantee shortfall and associated administrative fees;
- Dealing with superannuation payments made through a clearing house;
- Completing and lodging the Taxable payments annual report to the ATO on behalf of a client;
- Sending a TFN declaration to the Commissioner on behalf of a client.
How Do You Identify a Registered BAS Agent?
When you are out and about searching for someone to help you prepare the BAS for your business, here are few things to look for:
- Look for the BAS Agent Symbol;
- Search the TPB Register, to check that the registration is valid;
- Ask questions about their code-of-conduct and ensure you are comfortable with the answers provided;
- Find out what they do to stay up-to-date with their skills and knowledge;
- Make sure they are willing to work with you and your own business practices, rather than the other way ’round;
- See if they’ll make you smile. Working with someone you can have an enjoyable professional relationship with goes a long way;
What Do You Get When Working with a Registered BAS Agent?
By working with a Registered BAS Agent, you get the following:
- Peace of mind: knowing that you’re working with someone that particpates within a regulated industry;
- Experience: a minimum of between 1,000 and 1,400 hours of relevant work experience;
- Education: certificate IV Financial services (or a higher award) in bookkeeping or accounting;
- Code of Conduct: your BAS Agent is required to always be professional, honest, independent, confidential or competent;
- Ongoing development: to maintain their registration, a BAS agent must continuously update their skills and knowledge;
- More time: by working with a BAS Agent, you get an extra month to prepare and submit your activity statements;
Speak to Us for Your BAS Needs
Trade Guardian Values the Code of Professional Conduct
Each and every bookkeeper on our team adheres to the Registered BAS Agent code of professional conduct. As such, you will always be working with someone that upholds the following principles:
- Honesty & Integrity: including when acting for you in relation to your money;
- Independence: including always acting in your best interests;
- Confidentiality: the privacy of your information is treated with the utmost respect;
- Competency: we provide service competently using knowledge and skills to take reasonable care to ensure that tax law is applied correctly for you;
- Advice: providing you with information about your obligations under the relevant tax laws.
Trade Guardian, Your Preferred Registered BAS Agent
Our registration number is: 17729015
We pride ourselves on being highly qualified and committed to the values of the BAS Agent registration system. Our general manager, Kristin Miller, has over 20 years’ experience, is fully qualified accountant, MBA and is scheduled to complete here CPA in early 2018.
All our staff are locally-based, including a core team of Canberra bookkeepers. They hold relevant industry qualifications and undertake ongoing study outside of work to ensure they deliver you the best possible services, with a smile.
Contact us now to find out more about how we can help your business with its own BAS requirements.
What Do You Think of the Registered BAS Agent System?
Are you a bookkeeper yourself? What are your thoughts on the requirements?
Are you a business professional that has some experience working with a bookkeeper to get your BAS completed? Do you have a story to tell?
Get in touch and let us know what you think about Australia’s Registered BAS Agent system.