What is a BAS agent exactly? And what can they do for your business? Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the first person to ask this question.
BAS Agents serve a range of vital functions to help your business stay on top of ATO requirements, prepare quarterly lodgements, and so much more.
Are you interested in hiring a BAS Agent for your business? In this blog post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about BAS Agents and why you need one. Find out more below.
What Is A BAS Agent?
Let’s start with the basics – what is a BAS agent, exactly?
A BAS Agent, also known as a Business Activity Statement Agent, is a relatively new role that was introduced in 2009 to manage BAS-related services for contract bookkeepers. These are licensed professionals authorised to prepare and lodge BAS returns on the behalf of your business.
These qualified professionals have spent time learning the ATO requirements so you don’t need to. BAS Agents can help with:
- ABN, TFN Business name registration
- GST, PAYG registration
- Software installation and training
- Single Touch Payroll (STP) processing
- EOFY reporting for STP
- Taxable payment annual report
- Preparation and lodgement of BAS/IAS – Monthly or Quarterly
- Complex budgeting
- Reporting – quarterly review/year-end review
A BAS Agent can perform all the duties and responsibilities of a Bookkeeper, and a multitude of other functions, and usually has an Advanced level of bookkeeping knowledge and experience. To become a BAS Agent, accounting qualifications are required. This includes a Certificate IV Financial Services in bookkeeping or accounting, a board approved course in GST/ BAS taxation principles, and 1,400 hours of relevant experience in the past 4 years.
BAS Agents also need Professional Association Membership, which also requires a Certificate IV Financial Services in bookkeeping or accounting and a board approved course in GST/ BAS taxation principles. They also need 1,000 hours of relevant experience in the last 4 years, and need to be a voting member of a recognised BAS or Tax Agent association.
Bookkeepers Vs. BAS Agents
One of the most common questions we hear is – what’s the difference between a bookkeeper and a BAS Agent? Don’t worry, we’ve explained this for you below.
Firstly, bookkeepers are responsible for providing up-to-date financial information for a business. Their duties typically include…
- Recording financial transactions
- Processing accounts receivable and payable
- Generating financial reports
- Allocating transactions in bank feeds
- Assisting tax agents, BAS agents and accountants with taxation compliance
On the other hand, BAS Agents can complete the duties of a bookkeeper – but are also responsible for…
- ABN and Business Name registration
- Lodging a Taxable Payments Annual Report
- Preparing and lodging quarterly or monthly BAS returns
- GST/ PAYG registration
- Single Touch Payroll Setup and Finalisation
- Superannuation guarantee/ superannuation payments
- Financial reporting
- Financial software installation
- Preparing Workcover declarations
- Preparing Q Leave worker service returns
The Benefits Of Hiring A BAS Agent
At this point, you mind be wondering – what are the benefits of hiring a BAS Agent? We’ve covered this below.
1. Time Savings
One of the main benefits of hiring a BAS Agent is that it saves you a lot of time and stress.
After all, BAS preparation and lodgement can be a time-consuming process – especially if you’re not accustomed to doing this yourself.
Leaving this to a professional doesn’t only save your time, but it also allows you to focus on other areas of your business that might need more attention.
2. Lodgement & Payment Concessions
Another major benefit of hiring a BAS Agent would be for the lodgement and payment concessions they receive.
For example, BAS Agents typically receive an extra month to lodge BAS for their clients. This means that businesses generally have until the 25th the following month to lodge and pay their BAS.
This gives more time for business owners to prepare the funds, or allocate it towards priority expenses.
3. Decipher the numbers
A good BAS Agent will help you understand your financial reports and numbers, and suggest any changes needed to save money.
4. Help your business avoid expensive errors
A BAS agent knows what you can claim and what you can’t claim for GST. Not every purchase you make has 10% GST eg. Gift cards and Insurance. Another costly error could be claiming 10% value of your motor vehicle purchase. Did you know there is a limit on GST claimable on a Motor vehicle purchase? Your BAS agent does.
What To Do Before Engaging A BAS Agent
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you’ve engaged a qualified agent is to search and check if they have a licence – and you can do this through the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) register.
Typically, only registered BAS Agents can charge for providing financial advice services. The TPB register contains the registration details of all tax advisers – and whether they’re currently registered, suspended, or deregistered.
BAS Agents At Gecko Bookkeeping
Are you looking for an experienced, licensed BAS agent? You’ve come to the right place!
We have a team of registered BAS agents that ensure your yearly or quarterly BAS lodgement is quick, easy, and affordable. We’ll assist with BAS/GST preparation and lodgement, PAYG withholding, Single Touch Payroll, Superannuation, and more.
Get in touch today to book a call.