Working with a BAS agent can benefit your business more than you may realise!
Many new business owners try to save on costs by doing their own bookkeeping, but this is one of the first and most important tasks you can outsource to give yourself more time and save you money. If you can work on your business to generate more sales, why waste that valuable time on administration and accounts management?
What is a BAS Agent?
A BAS agent is a registered tax professional who provides a broader range of services than a standard bookkeeper. BAS agents are trained in the complexities of GST, compliance, and other business-related laws – meaning you don’t have to become an expert in areas that are not your passion or skillset.
What does a BAS agent do?
Once familiar with your business operations, a BAS Agent can not only take care of the transactional recording, financial reporting and compliance requirements, but they can assist you in better understanding your day-to-day business performance. Your BAS agent will become a trusted member of your management team along with your tax agent, providing accurate and timely financial advice and insights to help you make better business decisions and plan for long-term success.
Many bookkeepers are also registered BAS agents. But it is important to understand the different between bookkeepers and BAS agents. View our “what is bookkeeping guide” here to learn more.
What does a BAS agent provide?
BAS Agents can ascertain and advise you on correct asset and liability amounts and submit statutory reports to the ATO or other agencies on your behalf. BAS provisions include determining GST liabilities, PAYG withholding obligations, employee superannuation contributions, and submitting taxable payments reports and Single Touch Payroll. A registered BAS Agent can act on your behalf when dealing with the ATO. They can be authorised to negotiate deferred payment plans, apply for BAS extensions, manage your STP requirements as well as complete and lodge Superannuation Guarantee charge documents. Numble are registered BAS agents, and can provide all these services for you and your business
How does using a registered BAS Agent protect your business?
Unlike a bookkeeper, who requires no regulation, minimum experience, personal ethical standards or insurance, a BAS Agent has to meet strict standards. They must:
- hold a minimum level of qualification, which is determined by the TPB (Tax Practitioners Board),
- hold Professional Indemnity Insurance which meets minimum set standards,
- commit to ongoing CPE (continuing professional education) to keep their registration valid and remain legally compliant,
- adhere to the requirements of the TPB Code of Professional Conduct,
- be a fit and proper person, and perform their role with honesty and integrity
The TPB Code of Professional Conduct for BAS agents regulates agents’ personal and professional conduct. The Professional Conduct sets out principles under five separate categories:
1. Honesty and integrity.
A registered BAS Agent must:
- act honestly and with integrity
- comply with the taxation laws in the conduct of their personal affairs.
- receive money or other property from or on behalf of a client, and/or
- hold the money or other property on trust,
they must account to their clients for the money or property held.
A registered BAS Agent must:
- act lawfully in the best interests of a client, and
- have in place adequate arrangements to manage conflicts of interest that may arise in relation to the activities they undertake in their capacity as a registered BAS agent.
Unless they have a legal duty to do so, a BAS Agent must not disclose any information relating to a client’s affairs to a third party without their client’s permission.
A BAS Agent must ensure that:
- All BAS services provided, or provided on their behalf, are provided competently,
- they maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the BAS services they provide,
- they must take reasonable care in ascertaining a client’s state of affairs, to the extent that ascertaining the state of those affairs is relevant to a statement they are making or a thing they are doing on behalf of a client,
- they must take reasonable care to ensure that taxation laws are applied correctly to the circumstances in relation to providing advice to a client.
5. Other responsibilities
A BAS Agent must:
- not knowingly obstruct the proper administration of the taxation laws,
- advise their clients of all rights and obligations under the taxation laws that are materially related to the BAS services provided,
- maintain the professional indemnity insurance that the Board requires to be maintained,
- respond to requests and directions from the Board in a timely, responsible and reasonable manner.
These regulations and requirements give you peace of mind that your business accounts are in safe hands. If your BAS agent does not meet their obligations:
- Their registration can be suspended or terminated, meaning they can’t practice.
- They could receive written cautions or orders from the TPB;
- undertaking further education,
- working under the supervision of another registered tax practitioner.
- The Federal Court may impose fines.
What makes a GREAT BAS Agent?
Professional BAS agents keep up to date with ongoing education and industry developments. They use best practices in all aspects of their work and take the time to really understand your organisation. A great BAS Agent has the skills and training to assist and advise your business about the latest compliance requirements, software advances and technology opportunities. They will work proactively to support your business by ensuring your accounts’ integrity and providing accurate financial reports. They will be able to discuss your business’s financial health, assess your operations and systems, and give you valuable advice.
If you think it’s time to engage a professional BAS agent, get in touch with Numble and let’s talk about how our registered BAS Agents can benefit your business and save you time and money.