In Australia you don’t actually have to have a formal qualification to call yourself a bookkeeper however you do have to have a qualification and be registered with the Tax Practitioner Board to work as BAS agent.  Since 2010 a change in legislation meant that if a bookkeeper is dealing with BAS-related items they MUST be a registered BAS agent, “BAS-related” items include coding/reconciling data in data files such as Xero, MYOB, QBO etc.  To become a registered BAS agent a bookkeeper must have a minimum Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Finance as well as at least 1200 hours of experience working under the direction of another BAS or Tax Agent. 

A bookkeeper can perform a variety of tasks that will mean that you get to spend more time working and building your business and enjoying well-earned down-time on weekends rather than spending weekends trying to reconcile the bank account and send invoices or chase debtors.  Tasks bookkeepers can assist with: 

  • Reconciling bank accounts 
  • Managing accounting systems 
  • Invoicing, receipting, making payments 
  • Managing payroll including single touch payroll and superannuation obligations 
  • Preparing and lodging BAS 

What to look for 

  • BAS agent registration and qualification if you are registered for GST and want them to prepare and lodge BAS 
  • Good communication skills – this is important to keep communication open with you and importantly, your accountant 
  • Knowledge of the cloud-based accounting platform that you use 
  • Good organisational skills and efficiency 

A good bookkeeper should be able to help you stay on top of payroll, BAS and payment obligations.  They should also be able to reconcile your bank account/s on a weekly or monthly basis meaning that you can view real time reports so have a clear picture of your financial position.