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.