|What is a Bookkeeper?
Bookkeeping is a growing profession - it is demanding, exciting, challenging and above all, rewarding. It is about understanding how a business works and then providing accurate figures that enable the business to know exactly how well it is doing. For men and women of all ages and from all backgrounds it provides outstanding career opportunities.
The basic system of double entry bookkeeping was invented more than five hundred years ago by a Cistercian monk called Luca Pacioli. His system still endures today and is used throughout the world, making bookkeeping a truly international profession. The ICB website will give an understanding of how to train to become a bookkeeper and how to become a member of the Institute. It will also help those who already have a qualification or have been working as a bookkeeper for many years but now want the support of a professional association to enhance career prospects.
A career in bookkeeping
Every business, no matter how large or small, is required by law to 'keep books'. This involves the recording of the financial transactions of a business, whether manually into ledgers or by entering everything onto a computer. So, if you are well organised and methodical, like working through documents and enjoy seeing a set of figures add up properly, bookkeeping could be the career for you.
People of all ages are becoming bookkeepers: Young people fresh from school or college can achieve a professional qualification that opens up a whole new world of business to them or may become the first step to becoming a qualified accountant. More mature people bring years' of experience to their role and are in great demand from businesses who want a safe pair of hands.
As a subcontract bookkeeper you can expect to earn $45.00+ per hour for basic bookkeeping ie: entering payments, invoices etc. If you perform reconciliations, produce reports you can expect up to $60.00 per hour.
What is a bookkeeper?
A bookkeeper is a 'keeper of the books'
ICB Members (Certified Bookkeeper) have proven that they have performed bookkeeping services at a significant level for a period exceeding 2 years and have a proven level of bookkeeping knowledge.
What is a Certified Bookkeeper
What is a BAS Agent?
What is a BAS Service - PDF | Link
What is a BAS Agent allowed to do - Link
What it means to be a BAS Agent - PDF
The term “BAS Agent” typically applies to a business who contracts to a client to provide services to that client to do with their BAS obligations.
The new legislation was implemented with a view to providing business with protection and security. It is about the qualifications, experience, competence, professionalism of us as an external person being relied on to assist you with the obligations of GST, PAYG Withholding (payroll), PAYG Instalment Payments, FBT Payments, WET, Fuel tax & LCT.
Registration of a BAS Agent can be checked at www.tpb.gov.au.
Only registered BAS Agents (and Tax Agents) are permitted to advise or help you “ascertain” (determine, establish, discover, make certain) your liabilities, obligations or entitlements of the areas of the BAS. Only registered Agents (other than the business owner or their employees) are permitted to represent the business in dealing with the ATO.
By being a BAS Agent you must:
- be fit and proper
- have minimum formal qualifications (eg Certificate IV in Bookkeeping)
- continue to have sufficient, ongoing, continual relevant experience
- have an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance
- undergo continuing professional education
- maintain professionalism in accordance with at least the statutory code of conduct
Adherence with the code of conduct reinforces the concepts of:
- Honesty & Integrity
A BAS Agent provides service competently using knowledge and skills to take “reasonable care” to ensure that tax law is applied correctly for the business.
A BAS Agent does not advise nor liaise with the tax office on Income Tax Matters. This is the role of a Registered Tax Agent. Such things as; reportable Fringe Benefits Tax Amounts or Reportable Superannuation Contributions on your end of year Payroll Payment Summaries. Such things as; the Tax deductibility of entertainment or other items, where your ability to claim back GST depends on the tax agents treatment of those items for your tax return.
A BAS Agent is committed to providing expert service and expert advice.
What is a bookkeeper in 2013
There is much debate as to the breadth and depth of what a bookkeeper was and is and should be. There are many claims that due to “the cloud”, bookkeeping is dead and we should all be looking for something else to do.
HOW CAN THAT BE
When you are asked what you do? Typically we answer “A Bookkeeper”. We need to then explain what that means before you are categorised into whatever that person thinks it means: We spend our time working on advising, setting up and managing integrated business systems
Our view of what is happening at the moment is that due to the cloud, due to the advancement of technology:
- the role of a bookkeeper is becoming more obvious
- the competence required to do bookkeeping properly is more evident
- and the essential/compulsory and integral role of a bookkeeper for the success of a business and for a business to meet their compliance obligations, their record keeping requirements is being appreciated and acknowledged by so many more.
The ATO and Treasury and other sectors of government are now first seeing and recognising that bookkeepers are a significant player in assisting business to be well run. Treasury and the SBR project team have caught on that Bookkeepers and BAS Agents are the ones actually preparing and lodging many, many BAS’s.
The better software companies are recognising that, in Australia, it is the Bookkeepers who are working very closely with business, more frequently with business and who are at the forefront of what technology a business implements. It is the bookkeeper who should lead the charge on changes to software to do with accounting/bookkeeping/compliance/record keeping as it is the bookkeeper working with it “more than once a year”!
Technology is bringing us better solutions and better ways to do business. Technology is changing what we do, it is not removing it.
The implementation of GST in 2000 brought bookkeepers to light and significance....someone needed to make sure the business was collecting GST when it should and getting every cent of it back...typically the bookkeeper. Someone needed to work closely with the business to change their business processes and comply with the new requirements, typically the bookkeeper.
In Australia we have two kindred professions: Accountants and Bookkeepers. Their roles overlap and many accountants do Bookkeeping and many bookkeepers do accounting.
(As an aside neither word is protected: anyone can call themselves either an accountant or a bookkeeper)
Bookkeeping duties include:
- Recognising what the business does and making sure the customer gets billed
- Issuing and then recording that invoice
- then making sure the customer pays
Alternatively, how did they record the sale/take that cash for what (Point of sale systems. Registers, the till).
Receiving, banking and recording that money.
What is the business process for making money and how should it be recorded?
Bookkeepers are responsible for:
- Tracking down all the ways the business spends money
- Cash payments – trying to get the documents, working out what it is for, recording it
- Is there an ordering system? Does there need to be one? How to record and reconcile the systems
- Supplier invoices to be received, checked for validity, scheduled/noted for payment
- Paying suppliers and recording the payment
- Paying employees and recording the payment and the payroll obligations
- Meeting all employment on costs and obligations
- What is the business process for spending money and how should it be recorded?
Bookkeeping isn’t just historical processing.
Bookkeeping is “integrated business system management”
Noting that bookkeeping remains subject to what the business requires.
(Adapted from the opening comments by Matthew Addison at ICB conference 2013)