Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
Level 27, Rialto South Tower
525 Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel - 1300 85 61 81
Fax - 1300 85 73 93
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Completing forms for the client such as Workcover, Payroll Tax etc you should always check that you can legally fill in the form. What can a bookkeeper do? What can a BAS Agent do? What are they not allowed to do? Who says?
It does seem that the definitions and the parameters of “Bookkeeper” & Accountant” differ from region to region and country to country. In an Australian context, unfortunately the terms “Accountant” and “Bookkeeper” are not protected in any sense. If you want to be an “Accountant” just hang up a sign and call yourself one. Same with “Bookkeeper”. The protected terms that we have are “BAS Agent” & “Tax Agent”. We do have to be registered (with specified qualifications and experience) to be a “Tax Agent” or a “BAS Agent”.
A BAS Agent can design the compliance system for a client around GST, the other indirect taxes on the BAS and payroll matters. A BAS Agent can be engaged to review the reports of a business and provide certainty to that business about the obligations, entitlements of that business. Both a Bookkeeper and a BAS Agent can “process” transactions according to the “compliance system” that applies to the business. A “Compliance system” can set up a series of precedents or guidelines for how to process or “code” transactions that come into a business. We do not believe you need to be a BAS Agent to apply a system. We do believe you need to be a BAS Agent to design, advise and review that system.
Not everyone needs to be a BAS Agent, but in Australia's current environment, most bookkeepers are and should be.
Only Tax Agents are allowed to “Advise”, “Ascertain”, “Represent” a client in relation to Tax matters that are under an Act of law that is administered by the commissioner (of Tax). (BAS Agents can do these things for “BAS Provisions” only)
Updated: 12th August, 2013
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