When searching for someone to manage the bookkeeping requirements of your company, you may find that you are unsure whether you require the services of a bookkeeper, a BAS agent, or both. You might think that the jobs of a bookkeeper and a BAS agent are similar, but there are big differences between the two.

You can learn the differences between the responsibilities of a bookkeeper and those of a BAS agent by reading this post, where we answer questions such as:

  • Is it possible for a bookkeeper to finish and carry out BAS services?
  • What are the duties associated with working as a bookkeeper?
  • What are some of the duties that come with being a BAS agent?


Is it possible for a bookkeeper to finish and carry out BAS services?

There are bookkeepers whose sole responsibility is bookkeeping, and there are bookkeepers who are also BAS agents, which means that they are responsible for both bookkeeping and BAS work. It is necessary for a bookkeeper to be a registered BAS agent in order for them to be able to offer BAS services. Unless they are an employee of the company, the only people who have the authority to interact with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on behalf of a business are registered BAS agents.

To find out if a BAS agent is registered, you can look for the registered practitioner symbol or enter the BAS agent’s information into the register kept by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

What are a bookkeeper’s responsibilities?

The tasks that go along with bookkeeping can change depending on the type of business and how many people work there. The role of a bookkeeper can also change depending on whether they are in charge of managing all of the bookkeeping responsibilities or are providing assistance in certain areas.

A bookkeeper’s responsibilities may include the following:

  • Document all of your financial dealings.
  • Reconciliations with the bank
  • Manage bank statements
  • Perform operations on the accounts receivable.
  • Perform tasks related to accounts payable
  • Prepare financial reports
  • Collaborate with the company’s tax agent or accountant to ensure that the company is in compliance with tax regulations.
  • Collaborate with the proprietor of the business or with the management team of the business on certain payroll and human resource functions.

What are some of the duties that come with being a BAS agent?

In the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA), the definition of BAS service is as follows:

Ascertaining or advising about the liabilities, obligations, or entitlements of a client under a BAS provision; or representing a client in their dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to a BAS provision; and where it is reasonable to expect a client will rely on the service to satisfy liabilities or obligations or to claim entitlements under a BAS provision. determining or advising about the liabilities, obligations, or entitlements of a client under a BAS provision.

The code of professional conduct for tax agents is something that a registered BAS Agent is required to abide by. The Code organises its guiding principles into five distinct categories, which are as follows: honesty and integrity; independence; confidentiality; and competence. In addition to that, they are required to participate in programmes of continuing professional education throughout the course of each year.

Services provided by BAS may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • ABN, TFN Registration of the business name, as well as GST and PAYG registration
  • The installation and instruction of software
  • processing of payroll using a single touch (also known as STP).
  • STP Superannuation end-of-year reporting requirements
  • Taxable payments report given annually
  • The preparation and submission of BAS/IAS returns on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • Budgeting that is difficult to understand
  • Reporting, including reviews at the end of each quarter and the year
  • Assistance in dealings with the Commissioner of Taxation as your representative

Note that a BAS Agent is capable of performing all of the duties and responsibilities of a bookkeeper in addition to a wide variety of other functions and that they typically have an advanced level of knowledge and experience in bookkeeping.

If you are the owner of a company and you want a contract bookkeeper to complete and undertake BAS services, it is your responsibility as the owner of the company to engage a registered BAS Agent.

Please visit the TPB website and search the register if you are unsure as to whether or not your bookkeeper is registered with the board.