Navigating the financial aspects of a business can be complex, especially when it comes to understanding the roles of an accountant, bookkeeper, and BAS agent. Each plays a unique part in managing your business’s finances, but knowing when and why to choose each one is key to your success. Let’s break down their roles and help you determine which one aligns best with your business needs.

What Does an Accountant Do?

Accountants play a broader role in financial management. They’re essential for strategic decision-making and often handle complex financial tasks like audits and tax planning. They’re like the financial coaches of your business, helping with:

  • Financial statement preparation and analysis.
  • Tax planning and compliance.
  • Business strategy and financial advice
  • Budgeting and forecasting

What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

Bookkeepers are the meticulous record-keepers of your business’s financial transactions. Their role is vital for day-to-day financial management and provides the foundational data that accountants use for more complex financial tasks. The scope of a bookkeeper’s work can vary depending on their qualifications:

  • Non-Registered Bookkeepers
    Focus primarily on managing bank feeds, reconciliations, handling accounts receivable and payable, and preparing basic financial reports. They also ensure your financial data is accurate and organised.

    However, their capabilities are limited as they cannot undertake tasks like payroll processing, superannuation calculations, or lodging BAS and IAS statements, as these require specific qualifications and registrations.

  • Registered BAS Agent Bookkeepers
    In addition to the above, these bookkeepers can manage more complex tasks such as payroll processing, superannuation calculations, detailed financial reporting, and lodging BAS and IAS statements. Their registration allows them to undertake a broader range of activities, offering more comprehensive financial management services.

What Does a BAS Agent Do?

A BAS (Business Activity Statement) agent is a registered professional with specialised qualifications and legal authorisation to manage specific tax-related services for businesses. Their role is crucial for ensuring compliance with the ATO’s regulations. The tasks they are authorised to perform include:

  • Lodging and Preparing BAS and IAS: They are responsible for preparing and lodging Business Activity Statements (BAS) and Instalment Activity Statements (IAS), which involve reporting on GST, PAYG instalments, PAYG withholding tax, and other taxes.
  • Providing GST and PAYG Advice: BAS agents offer expert advice on matters related to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax systems.
  • Handling Superannuation: They can calculate and report superannuation guarantee contributions.
  • Managing Payroll: This includes ensuring compliance with taxation and superannuation laws when processing payments to employees.
  • Representing Clients with the ATO: BAS agents can act on behalf of a business in their dealings with the ATO, including communicating about specific liabilities, obligations, or entitlements.

Which Accounting Help Should I Get?

Choosing between these professionals depends on your business needs:

  • Choose an Accountant when you need strategic financial advice, tax planning, or complex financial reporting.
  • Opt for a Bookkeeper for regular financial record-keeping, payroll management, and ensuring day-to-day transactions are accurately recorded.
  • Engage a BAS Agent for specialised assistance with GST, PAYG, and other tax-related lodgments and advice.

Comparison Table: Registered Bookkeeper/BAS Agent vs Accountant

Aspect Registered Bookkeeper/BAS Agent Accountant
Pricing Affordable price points with regular or monthly packages Generally higher fees, often charged at an hourly rate
Specialisation Focus on GST and PAYGW assistance Specialists in income tax, FBT, CGT, and other complex tax matters
Role in Business Handles day-to-day details and transactions Focused on high-level business strategy and financial planning
Frequency of Updates Updates record daily, weekly, or fortnightly Typically engaged once a year, often around tax time
Data Management Records and organises financial data Interprets financial data and provides strategic insights
Interaction with Other Roles Provides accurate, up-to-date information for accountants Offers guidance to bookkeepers based on business objectives and financial strategies

Accounts All Sorted: Your Financial Management Partner

At Accounts All Sorted, we offer comprehensive bookkeeping services that cater to a wide range of industries. Our services include:

Navigating the financial world of your business doesn’t have to be a solo journey! With the right team in place – be it an accountant, bookkeeper, or BAS agent – you’re setting your business up for clarity, compliance, and success.

Feeling unsure about your financial management? Accounts All Sorted’s team of dedicated certified bookkeepers and BAS agents are ready to support you, ensuring your business’s financial health and compliance are in capable hands. Contact us today to give your business the expertise and support it needs!


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