Anyone who has a bookkeeping business or is thinking about starting their own bookkeeping business in Australia needs to be aware of the changes to legislation to have registered BAS Agents who are then eligible to provide Business Activity Statement (BAS) services for a fee. The legislation is in the final stages and once it has been passed it will mean any bookkeeper wanting to provide BAS services for a fee, must be registered as a BAS agent or working under the supervision of a tax or BAS agent. This is causing some concern for bookkeepers who want to include BAS services as part of their standard bookkeeping services as most small business owners expect the bookkeeper to do all BAS related functions.
To comply with the legislation changes and become a registered BAS agent, a bookkeeper who has 1400 hours experience and a minimum qualification of a certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or a certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping) can apply for registration.
For a bookkeeper in public practice, this is not a very high level of experience required to become registered. I also feel the added requirements of registration will improve the industry and make it more regulated to ensure a more professional standard of service to clients.
If you are a bookkeeper who does not meet the education requirements, do not be worried. There are other avenues for you to consider enabling your BAS agent registration. If you have your own bookkeeping business and do not have the minimum education qualification, there is a service provided by educational institutions and also the National Institute of Accountants which may be of use to you.
Recognition of prior Learning (RPL) is the process where by you submit examples of you work to meet the specific outcomes of a course. If you can prove with the examples that you have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter and meet the course outcomes, you can be awarded the qualification.
The RPL process means many bookkeepers in public practice with BAS and bookkeeping experience can apply for recognition of prior learning for the entire Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or (Bookkeeping). If you can meet the course requirements you can gain the qualification without needing to undertake any study.
If you have your own bookkeeping business and do not have the relevant qualifications, utilizing this process can give you the qualification you need to become a registered BAS agent, which will ultimately assist you in running and growing your bookkeeping business.