What must you do to become a BAS agent?
PRIOR TO 2010 almost anyone could perform work as a bookkeeper. All they needed was some basic accounting knowledge and to know how to use accounting software like MYOB. Now, however, the bookkeeping industry is regulated by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).
The TPB has created a minimum set of requirements that bookkeepers MUST adhere to, and be registered for, if they are ultimately paid or rewarded for any work relating to lodging financials that include GST, BAS and Payroll information and calculations.
The minimum training requirements for bookkeepers is a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and even accountants with a degree in accounting are required to go through the GST and Payroll components of this course if they are to perform BAS services.
As part of the registration process, bookkeepers who want to earn a fee for performing BAS services also need to obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance and maintain a program of continuing education for professional development.
The requirements for registration as a BAS agent
What follows are the steps to be taken for registration (as stated on the TPB website):
Personal requirements to become a registered BAS agent
- You must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to apply.
- You must be a fit and proper person.
Educational requirements to become a registered BAS agent
- You must satisfy the qualification and experience requirements.
Professional Indemnity Insurance for a registered BAS agent
To operate as a registered BAS agent you must maintain, or will be able to maintain, professional indemnity insurance cover that meets the requirements of the TPB.
Some industry associations work with insurance companies and agents to try and negotiate a good deal for their members. They use that price as one of the benefits of joining their association; however, with the growth of insurance comparison websites and discount insurers many registered BAS agents source their own insurance individually and often for just as good a price.
Lodge an online application with supporting documents
Once you have all the required elements of the Tax Practitioners Board you can simply lodge online for a very small fee.
Joining an industry organisation like the AAT, ABN or ICB is optional
One of the main visible benefits of joining a bookkeeping association is that it reduces the number of relevant hours you need to work from 1400 to 1000 over a 4-year period. That equates to just under 2 hours per week over a 4-week period. Another perceived benefit of joining an industry association is that they offer courses and other activities which can help you maintain your Continuing Professional Education and Development (CPD) — but you normally need to pay extra for these so it’s often good to shop around and make sure you’re paying a competitive price for this.
Annual Declaration for Registered BAS Agent Renewal
As a registered BAS agent you need to completed at least 45 hours of CPD within every 3-year term with a minimum of 5 hours per year. You are also required to complete an annual declaration to the TPB. Here are some other useful services provided directly by the TPB for registered BAS agents:
I found the EzyLearn Xero course great — a comprehensive step-by-step learning tool to add to my resume and a new tool to use in my Bookkeeping Practice.”
— Patricia Darby
High Quality Bookkeeping