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Steps to Become a Bookkeeper and BAS Agent

BOOKKEEPERS PROVIDE ESSENTIAL services to businesses by processing and recording everyday financial transactions, and keeping accurate records.

They usually work in small to medium-sized businesses, where the scope of their role and responsibilities will vary based on the size of the business.

Many bookkeepers are also required to prepare and lodge business activity statements (BAS). To provide BAS services for a fee, bookkeepers must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB).

In Australia, the vast number of small businesses that each need to file regular activity statements, make TPB-registered bookkeepers highly sought after.

The daily tasks of a bookkeeper

The day-to-day tasks of a bookkeeper include:

  • Recording the financial transactions of a business in bookkeeping software, such as MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks
  • Reconciling bank accounts
  • Preparing and sending invoices and receipts to debtors
  • Processing payroll and maintaining employee records
  • Reporting for preparation of business activity statements (BAS)
  • Checking figures and reporting for accuracy
  • Producing balance sheets, income statements and other financial documents.

Bookkeepers may be employed by businesses or be self-employed and provide bookkeeping services on a contract basis.

The skills of a bookkeeper

Having a good head for numbers is a critical skill for anyone wishing to become a bookkeeper, as is the ability to work with data. Also:

  • The ability to multitask and meet deadlines
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Numerical accuracy
  • Good computer skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work autonomously and as part of a team

The qualifications of a bookkeeper

Bookkeepers who are only providing basic data entry and account management services to clients, need only have a good understanding of most accounting software and bookkeeping processes.

Bookkeepers who wish to provide BAS services to clients for a fee require formal qualifications before they can register with the TPB.

For BAS agents the qualifications required include:

For data entry bookkeepers, the qualifications include:

Career pathways

Working as a bookkeeper, either in a company or at an accounting / bookkeeping firm, is a good way for prospective BAS agents to gain the supervision and work experience necessary to register with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPD).

BAS agents may wish to train further as an accountant or finance manager by adding to their Certificate IV in Accounting taking with a Diploma in Accounting. Accountants and finance managers have more responsibilities and greater earning potential.

 

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