There are over two million small businesses that are actively trading in Australia as of June 2012, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, there are only 52,000 tax professionals in Australia including over 14,000 Business Activity Statements (BAS) agents and other professionals according to the Tax Practitioners’ Board 2012 annual report. The ratio of BAS agents to the number of small businesses is negligible at 0.007. It basically means that the number of BAS agents is not enough to service small businesses with their BAS compliance. The shortage of BAS agents will cause their fees to increase and many small business owners particularly those who are starting out will try not to incur these fees. As more small business owners try to save costs getting a BAS agent is at the bottom of the list. Or worse not on the list at all. This trend impacts the perception on BAS agents by small business owners and the value they provide. This book is an attempt to change that perception by educating and showing that there are many things involved towards preparing and lodging Business Activity Statements (BAS). This book also serves as a guide to those who want to manage the whole process involved in preparing and lodging Business Activity Statements (BAS) to save some BAS agent fees.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are business owners who wait until the last minute to get help. Or even worse some completely ignore anything tax related. Then they receive ATO notices and reminders that they do not attend to. A few weeks later they receive a letter from the ATO advising them of the penalty being charged. All these happened because of neglect. And your accountant cannot remind you all the time. As a business owner you control your business and that includes managing your books and tax deadlines. If you neglect your accounts, you will lose track on how your business is performing. You do not know if you are making money or not until one day you will realise that you cannot pay your suppliers because the sales that are coming in are not enough. You are suddenly on a hot seat and do not know what to do. Then you decide to get help. By then, it would be too late and the suppliers come knocking at your door. It is like driving a car without a thermostat until right in the middle of your journey, you notice some smoke coming out of your bonnet. As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of your business accounts.
How to Do Your Own BAS and Save Thousands in Fees is the first of Accounts Unplugged’s accounting series. Renelo believes in helping people to the best of his abilities by giving you the tools and resources to help you control and manage your own finances by organising your accounts. As the Australian Taxation Office makes it easier for businesses to comply with their BAS obligations, the middlemen—BAS and tax agents—will soon become redundant. Their services will eventually focus on complex tax scenarios and strategies that target specific clientele. Matters on basic BAS and tax compliance for businesses can be handled by contacting the Australian Taxation Office directly rather than by using an agent. As you do your part in maintaining good and accurate records, you will be able to prepare and lodge your own BAS easily. In the process, you save thousands in accounting fees.
About the Author
Renelo Peque is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA). He also holds an information systems degree from the University of Melbourne. He is a Tax Client Manager with ABN Tax which operates across Australia. He has his own practice, Accounts Unplugged, that helps small business owners manage their accounts.