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Bookkeeping For Dummies, Australian and New Zealand Edition by Lynley Averis, Veechi Curtis

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Chapter 21

Ten Words of Advice for Contract Bookkeepers

In This Chapter

Find out whether you need to register as a BAS agent

Upgrade your skills (and why not charge more while you’re at it?)

Cover your back with indemnity insurance

Get acquainted with the bookkeeper’s code of conduct

Go to the grave with your client’s secrets intact

Do you work in Australia? If you have your own bookkeeping business, or you’re thinking about starting your own bookkeeping business, you must first make sure you have all the necessary bits of paper. (In contrast, the Kiwis are all very casual, and you can do most stuff quite happily without interference from any government body.)

The new BAS agent laws came into effect on 1 March 2010, along with the introduction of a national Tax Practitioners Board ( TPB). Only bookkeepers who register with the board — and have the qualifications to do so — are able to provide ‘BAS services’ for their clients. The definition of BAS services is very broad, and includes relatively mundane activities such as selecting default tax codes for accounts and generating employee payment summaries.

In this chapter, I provide a rundown of the legal framework for bookkeepers in Australia and New Zealand, so you can be confident that you’re operating within the law. I also touch on issues that all contract bookkeepers need to consider, such as codes of conduct, professional indemnity insurance and client confidentiality.

Figure Out Whether You Have to Register

So, do you need ...

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