What's the Difference Between Bookkeepers and Registered BAS Agents?

You’ve worked hard to keep your business running and your customers happy. With the end of the fiscal year fast approaching, you need to ensure that all of this customer happiness is translating to a happy balance sheet. If you don’t already have someone handling the financial side of your business, you may not know where to start looking. Do you need bookkeeping services or do you need registered BAS agent services? This choice has the power to impact your business in a positive way. Either could be right for your small business, depending on your needs. In this post, we’ll examine bookkeepers and BAS agents and determine exactly what the difference between the two really is.

Looking for a bookkeeper or registered BAS agent today? Get in touch and we can advise you and get you started. 

Bookkeeping Services

Chances are very good that you’ve used a bookkeeper for your business needs already. If you have put someone else in charge of your accounting, then you’ve employed a bookkeeper. Your everyday bookkeeper will be someone with whom you’ve put your financial trust. They provide the following bookkeeping services:

  • Ensuring that your books are balanced throughout each quarter and at year-end
  • Processing, reconciling and reporting transactions
  • Using accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks to simplify their day to day accounting activities

Whatever software they choose, they become proficient. This proficiency comes in handy when year-end comes around since it’s then that your numbers need to be spot on. If your bookkeeper has been on top of the numbers, your accountant will have less work to do.

BAS Agent Services

Registered BAS Agents are able to handle all of the bookkeeping responsibilities while flying a particularly important flag of differentiation. BAS agents require proper schooling and qualifications in order to use that title. This includes registering with the Tax Practitioners Board. Also, the title of BAS agent is protected. There are guidelines and rules that registered BAS agents need to follow.


There is a big overlap between bookkeeper services and BAS agent services. They typically handle the same kinds of activities. These include:

  • Reporting on the state of your business’ finances
  • Ensuring the books are balanced appropriately
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Helping with the lodgement of BAS and IAS returns
  • Preparing internal reports
  • Accumulating financial information for businesses
  • Interpreting the financial situations of their business and help you, the owner, make business decisions based on their conclusions

Both bookkeepers and BAS agents are essential to a business’s financial health. Their work helps you determine if your business is heading in the right direction or if you should consider changing course.

One similarity between bookkeepers and BAS agents is the amount of schooling required to be a great accountant for a business. Both bookkeepers and registered BAS agents typically require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or need to have obtained or be working toward CA or CPA qualifications. In Australia’s current business climate, having these qualifications is important.


While anyone can call themselves a bookkeeper or an accountant, not everyone can call themselves a registered BAS agent. Bookkeepers handle a few tasks while BAS agents are able to carry a heavier load. BAS agents provide their employer with much more clout when it comes to the ATO than bookkeepers do. Bookkeepers look after the books and that’s pretty much it. They’re also able to do many things related to business finances.

Registered BAS agents, however, are able to represent, advise, or assist their employer with certain matters – things bookkeepers are not allowed to do. These include GST, wine taxes, fuel taxes, luxury car taxes, FBT payments, all aspects of payroll relating to withholding tax amounts and reporting those amounts to the Tax Office, any other PAYG withholding amounts, and all aspects of income tax payments via PAYG instalments. If your business requires representation from the Tax Office on these matters, you will need a BAS agent. Bookkeepers simply won’t do.

Your business needs efficient accounting and representation. While there are some similarities between bookkeepers and BAS agents, the differences between the two make it obvious that investing in a BAS agent is a good call. Registered BAS agents tend to cost a little more, but they are worth it in the long run for sure.

If you are in need of information on registered BAS agents – or are in need of quality accounting from one – then don’t hesitate to contact Darcy Bookkeeping. We’d be happy to provide you with our quality registered BAS agent services or help you with any and all of your accounting needs.

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