Whilst there has been much talk about an increase in the casualisation of the Australian Workforce the actual rate of casual employment has remained steady at 24%-25%, according to data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics.READ MORE
As per other articles on our website the advent of the GST Act in 2000 exponentially changed the role of the bookkeeper from basic data input for accounts payable and receivable and basic payroll to a much more complex one.READ MORE
The introduction of the SGC required employers to pay to employees selected superannuation fund an amount equal to 3% of assessable wages.READ MORE
The implementation of the GST in Australia in 2000 created a new and important environment for the bookkeeping industry.READ MORE
The GST Act requires accurate record-keeping in order to lodge regular BAS with the ATO.
The role of the bookkeeper is therefore important in maintaining and recording all transactions that impact the BAS.
Bookkeepers must keep a business advised of the following:
- Advising the business of any liabilities, obligations or entitlements of the business that may arise under a BAS provision.
- Deal with the ATO in regards to any issues arising from BAS preparation
- Prepare and lodge the BAS either in paper form or via the ATO portal
- Advise the business of the liability that will arise subsequent to the preparation of the BAS and the due date for payment
The bookkeeper must also be aware of the BAS provisions which include the following:
- Fringe benefits tax
- PAYG withholding
- Pay as you go (PAYGI) instalments
- Luxury car tax
- Fuel tax
- Wine equalisation tax
In order to comply with much of the above record keeping becomes an integral part of the BAS process. In the event that the regulator, the ATO, conducts an audit all BAS or GST transactions must be supported by correct and accurate source documentation.
In summary, the following source documentation must be kept for a period of five years:
- Sales invoices
- Cash register tapes
- Tax invoices received from suppliers
- Payroll records
The ATO allows for records to be kept in electronic form and consistent with this requirement most accounting software allows for the attachment of pdf copies of appropriate documents to be attached to the electronic transaction removing the need to retain hard copy records.
As can be seen from the above the duties of the bookkeeper have changed significantly since the introduction of the GST and are much more onerous than previously. In order to comply with all the issues surrounding BAS the bookkeeper, whether internal or external, should have a Certificate 1V qualification and if external should be a registered BAS agent through the Tax Practitioners Board.
The IAS formed part of the GST legislation in 2000 and dependent on the size of an entities payroll is required to be lodged with the ATO quarterly as part of the BAS or monthly.
The IAS report states your total wages for the specified period and the amount of pay as you go tax withheld from your employees’ wages. This is the amount remitted to the ATO on lodging of the IAS.
The regulations surrounding the lodging of the IAS have tightened with the introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) by the ATO. This requires all employers to report their payroll details to the ATO every time the employees are paid. This is done via the entities accounting software and contains a significant amount of data.
The principal reason for the introduction of STP was to better monitor the payment of Superannuation Guarantee Charges (SGC).
The role of the bookkeeper has, therefore, become more critical in that in order to ensure the accuracy of the reporting and payment of the IAS care must be taken to ensure that employees are being correctly paid. At the time of writing there has been a significant number of Australian employers underpaying their staff. This obviously impacts the amounts of PAYG and SCG collected.
The bookkeeper must check that the correct awards(s) are being used together with also ensuring that the right levels and other entitlements are being applied. With some 122 modern awards governing the industrial framework in Australia the task of the bookkeeper in ensuring compliance with these awards is an onerous one.
This role is further complicated given that there can be a wide degree of interpretation as to what award to apply and also what level an employee must be on. For instance, in the hospitality industry, an employee engaged to pick up glasses, plates etc would be employed as a level 1 however if the employee also delivers food to the customers then they become a level 2. It can, therefore, be easy to use an incorrect category if the bookkeeper is not familiar with the award structure.
In addition, in WA we still have a number of state awards that differ from the national awards. The bookkeeper must then also ensure that the correct award, state or federal is applied to the workplace. Once again an example in WA in the hospitality industry is where a business is a partnership between two individuals then the state award would apply. Where the same business is an incorporated entity then the federal award will apply.
In conclusion you can see that the IAS is not simply about lodging the report but is much more inclusive than that as it requires adherence to awards and SGC to ensure that employees are being paid correctly and that the correct amounts are being duly reported and paid.