Speaking to The Bookkeeper, ANISE Consulting director, Heather Smith, said that while there always has been pressure to meet the 14 July PAYG withholding payment summaries, the influx of clients from online accounting solutions and demand from accountants wanting to promote their firm's ability to process tax returns from 1 July has heaped unfair pressure on bookkeepers.
“The pressure has always been there but it’s been compounded by online software which means BAS agents have a lot more clients these days and compounded by the tax practitioner suggesting that they want the accounts finalised by day one or day two,” said Ms Smith.
“Because many of the bookkeepers have moved to online accounting solutions now, their client base is a lot bigger than it ever was in the past so they have a lot more clients to deal with and they have to process all of those payment summaries.
“Technically it is possible but we need to work as a team and we need to be communicating to each other. If the tax accountant or the accountant in practice wants that to happen, it needs to be communicated months in advance so all of the preparation can lead up to that point,” she added.
“It’s not fair for BAS agents to receive a message on 27 June to say we want everything done by a particular date because BAS agents have dates scheduled in months in advance to go from clients to clients, whether it be online or in-person.”
Further, Ms Smith believes the deadline should be extended to 21 July, easing the pressure for BAS agents, and will continue to lobby for an extension.
“It’s just an arbitrary date; it’s a made-up date by the government,” said Ms Smith.
“I think that date should be moved back to 21 July, they should be given three weeks to do and we’ve been sending messaging to the ATO, TPB on moving that date that would make that period a lot easier to deal with.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.