In the May 2016 federal budget, the Commonwealth government announced that simpler business activity statement (BAS) reporting requirements would be implemented from 1 July 2017.
In an ATO live webcast earlier this month, Direct Management founder Diane Lucas said the main benefit of the simpler BAS would be for business owners doing their own BAS reporting.
“I think there’s a lot of businesses out there that are getting the current BAS forms wrong because of the extra boxes that are there and their coding is confusing,” she said.
“So for a business owner who is currently doing their own BAS lodgements, it's going to be a much simpler version of basically three boxes instead of six or seven, so I think that’s a positive.”
However, Ms Lucas said that she doesn’t anticipate the new BAS requirements to change bookkeepers’ role or workload at all.
“From a bookkeeper’s perspective, when we’re working with businesses and where we’re doing preparation and reviews and lodgements for those businesses, as a BAS agent I don't see that changing at all,” Ms Lucas said.
“We still have to do the background reviews and our discussions with the business owner and those sorts of things. It’s just that the boxes have changed and been consolidated, so the actual reporting behind that, the bookkeepers effort hasn't changed or won't be changing.”
Ms Lucas emphasised that bookkeepers have no grounds to be worried that the simpler BAS will impact their value to clients.
“If bookkeepers are concerned that they’re going to be put out of a job, I think those fears are a little bit unfounded and it really comes across to as a bookkeeper being able to express the value-add that you provide to that business owner,” she said.
“I don’t see our current position changing at all in regards to the simpler BAS.”