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Simpler BAS and implications on businesses

Business Activity Statements (BAS) reporting has often been a time consuming and complex process for many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since goods and service tax (GST) was introduced in 2010. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is introducing Simpler BAS for SMEs to reduce the reporting burden. If your annual turnover is less than $10 million, you will report GST on Simpler BAS (unless you report GST by installment).

SMEs who use Simpler BAS will be required to report for the following fields only;

  1. G1 Total sales
  2. 1A GST on sales
  3. 1B GST on purchases

In other words, SMEs are no longer required to report the following fields;

  1. G2 Export sales
  2. G3 GST free sales
  3. G10 Capital purchases
  4. G11 Non-capital purchases

This means that businesses will need only three GST codes instead of seven when reporting BAS. This will not only save time for business owner, accountant & bookkeeper but also reduce room for error….less is more!

However, please be aware that Simpler BAS only affects the GST field, that is, other BAS fields such as PAYG instalment, PAYG withholding and luxury car tax remain unchanged.  Also this does not change the frequency of BAS submissions.

Although this change will reduce the time to complete the BAS and simplifies recording GST information, the change will not significantly change the amount of work performed to get all GST number right! Please do not sacrifice the time that you spend on GST reconciliations as it mean creating more room for mistake. GST still has to be recorded in the correct manner as the underlying GST law has not changed, at Tailored Accounts, we are actually spending the time saving on report to build more layer of GST reconciliation to ensure that our quality assurance is maintained.

While the change is likely to only provide a small reduction in the reporting burden, this certainly has some effects on the setup & function of your accounting department. Not all the accounting software fully supports this change or will require some adjustments or variations. If you need any support in regards to Simpler BAS, please contact Tailored Accounts.

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End of Financial Year Note

Most business owners do not know that the SME sector in Australia has wasted millions of dollars due to inefficient cost, most of which can be attributed to the complex bookkeeping process. As the financial year is coming to an end, here is a guide to help business owners save the unnecessary cost and improve the company performance in a period when financial management is very much needed.

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To improve the existing financial management process, you will first have to evaluate the system. Take a minute and think about how you control your financial process right now. Most SMEs have the same mistakes listed below:

  • They fail to realise how important financial management is. Businesses with poor financial management tend to suffer from poor cash flow and profit margins, ineffective debtor control, and an inability to meet their business’ commitments;

  • They are unaware of alternative solutions such as hiring an accountant or implementing an accounting system. If crunching the numbers is not your strength, either hire or outsource to an accountant or bookkeeper who will deliver regular and reliable information and advice that you can use to manage your financial position;

  • While many businesses are in the field of IT, it is surprising how backward their accounting systems are. Stacks of receipts, manual ledger books, simple Excel sheets, messy financial transactions and reports, and overdue BAS and tax returns are common among start-ups with bad financial management;

  • Businesses owners tend to focus on their products, ideas, and clients, often neglecting the fundamentals of their business. I have never seen a successful business that does not have strong financial management.


As a matter of fact, most people fails to realize their mistakes until it’s too late. If you are a small business, it is highly likely that you need to do everything to manage your business, from administration, marketing to bookkeeping. It is seemingly running well and you believe you are able to manage it until the end of financial year approaches. One client shared with us that EOFY used to be her nightmare and she was always lost with massive paperwork. Only until the end of financial year does your disorganized bookkeeping system come back to bite you. To avoid this scenario, though, here is the EOFY to-do list from our executive director.

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