Bookkeeping Contract - PDF by mie20532

VIEWS: 396 PAGES: 5

More Info
									                                 Bookkeeping
                                 Institute of Australia
                     Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty. limited
6/1407 Logan Road • Mt. Gravatt Central • QLD 4122 • Phone: (07) 3343 1500 • Fax: (07) 3343 1511
  Mobile: 0418 211 108 • ABN 24 098 593 554 • www.biau.com.au • e-mail: dennis@.biau.com.au




       The General Manager
       Business Tax Division
       The Treasury
       Langton Crescent
       PARKES ACT 2600
       Email: taxagentservices@treasury.gov.au

                                                                Tuesday, 24th March 2009


       Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate Transition into the New Tax Agent
       Services Regime


       Dear Sir,
       The Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd (BIA) welcomes the opportunity
       to submit feedback to Treasury on the Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate
       Transition into the New Tax Agent Services Regime and related legislation.


       Background
       We commenced operations in 2001 as Bookkeeping Consultants Pty Ltd, a
       contract bookkeeping firm, and started our training division in 2003 as the
       Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd. We are a ‘fee-for-service’
       Registered Training Organisation (RTO) #32190.
       We have always focused 100% on teaching bookkeeping (including MYOB,
       QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel) and assisting would-be-bookkeepers to start
       their own bookkeeping businesses.
       In the first half of 2006, along with the Australian Association of Professional
       Bookkeepers Limited (AAPB), and others, we assisted Innovation and Business
       Skills Australia (IBSA) to develop the FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial
       Services (Bookkeeping) qualification.
       As a consequence we were the first RTO in Australia to write, develop and
       deliver a course that mapped to the criteria required to achieve
       competency in this qualification. We have been delivering the qualification
       since July/August 2007 when it was first endorsed.
BIA submission to Treasury on the Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate
Transition into the New Tax Agent Services Regime and related legislation


BIA now has close to 300 enrolled students, and 35 graduates, in our
FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) course and after
almost two years of delivery a unique understanding of the qualification and
the motives of the students taking the course.
In addition to delivering both classroom and distance training from Brisbane
our bookkeeping courses, including the FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial
Services (Bookkeeping) qualification, are also delivered by 12 independent
training “RTO partners” in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney Gold Coast and
Cairns. Each of these training centres is owned and managed by
experienced bookkeepers who are also MYOB Certified Consultants and hold
Certificate IV qualifications in Training & Assessment as well as Bookkeeping.
We consider ourselves to be part of the bookkeeping industry and we
maintain close relationships with the two leading bookkeeper associations —
Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) and the Institute of Certified
Bookkeepers (ICB).
As an indication of our unique position in the industry, on 19th March 2009, the
Australian Tax Office (ATO) asked our CEO, Dennis Turner, to join the
Bookkeeper Advisory Group (BAG) as a member representing a provider of
“bookkeeping educational services.”


Submission
Overall we welcome the introduction of this legislation, which is long
overdue, and its attempt to bring some order to a large number of very
confused and at times bewildered bookkeepers.
Our submission will be brief and will specifically cover the appropriate
qualification for a bookkeeper, the transitional examples given in the EM and
transitional timeframe.


What is an appropriate qualification for a BAS Agent?
We are concerned that the FNS40604: Certificate IV in Financial Services
(Accounting) is considered to be an acceptable qualification for a BAS
Agent.
This qualification is aimed at people who want to make a career in
mainstream accounting – e.g. accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc.
At its core the FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping)
qualification requires graduates to be competent in the following subjects:
   1. FNSBKPG401A Develop and implement policies and practices relevant
      to bookkeeping activities
   2. FNSBKPG402A Establish and maintain a Cash Accounting System
   3. FNSBKPG403A Establish and maintain an Accrual Accounting System


                                                                               2|Page
BIA submission to Treasury on the Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate
Transition into the New Tax Agent Services Regime and related legislation


     4. FNSBKPG404A Carry out Business Activity and Instalment Activity
        Statement tasks
     5. FNSACCT406B Maintain asset and inventory records
     6. FNSACCT405B Prepare financial statements
     7. FNSBKPG405A Establish and maintain a payroll system
The FNS40604: Certificate IV in Financial Services (Accounting) does not
require the graduate to be competent in Bookkeeping policies &
procedures, cash accounting, BAS & IAS tasks and payroll.
We appreciate that there is a clause in the exposure draft that allows for a
course in “basic GST/BAS principles”. However this would appear to be a
band-aid to the inadequate FNS40604: Certificate IV in Financial Services
(Accounting) and we do not feel that this it is sufficiently precise.
At the very least the GST/BAS unit included in the FNS40207: Certificate IV in
Financial Services (Bookkeeping) qualification (FNSBKPG404A: Carry out
Business Activity and Instalment Activity Statement tasks) should be named
as the required course.
However inclusion of this unit does not address the need for BAS Agents to be
trained in Bookkeeping policies & procedures, cash accounting and payroll,
which are not included in the FNS40604: Certificate IV in Financial Services
(Accounting) qualification.
We do not have the same level of concern with regard to the Diploma of
Accounting and Advanced Diploma of Accounting as these qualifications
include payroll and general bookkeeping tasks. However like the FNS40604:
Certificate IV in Financial Services (Accounting) qualification they do not
include the FNSBKPG404A: Carry out Business Activity and Instalment Activity
Statement tasks unit.


Transitional Example 3.4 of the EM which reads:
Alli completes calculations for her clients regarding the goods and services tax credits they can claim on the
purchases they have made. She does not, however, prepare and lodge the BASs for her clients. Preparing and
lodging BASs falls within the scope of ‘BAS services’ defined in subsection 251L(7) of the current law. The services
provided by Alli are not BAS services within that definition.
Although the provision of Alli’s services is not regulated by the current law, Alli will be required to register under the
main Bill in order to continue to provide her services for a fee. This is because she is providing a BAS service within
the meaning of section 90-10 of the main Bill, namely services that relate to ascertaining clients’ entitlements arising
under a BAS provision.
If Alli notifies the Board in writing, within the six-month period after commencement, that she was unregistered but
legally providing services that are now captured by the definition of BAS service in the main Bill, she will be taken to
be a registered BAS agent for a two-year period commencing from commencement.
Is it your intention to make this a “get out of jail – free” card? The majority of
current bookkeepers would see themselves falling under this example. They
do not lodge BAS returns themselves (they get their clients to do that) and
they use ATO’s “Norm & Barry” examples of s251L exceptions to use

                                                                                                                         3|Page
BIA submission to Treasury on the Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate
Transition into the New Tax Agent Services Regime and related legislation


commercial software packages to produce the BAS return for the client to
lodge.
Why would you want to allow bookkeepers who are currently working on the
fringe of the current law (and may well be in breach of the spirit of s251L) to
become legal under the new law without even requiring a bookkeeper
qualification or evidence of BAS experience?
Although we are aware that a few contract bookkeepers – almost exclusively
in the employ of bookkeeping firms – only perform data capture (as in this
example 3.4) they amount to only a handful of the contract bookkeeping
industry. The reason that there is such a thriving bookkeeping industry is
because bookkeepers “do BAS’s” for a cheaper hourly rate than the clients
Accountants charge. Prior to 2000 bookkeepers were rarely seen and never
heard. GST and the BAS return changed all that and created the
bookkeeping industry that we have today.
The downside of that expansion is that there are thousands of unqualified
bookkeepers giving GST and BAS advice without qualification, direction or
control.
It is our opinion that only bookkeepers who are able to lodge BAS returns
legally under the “current” law – because they are working under the
direction of a tax agent or are a member of an RPA – should be allowed to
transition into the new law (and legally lodge BAS returns) on
commencement date.
All other bookkeepers should be required to obtain a FNS40207: Certificate IV
in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) qualification first to show their
competency and then to perform 1400 hours of BAS related experience
working for a registered BAS or Tax Agent.


Transitional Example 3.7 of the EM which reads:
On commencement, Tony is taken to be a registered BAS agent under the main Bill for a period of two years. Before
the end of the two-year period after commencement, Tony applies to the Board for registration as a registered BAS
agent, although he does not meet the educational qualifications and relevant experience requirements for
registration.
Despite not meeting the education qualifications and relevant experience requirements for registration, Tony will be
eligible for registration if the Board is satisfied that he has been providing BAS services competently for a reasonable
period. If the Board is satisfied that Tony has been providing services competently for a reasonable period, Tony will
be registered as a BAS agent under the main Bill for a minimum of three years.
In this situation, Tony will have at least five years from commencement to transition into the main Bill and obtain the
educational qualifications and relevant experience requirements.
We are very concerned about the extension of the transitional arrangements
from 2 to 5 years despite the BAS Agent “not meeting the education
qualifications and relevant experience requirements for registration.” If the
person is considered competent to do BAS work for 5 years – why have an
educational requirement at all?



                                                                                                                       4|Page
BIA submission to Treasury on the Exposure Draft Legislation to Facilitate
Transition into the New Tax Agent Services Regime and related legislation


Giving bookkeepers a 2 year period in which to become qualified by way of
the FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping) is
understandable, but what is the point of this extension to 5 years?
It is our opinion that the transitional arrangements should be limited to a
maximum of 2 years.


In summary BIA is of the opinion that:
    1. By the end of a 2 year transitional period all BAS Agents should be
       required to have obtained the FNS40207: Certificate IV in Financial
       Services (Bookkeeping) or higher and that the Certificate IV in
       Financial Services (Accounting) should not be considered to be an
       acceptable qualification.
    2. If the qualification obtained is not the FNS40207: Certificate IV in
       Financial Services (Bookkeeping) then it should be a specific
       requirement that they also hold a Statement of Attainment for
       FNSBKPG404A Carry out Business Activity and Instalment Activity
       Statement tasks.
    3. Only bookkeepers who are legally lodging BAS returns under the
       current law should be able to transition into the new law.
    4. The transitional arrangements should be limited to a maximum of 2
       years.


Yours faithfully,
BOOKKEEPING INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA PTY LTD




Dennis N. Turner
B.Com (Accounting), MNIA, FICB, MNZCS, AMNZIM, Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training,
MYOB Certified Consultant, MYOB Accredited Trainer, Quicken Professional Partner,
Member - ATO Bookkeeper Advisory Group, Member - Australian Bookkeepers Network
PRINCIPAL & CEO




                                                                                                    5|Page

								
To top