• Advice or help setting up record keeping systems

    Getting early advice or direct assistance with your record keeping systems and tasks could save you valuable time and money.

    You can either look after your own record keeping or pay a bookkeeper, registered BAS agent or registered tax agent to do all, or part of this work. This decision will affect how you set up your systems.

    Some common business activities you may be required to perform are:

    • issuing invoices and paying your own bills
    • making wages and superannuation payments
    • preparing  
      • cash books (paper or electronic)
      • activity statements
      • tax returns
      • financial accounts, for example profit and loss statements and balance sheets.

    If you decide to use professional help, ask what record keeping system is best for you, and what business activities they can perform and will charge for.

    Bookkeepers and registered agents

    Professionals who specialise in helping small businesses – such as bookkeepers, BAS agents and tax agents – can give you advice.

    However bookkeepers can't charge you to prepare and lodge activity statements or tax returns unless they are also registered as BAS agents or tax agents with the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB). If your bookkeeper is your paid employee, they may do this work for you without being registered.

    Only registered agents are entitled to charge you a fee for preparing activity statements.

    Make sure you ask the agent about their fees and their expertise with the type of service you need, before you decide who to use. The Tax Practitioners Board can assist you to find a registered agent and provide you with information on the regulations agents must follow to ensure they act in a professional manner.

    Next step:

    We can help you

    You can also get help with your record keeping from us, free of charge. We:

    • run small business webinars, seminars and workshops that cover a range of topics, including GST, PAYG, activity statements and record keeping
    • can direct you to information on ato.gov.au that will help you set up and run your invoicing and records systems
    • can provide tailored assistance through our Small business personalised assistance program.

    Our emphasis is on improving record keeping practices through help and education.

    Find out about:

    Other support available

    Other service providers can also assist you. Some of these services are free but others are not. For example, you can get help from state or local government business development offices, community small business advisory services and business incubators such as business enterprise centres.

    A whole-of-government service, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science offers simple and convenient access to information, transactions and services for planning, starting and running your business.

    See also:

    Last modified: 02 Jun 2017QC 42985