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December News

ICB bookkeepers Network Meeting Report – 2

“Are you a director of a company? Or ever been one?”
You may want to read on:
During the last 5 minutes of their time – our guest speaker Robert Moodie –Insolvency Expert- gave us some information which will be of interest to anybody who is a director or was a director of a business :
A new Income Tax Law has been passed by the Zenith and is at present in front of parliament.  So this will come- it is only a matter of time. AND it will be backdated to 30.6.2011!

In short this new law will make any directors of a company personally liable for any GST/Super debts which are older than 3 months. They will be automatically liable and will receive the letters of demand from the ATO. Now this will happen when the business is going into bankruptcy and the ATO is looking to get their money, not during normal course of business.

However this will have an enormous impact and can lead to personal bankruptcy even to people who have been in the past directors of businesses going into insolvency now. If they have been directors at the time of the GST/Super debt being created, or once these liabilities were in the books- they will be personal liable for such debts, even though they are not any longer a director of the company.

Robert gave us a current example out of his practice where one director had resigned and written over all his shares to the other director as he had wanted to go into insolvency, but the other director wanted to sort it all out and keep going. However the business went now into insolvency. The current debt  had been paid, but not the old debts, result the ATO went after the resigned director and made him personal liable for this debt. This former director faces personal bankruptcy over this now. What a scary thought.

If you need further information relating to this you can call Robert Moodie from Rodgers Reidy.

“Personal Property Securities”

On my last ICB bookkeepers networking meeting for the year we had 2 very interesting guest speakers.

Sundip Ghedia from Wyndhamprem Lawyers (Commercial Law) and Robert Moodie from Rodgers Reidy, Insolvency Experts speaking about the new Personal Property Securities Register. As we found out during a lively discussion that night this register is aimed to reform the current Australian states regulations and to bring everything under one register. It had been meant to start last October, however due to the complexity of the issue it is now set to start as of 1st July 2012 (or even later). It will cover the interests in property excluding land, water and buildings.

The new register will be administered by ITSA – Insolvency Trustee Society Australia aiming at establishing an orderly sequence of interest based on the time of registration. Or in other words first in first served, based on the recorded time on the certificate one receives when registering interest in a certain asset.

The second point of interest with the new register is the “retention of title” clause, which in short means that – even if a sold product is being transformed through manufacturing processes, the registered interest is still valid. As you can see here comes the complexity of the whole issue to surface.

Furthermore the register is a transaction based process, which means if one has 200 clients, one has to register the interest in each transaction with the register – and we assume one will have to also de-register when it finally has been paid off. As bookkeepers being used to a lot of paperwork we all could see that this might end up in an incredible amount of work for the business owners or a new service area for us bookkeepers. Apparently there might even be courses run next year in order to learn the registration process.(This was an assumption based on the complexity of the issue)
A lot of issues were raised and looking across the water to New Zealand, where this register is already in action we can be looking forward to a bit of upheaval  and “teething problems” once it will come into action.

After an hour of lively discussion about this and all the issues which we raised in relation to this, our first conclusion was that we invited the speakers back for a further talk next June, closer to the date of starting this register in order to find out more specifics. This will hopefully be a more hands on – practical approach to the how and where of registering interests in Assets as security.
At the moment all we know is that you have to make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s to really protect and register your interests once this register starts.

So for the time being watch this spot for further information latest in June2012.



Overview of the New Laws

From 1 March 2010, new legislation known as the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 took effect. I am writing today to provide you with a broad insight into the changes and the impact they have on my services.

The laws have seen the introduction of a national Tax Practitioners Board who, among other things, oversee and regulate the supply of BAS Services to the public. Only bookkeepers who have applied to the Board for registration as a BAS Agent are permitted to render BAS services to their clients. The laws impose a range of civil penalties ranging from $5,500 to $137,500 (per offence) for bookkeepers illegally providing BAS services.

BAS Agents under the new system are subject to a Code of Professional Conduct which imposes a range of obligations, one of which is the compulsion to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to a Board-specified level. BAS Agents are also subject to a range of administrative sanctions and civil penalties. Clients of BAS Agents benefit from so-called safe harbour provisions which provide relief from penalties in the case of error or late lodgement by the BAS Agent.

In order to become registered as a BAS Agent under the Tax Agent Services Act, a bookkeeper must meet certain requirements. Included among these is an educational criterion which is the attainment of a Certificate IV Financial Services (Accounting) or Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping).

Where Do I Currently Stand & What Does It Mean for You?

While I do intend to seek registration as a BAS Agent in the future, I am not yet in a position to meet all of the requirements.

The good news is that despite me not being a BAS Agent in my own right, I can still facilitate BAS Services for you. I’ll explain how.

I am a member of Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN). They have served the bookkeeping industry since 2001 and in that time have grown to become Australia's largest private representative body for self-employed and contract bookkeepers with over 1500 members spread across all states and territories. ABN provides me with the resources, tools and technical support to improve the quality and calibre of my service offering to you. Since 2001, they have certified BASs for thousands of their members. Further information on ABN can be found at

ABN BAS Pty Ltd is the sister business of ABN. The main service offering of ABN BAS relates to Activity Statements and is two fold:

  1. They perform Quality Assurance Reviews of Activity Statements for both BAS Agents and non-BAS Agents; and
  2. They act as the BAS Agent for clients of ABN members who are not BAS Agents themselves, and attend to the electronic lodgement of the client’s Activity Statements with the ATO.

This means that I can attend to your bookkeeping and have your BAS Services provided by ABN BAS. From your perspective, you can take comfort from the knowledge that your BAS Services are being provided by a registered and competent organisation who are experts in their field.

How will the arrangement with ABN BAS operate?

The process will be invisible to you. At BAS time, I will submit a set of electronic workpapers to ABN BAS who will use this to perform their quality assurance review. They will contact me directly with any questions that they have. Once they are satisfied, they will lodge your BAS electronically with the ATO and provide me with a copy of the lodged document.

For a standard BAS, ABN BAS will perform their detailed quality assurance review and lodgement service for a fixed price of only $77 (including GST). This price will only be higher if there are certain complex transactions that have occurred, but even when this is the case, I will have identified these in advance and the price will still be known up front.

ABN BAS will provide a Tax Invoice for their services which I will pay on your behalf and then merely on-charge to you as part of my usual Tax Invoice for bookkeeping services.

This is an excellent offering that will continue to deliver you with an affordable and quality solution for having your BAS prepared.


I trust this has been useful in providing you with the changes that have taken place. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Your Bookkeeper

Andrea Lister

AL Bookkeeping & Business Services Pty LTd


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