Bookkeepers

I have already posted (4 April 2007) about the difference between bookkeeping and accounting.  Bookkeeping is part of accountancy but there is an Insitute of Certified Bookkeepers, to which appropriately qualified bookkeepers can belong.  (Membership is by examination or by exemption).

Bookkeepers tend to maintain the accounting records of a business throughout the year and handover to an accountant at the year end, although there is no hard and fast rule.

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One response to “Bookkeepers

  1. These days bookkeeping seems to be totally geared on producing reports that bookkeepers then present to their clients, their clients’ accountants, and then to the tax office so that our clients can have the privilegde of paying out yet more hard earned funds.

    Bookkeepers are (indirectly) working for the Taxation Office (IRS)

    In Australia, the “Simplified Tax System” required “simplified reporting” (BAS) monthly or quarterly, suddenly the business community overloaded accountants and tax agents with bookwork to submit the BAS. So the accountants and tax agents engaged the services of bookkeepers. Others recommended that their clients engage bookkeepers to do their bookkeeping.

    Then the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) realised that in effect the bookkeeping was really to undertake the reporting for the ATO, which meant that bookkeepers were acting as tax agents.

    Woops!! no one except registered tax agents and accountants are legally in a position to undertake matters of taxation. So that ATO agreed that bookkeepers could do the bookkeeping, so long as they didn’t prepare the relevant documentation for the BAS.

    That’s fine to state. So we contacted the ATO to ask at what stage does bookkeeping stop being simple bookkeeping, and suddenly become “the preparation of documentation relevant for the BAS reporting”?

    This question has not been answered by the tax office.