How to become a bookkeeper and BAS agent

Have you got a knack for numbers and do you get a kick out of problem solving? Do you enjoy mathematics and have an analytical mind with amazing attention to detail? If this sounds like you, then a career in bookkeeping could be right up your alley.

how to become bookkeeper BAS agent

So what exactly does a bookkeeper do?

A bookkeeper typically processes and records financial transactions for a business, including monitoring accounts received and paying bills on behalf of the company. A bookkeeper’s duties can also include purchasing and invoicing as well as processing payroll for the business. Because they are responsible for ensuring all financial records are accurate and up to date, bookkeepers require certain skills including those we already mentioned.

Bookkeepers may also be required to prepare Business Activity Statements (BAS), which are reports that businesses are required to send to the Australian Tax Office either monthly or quarterly throughout the year. In order to prepare and lodge these reports on behalf of a business, as a paid bookkeeper you must be registered as a BAS agent with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). While this is not essential to your bookkeeping career, having your BAS agent qualification can broaden opportunities for employment.

Steps to becoming a Bookkeeper and BAS Agent in Australia

How to become a bookkeeper and BAS agent 1

Becoming a bookkeeper and registered BAS Agent in Australia is a relatively straightforward process. Below we outline the steps for meeting the requirements of the TPB to become a registered BAS Agent. In all cases, please contact the TPB directly to confirm their specific requirements prior to proceeding with any studies.


Step 1 – Complete a Certificate IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping


Part of the education requirements outlined by the TPB to become a BAS agent is a completed Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Accounting, or higher, qualification.

A Certificate IV qualification will prepare you with the basic skills required for bookkeeping roles such as preparing reports, maintaining records and working with accounting software.


How to become a bookkeeper and BAS agent 2Step 2 – Complete a TPB-Approved Course in GST/BAS Taxation Principles


Sometimes the Certificate IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping you undertake will include the relevant GST and BAS units you need to complete as part of the BAS Agent registration requirements.

If you have completed your Certificate IV qualification and it did not include these units, then you will need to undertake the additional course as necessary.

If you have studied or are completing your Certificate IV in Accounting or Bookkeeping  with Applied Education, these units are included. Alternatively, we also offer the required GST & BAS units as part of our BAS Agent Registration Course.


How to become a bookkeeper and BAS agent 3

Step 3 – Gain relevant experience


Completing the right educational courses is the first part of the requirements to register as a BAS agent. The next step is gaining a number of hours of relevant work experience. The Tax Practitioners Board requires evidence of this experience before you can begin providing BAS services.

Relevant experience can be:

  • Working as as a registered tax or BAS agent (applicable if renewing your registration)
  • Working under the supervision and control of a registered tax or BAS agent
  • Other work approved by the TPB


The amount of relevant experience required for registration as BAS agent is either 1,400 hours in the past four years, or 1,000 hours in the past four years if the applicant is a member of a recognised association.

Students with Applied Education receive complimentary membership to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers as part of their course, reducing the required work experience hours to 1,000. If you would like more information on becoming a bookkeeper and BAS Agent, please call one of our experienced enrolment advisers or email us at [email protected]


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