When I’m checking out companies on social media I often see that they’re doing exactly what I’m doing – sharing content related to their industries rather than sharing information directly about their companies. They do this so as not to come off as doing the “hard sell” to potential customers but rather go the “soft sell” approach by offering free content in the hopes that customers will visit their website through sheer intrigue. Don’t get me wrong, this approach does work – I should know, I use it! Lately, however, when pursuing companies on social media, I’ve started to really wish that they would just tell me what their product does and how to use it. Yes, I appreciate the extra free content they provide, but in general if I’m half interested in their product, all I really want to see is information about that product. So that said, I’ve decided to apply this rational to my own blogging strategy for a bit because I wouldn’t mind betting there are potential customers out there saying the same thing about this e-BAS Accounts! For the next few weeks, this blog will be all about e-BAS Accounts – how we work and the products and services we provide. That’s right – it’s going to be all about us – the how, why and what! To kick off this new blogging strategy, today’s blog is going to be all about our Business Activity Statement (BAS) procedure. I’ll explain what we do and what clients need to do (and stop doing) to make this “system” work.
Business Activity Statement (BAS) procedure
At the end of each financial quarter, we begin planning our BAS schedule. We have several clients and our process is to schedule each client’s BAS job across the following two months (after the end of a quarter) up until the BAS due date deadline. As a BAS Agent we get an extra month to lodge client BAS so we use both months to assist us with the workload rather than just one. Our process when working with clients for BAS work is as follows:
- Schedule each client into our calendar up until BAS due date deadline.
- An email is sent to each client announcing the date his/her BAS will be processed.
- Clients respond confirming that the date is suitable or if not, negotiate a different date.
- In this email, clients are asked to provide us with bank statements for the financial quarter in question.
- During BAS preparation, we often have questions for clients about their accounts or need to see more data. We send these questions to clients via email and/or request a meeting depending on the issues raised.
- Once we have completed the BAS for a client, we send him/her draft copies of the BAS, the profit & loss and the balance sheet. We ask the client to review these reports and advise us of any questions he/she may have etc.
- Before we can lodge the BAS, we must receive signed permission from the client. We use Adobe Echosign app to send our lodgement authority forms to clients which allows them to sign electronically and the forms are sent back to us automatically (no emailing, printing, scanning required – so easy).
- Once we receive the signed authority form, we lodge the BAS for the client.
- The lodged BAS copy is then sent to the client via email along with payment instructions.
Things that will delay BAS processing (for us and the client)
In a bookkeeper’s fantasy world, every client would do everything we say, when we say it! Unfortunately, this does not happen! If we could follow the above the procedure for each client without a hiccup, life would certainly be sweet. Sadly, some clients do things (or don’t do things) that put a spanner in the works. Here are some of those things:
- Not sent at all
- The wrong ones sent or with the wrong date range
- CSV files sent instead of actual statements
- CSV files sent without beginning or end balances
Responding to our Questions
- Never, despite loads of emails, phone messages etc.
- Eventually, but usually the day before BAS is due
- 3-4 weeks after our initial email which means we have stop processing another client’s BAS so we can finish one started earlier
- Being generally “unavailable” at the time the BAS is being processed including not returning phone calls and or able to attend meetings
- Only some data (invoices, receipts, loan documents etc.) provided but generally not what we asked for!
- Irrelevant data provided that we spend time reviewing before we realise it’s useless
- Not providing data at all despite being asked repeatedly
Signing Lodgement Authority
- Not signing the form. NB! We cannot lodge a BAS without signed permission – never have and never will!
So there you have it – blog #1 explaining something about what we do here, not just the usual random topic about bookkeeping! Hopefully you found it useful, especially if you’re here “shopping” around for a new bookkeeper/BAS Agent and you want to know about us, not just about bookkeeping topics. This is our BAS processing system which only works when clients don’t do any of those things in the list above! If only we could work in that fantasy world I mentioned earlier……….
If you like what you read here and you want to discuss your BAS requirements with us, please get in touch – we’d be happy to chat with you.