The deadline for the latest quarterly Business Activity Statement (BAS) is fast approaching, and although the ATO does its best to make the process painless, there is still some work to be done before you can complete and lodge your BAS.
The first and most important step is deciding how you’re going to process your BAS. Online accounting software makes it easier to organise the necessary information, but there are still actions you must take to make sure the information shown in the reports you generate are correct. There are many advantages to hiring a BAS registered agent to help with your statement (and you also benefit from an extra 4 weeks extension for lodgement and payment).
When you’re lodging the BAS on your own, the process is not difficult, but, depending on how well you kept your records, it can be time consuming. There are several important steps, and keep in mind that proper completion is vital, as mistakes can lead to penalties.
Step One: Preparing your Information
First you need to reconcile your accounts to ensure that all your information is accurate and up-to-date. This means taking a close look at your financial records and making sure that your bank statements match your accounting information. You also need to make sure that purchases and cash expenses are recorded, information concerning creditors is correct, and all outstanding funds are justified.
For this step, you’ll need to gather any accounts that have business transactions; receipts and invoices for those transactions; and receipts and invoices for any cash transactions. If you’re using Xero, you should run the Bank Reconciliation Summary, and check your general ledger for exceptions.