Accounting is one of the essential areas of any successful business enterprise. Getting it right requires patience and diligence. But when your books are in order, you can have a much better understanding of how money is flowing within your business. Depending on the country you are in, the rules and considerations that you need to factor into your accounting will differ.
In Australia, there are some nuances to the business accounting process that need to be factored in. While most of the accounting principles are the same as in other countries around the world, new entrepreneurs and business owners will do well to consider the ways in which Australia is different. With a basic introduction to these differences, you will avoid mistakes and ensure compliance in your accounting processes.
Let’s look at some of the basics of business accounting in Australia.
Lodging BAS Statements
Business activity statements, or BAS statements, are forms that report your business tax information to the Australian Taxation Office. This includes goods and sales tax information, as well as the details of your pay as you go and other tax reporting. Depending on the annual turnover of your business, these forms need to be completed monthly, quarterly, or in some cases, annually.
Introduced in 2000, these forms are part of an Australian tax reform program. You can choose to file them through accounting software, through the Australian Taxation Office’s online portal, through the myGov website, or through a third-party. When you opt for using a third-party to lodge your BAS, you will still be solely responsible for ensuring that the form is submitted on time. The third-party will also need to be a registered BAS agent in Australia, as many accountants and bookkeepers are.
Be sure to lodge your BAS and pay any outstanding tax your business may have accrued on time. Deadlines can be found on the ATO’s website. Failure to lodge these forms on time will come with penalties or fines.
Use Accounting Software
If you want to ensure that your business is in compliance with Australian tax law, it is best to use up to date accounting software. Choose a software package that is compatible with the most recent changes to the Australian tax code. If you use accounting software, you can be more confident that your data is accurate and complete. You can also be sure that the forms you submit through the software will comply with standard reporting formats.
Keep Your Data Secure
If you are new to business accounting in general, one of the most important points to remember is that you need to keep your data secure. Using a cloud-based accounting software will help with this. Cloud tech allows data to be backed up off-site. This keeps it safe from any accidents or disasters that might befall your business, including fires, floods, or thefts. Cloud-based accounting software also allows you to access your financial data from anywhere, on a compatible device.
Other Australian Accounting Rules
In Australia, the tax year starts on the first of July and ends on June 30th. Your business may be able to schedule a different tax year, though this will depend on what you can work out with the Australian Taxation Office.
When In Doubt, Ask A Professional
Fortunately, there are many professional business accountants in Australia who will be happy to help you out if you run into trouble. Find a professional who understands the needs of your business and can assist you with Australian accounting processes. Learn more about what compliance means for your industry, and you will be able to avoid potential issues in the future.