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The appointment of Australian Bookkeepers Association (ABA) Director, Kerrie Jarius as the first practising BAS Agent to co-chair of the ATO BAS Agent Association Group (BASAAG), signals a shift by the ATO to work more collaboratively with BAS Agents
First BAS Agent co-chair of ATO working group puts BAS Agents centre stage
The appointment of Australian Bookkeepers Association (ABA) Director, Kerrie Jarius as the first practising BAS Agent to co-chair of the ATO BAS Agent Association Group (BASAAG), signals a shift by the ATO to work more collaboratively with BAS Agents at the business coalface to drive improvement and innovation.
Kerrie’s appointment is one of several BASAAG initiatives which sees seven external members from the BAS Agent community and BAS Agent Associations appointed to consult and represent BAS Agents.
This includes representation on several ATO working groups focusing on issues and projects as varied as Director ID, cybercrime, employee contractor tools, stapled super funds, STP2, and updating the current lodgement program. BASAAG is the voice of professional bookkeepers to Government.
Fellow BASAAG co-chair and ATO Assistant Commissioner, Kath Anderson, says BASAAG offers an important voice for the almost 17,000 registered BAS Agents in Australia whose contribution to the community is evident in their service to almost 263,000 clients.
“I think it’s important people understand that BASAAG has quite a dynamic relationship with the ATO and industry and we really value their input to shaping the system,” said Kath.
“BASSAG members also help BAS agents to understand how they can access additional help when they need it,” continued Kath. “We appreciate that the last few years have been really challenging. On occasions we’ve had BAS Agents who have been struggling, working 18-hour days and didn’t know what to do.
“BAS Agents who are struggling should contact the ATO directly or through their industry association and we can sort something out. We have a supported lodgement program, to help relieve that pressure,” said Kath.
New BASAAG co-chair, Kerrie Jarius, also welcomes BAS Agents to contribute to sharpen the ATO agenda, and shape legislation and investment in matters important to them.
“BAS Agents through BASAAG are helping smooth the ups and downs and bumps through the year in compliance and BAS procedures,” said Kerrie. “This work continues to significantly improve the costs and time in doing business.”
“BASAAG working groups seek to understand why these issues can be hard for us and then make recommendations on how these things can be improved,” continued Kerrie. “Right now, for example, there is a big focus on improving STP2 and the disaggregation of payroll.”
“BASAAG consult's across many different areas, with no stone left unturned as we adapt to solve issues when they are raised by our industry.
“As a Director of the Australian Bookkeepers Association, I appreciate the opportunity to influence government to take into account the difference between BAS Agents and Tax Agents as critical to businesses viability and keeping business owners out of trouble.”
“I welcome BAS Agents to contact me through the Australian Bookkeepers Association so I can help them express their voice to government and improve the landscape of our profession,” said Kerrie.
To stay in touch with the latest BASAAG updates visit the ATO website, or seek BAS Lodgement support via the Helpline on 13 72 86. To contact Kerrie, reach out to the ABA on 1300 856 710.