What’s the difference between a Bookkeeper, BAS agent and Accountant?

Are you confused around the difference between a Bookkeeper, BAS agent and Accountant and which one you need to speak to and when? 


Here I break down the key differences to help you understand who they are and how they can help you!


Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining a business’ accounting records. They assist small businesses with recording financial transactions in account books or computerised accounting software.

Some of the key roles and responsibilities of a bookkeeper include the following:

  1. Keeping financial records, and maintaining and balancing accounts 
  2. Monitoring cash flow and lines of credit
  3. Preparing and producing financial statements, budget and expenditure reports and analyses using account books, ledgers and accounting software packages
  4. Preparing invoices, purchase orders and bank deposits
  5. Reconciling accounts against monthly bank statements.
A Bookkeeper is ideal for your business if you struggle to keep on top of the everyday bookkeeping for your business.


BAS Agents

BAS Agents are basically a supercharged bookkeeper! They have the skills and knowledge to complete all the tasks of a bookkeeper, plus more! A BAS Agent is issued a registration number from the Tax Practitioners Board so you can always ask to verify that they are registered.
A BAS Agent can:

  1. Design and set up compliance systems
  2. Advise the client on how the tax laws may affect them
  3. Review a client’s operations in relation to these areas of law and provide certainty to that client that they are getting it right
A  BAS Agent is the best choice for your business if you are GST registered and need assistance in submitting your BAS & GST Reports. Also, if you’re wanting more individualised advice on your business set up and how tax laws affect the way you run your business. 



Accountants are typically responsible for the collection, recording, analysis, and visualisation of a business’s financial operations.

Some of the specific tasks and duties performed by accountants include the following:

  1. Examining the income and expenditure of the individual or organisation.
  2. Creating and maintaining budgets
  3. Preparing financial statements
  4. Creating accounting policies in consultation with senior stakeholders and in alignment with regulatory requirements
  5. Preparing reports that articulate business compliance with regulatory requirements.
  6. Undertaking audits, conducting financial investigations and managing insolvency
  7. Providing advice about business plans, structures and accounting systems
  8. Establishing bank accounts, funds and trusts
  9. Managing cash flow
  10. Managing investment projects.

So when do you need an Accountant? For the completion of your annual tax returns and you need specific tax advice and provisions for your situation. Or if you need advice and representation for dealings with the ATO.


Still not sure who you need to speak to? Contact Me with your query and I can let you know who is best going to assist in your business. 

Are you looking for more ways to keep on top of your bookkeeping? Download my FREE Easy Steps to Brilliant Bookkeeping.


Meet Amanda

I absolutely love to help others in any way that I can.

And what better way to do that than with their business? I really enjoy helping business owners to keep on top of their books so they can focus on the parts of their business that they love doing!

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