What does BAS time mean to you? For most Small Business Owners it means, stress, late nights (if they aren’t up to date with their bookkeeping) and sometimes anger, yes anger. You would be surprised at how many Small Business Owners resent having to do a BAS, having to ‘pay’ the Government.
Lets look at ways that you can reduce stress, stop the late nights and calm the anger. If you followed the steps below, BAS time would become a breeze for you.
Collect all your receipts as you go
Some things you buy for your business don’t include GST. You need to know how much GST is on everything you purchase, therefore it is best to keep all your receipts. As you are paying your bills, or making purchases where you are given receipts, make sure you keep your receipts, even if they are small annoying ones from the supermarket. The more receipts you have the easier your data entry will become.
Make sure you also keep any paperwork on large purchases like motor vehicles and machinery. You need to make sure you have the purchase invoice and the loan documents so that the purchase can be entered into your accounting software correctly. Your Accountant will also need to see these when he/she does your Tax Return.
Data entry every week without fail
Don’t leave all your data entry till BAS Time, this is when the stress kicks in, the late nights, the grumpiness, its when the mistakes occur. Get into the habit of spending time each week to get your data entry done.
You can enter sales one night, then enter bills and bill payments another night or just do it all together, either way, get into the habit of doing your data entry every week. You will be surprised at how much time it DOESN’T take up.
Reconcile Bank Accounts monthly
You need to make sure that you get your Bank Account & Credit Card Statements at least monthly, if you get them more regularly than that then that is a bonus. Make sure you reconcile them when they come in.
There are often things on your Statements that you didn’t keep the receipt for or you didn’t realize that it had gone through at that stage, by reconciling your account when the statement comes in it makes it easier to remember all the transactions.
Ask someone for help if you need it
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are entering something and you are not sure if you are doing it correctly then ask. Ask me at Ask the Bookkeeper, ask your Accountant, ask a bookkeeper. People are not going to think you are stupid because you had to ask that question; they are actually going to commend you.
If you are afraid to ask then imagine how you will feel if you, or a Bookkeeper or Accountant has to spend hours upon hours redoing work because it was all wrong. You are better to get it right the first time by asking questions than messing it up and spending time and money fixing it.
Open another Bank Account
I tell all my clients this as soon as I start working for them. Open another Bank Account to hold your GST and PAYG and even Superannuation in, so when it comes time to pay them, the money is there.
If you are using an accounting program, and you are doing what I suggested above and data entering each week, you can then run a Tax Payable report on a weekly basis and transfer the amount of GST calculated across to the extra Bank Account.
When you are paying your staff, get into the habit of transferring the PAYG and the Superannuation across to the extra Bank Account as well. That way when it comes time to do your BAS and do your Superannuation, you have the money sitting there waiting to pay across to the ATO.
Make sure you have are very disciplined and not spend the money for anything else but GST, PAYG or Superannuation.
Use my BAS Preparation Checklist
I have created a BAS Preparation Checklist for you to use. The Checklist assumes you have done all the data entry. If you follow this step by step your BAS will be a breeze.
If you haven’t touched your bookkeeping since last BAS Time, then now is the time to get started… do the steps above, but make it faster. Collect all your receipts and finish all data entry in the first week, reconcile all accounts in the second week, ask someone for help as you go along, open another bank account and start putting the money aside for next period and use my BAS Preparation Checklist. Happy BAS Time Everyone 🙂 If you have any tips on what works for you at BAS Time leave them below in the comments. Also, please remember, if you have a question for me, go to the ASK page of my website and you will be instructed how to ask me a question.