Professional Bookkeeper Associations



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 Recognised BAS Agent Associations

The Tax Agent Services (TAS) Regulations 2009 state that in order to become a registered BAS Agent you not only need to hold a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping, or higher, which includes a course in basic GST/BAS taxation principles approved by the Tax Practitioners Board, but you also need to have “undertaken at least 1,400 hours of relevant experience in the preceding three years.”

However the TAS Regulations 2009 also states that “Membership of professional association – a recognised BAS agent association or a recognised tax agent association” means that you only need to have “undertaken at least 1,000 hours of relevant experience in the preceding three years.”

To become a recognised BAS agent association, an organisation must:

  1. Be a non-profit organisation;
  2. Have adequate corporate governance and operational procedures to ensure that:
    • it is properly managed
    • its internal rules are enforced
  3. Have professional and ethical standards for its voting members, including terms to the effect that:
    • voting members must undertake at least 15 hours of continuing professional education each year; and voting members must be of good fame, integrity and character
    • each voting member is subject to rules controlling the member’s conduct in the practice of the member’s profession
    • each voting member is subject to discipline for breaches of those rules; and if a voting member is permitted by that organisation to be in public practice, the voting member has professional indemnity insurance
  4. Have satisfactory arrangements in place for: 
    • notifying clients of its members, or of members of its member bodies, about how to make complaints
    • receiving, hearing and deciding those complaints
    • taking disciplinary action if complaints are justified
  5. Have satisfactory arrangements in place for publishing annual statistics about: 
    • the kinds and frequency of complaints (except complaints under the TASA about entities registered under the TASA)
    • findings made as a result of the complaints
    • action taken as a result of those finding
  6. Be able to pay its debts as and when they fall due
  7. Have management of the organisation which: 
    • is required to be accountable to its members
    • is required to abide by the corporate governance and operational procedures of the organisation
  8. Have at least 1,000 voting members of whom at least 500 are registered BAS agents
  9. Ensure each voting member has been awarded at least a Certificate IV Financial Services (bookkeeping) or a Certificate IV Financial Services (accounting), from:   
    • a registered training organisation
    • an equivalent institution.

The Tax Practitioners Board announced that the following BAS agent associations have been recognised:

Name of associationDate of accreditation
Association of Accounting Technicians (Australia) Limited05-May-10
*Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Australia and New Zealand12-May-10
*CPA Australia31-May-10
Institute of Certified Bookkeepers05-May-10
*Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia12-May-10
Australian Bookkeepers Association Ltd21 May 13
*Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia12-May-10
Institute of Public Accountants05-May-10

 Associations for Accountants

In Australia there are seven (7) professional accounting associationsrecognised by the ATO. Of these associations all but two (NIA and ATMA) require that their members not only hold an accounting degree but that they have also undertaken further postgraduate study in accounting.

However you can join either the National Institute of Accountants (NIA) or the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants (ATMA) as an associate member if you hold an Advanced Diploma in Accounting; or if you hold a University Degree majoring in Accounting you can join either association as a full member, provided you meet their experience criteria.

Membership of either the ATMA or NIA enabled a bookkeeper to legally lodge BAS returns in accordance with section251L(6)a of ITAA 1936 and automatically made a member eligible for transitional BAS Agent registration.

The seven firms are:


CPA Australia


Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia


National Institute of Accountants


Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


Association of Taxation and Management Accountants


Chartered Institute of Management Accountants


Taxation Institute of Australia