Business Activity Statement

Ask any tradie what holds them back in business, and often the answer will be paperwork.

There is no better (or should we say worse) killer of time than having to sit at the kitchen table completing your Business Activity Statement (BAS) each quarter.

Aside from doing your BAS there are all the other painful jobs such as issuing and chasing invoices, reconciling bank statements and crunching the numbers.

As your business grows you might decide to outsource some or all of these tasks to a bookkeeper.

Given that a typical bookkeeper will charge a lower hourly rate than the average tradesman, it makes very good business sense to outsource your books and BAS.

So why do many tradies choose not to use a bookkeeper, but still complain about paperwork? We don’t know!

Why should a tradie use a bookkeeper?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for a tradie using a bookkeeper.

Do it yourself Use a bookkeeper
Costs you nothing but time Costs anywhere from $80 per month upwards
Greater risk of making a mistake Experience should lead to greater accuracy
Can take up many hours of your time Frees up your time to earn more on the job

There is another factor which is also worth considering, and that is the hands-on nature of managing your books on your own.

By doing your own books and BAS you can get a clearer picture of how your money moves around.

Some people love this and some people hate it, so whether you see this as a pro or a con will depend on your own feelings.

Bookkeeper cost

We’ve done some research to see just how much it will cost a tradie to have their bookkeeping outsourced.

Please bear in mind that each of the providers listed below will be providing a slightly different level of service.

For example some include chasing up invoices or completing bank reconciliations, whilst others do not.

Provider Minimum cost Maximum cost
Tradies Bookkeeping Services $80 per month $220 per month
Geelong Business Services $159 per month $349 per month
Tradies Tax $89 per month $209 per month
Tradies Choice Bookkeeping $45 per hour $75 per hour
Be Smart Bookkeeping $30 per week POA

We found plenty of other bookkeepers who specialise in looking after tradesmen, but unfortunately they don’t list their fees on their website – so they didn’t make our list.

In person or online?

There was a time when tradesmen would choose a bookkeeper from their local area so they could drop their glovebox full of receipts and invoices off each month!

But times have changed, and many tradies (and business owners in general) now rely on the internet rather than having to meet face-to-face.

It’s no different to insurance really. There was a time when a tradie would have to visit their local insurance broker, but now they just go to websites like ours here at Trade Risk.

You might still be dealing with a suburban bookkeeper, but instead of having to drop in with your paperwork each month, you just scan and email it through to save time.

There are also more automated options available, such as cloud-based services which can link between you, your bookkeeper and your accountant.

More information

Here at Trade Risk we only look after insurance for tradies, not bookkeeping, so we can’t help you out with advice on your bookkeeping needs.

What we can suggest is that you try some of the companies we listed in the table earlier, or just try searching Google.

If you already have an account that you use for your tax, it also worth asking them if they know of any bookkeepers they are happy to recommend.