BAS lodgement using Free Accounting Software

This video demonstrates how to lodge your Business Activity Statement (BAS) or Instalment Activity Statement (IAS) using Free Accounting Software.

Note this is a fairly long video because it takes you through much more than just lodging the BAS. That requires building up your levels of understanding of how this works.

The above video was changed after the below steps were written, but they are still relevant. The new video focuses more on levels of understanding rather than the steps.

1. Setup the financial year in your business file "MyBusiness.fas"

Free Accounting Software goes by a financial year, meaning you should have a separate file for each financial year. The dates for the start and end of the financial year are what is used to list the Activity Statements that are downloaded from the ATO. So click on Setup -> My Business and check that you have the financial year set up.

Also check your ABN is correct and your ABN Branch Code, which is usually a "1" but can be "2" or some other number. You could just try with a "1" if that does not work change to "2" and if that still fails have a look at a previous BAS, the branch number will be printed on it. Also note, if the branch is printed with leading zeros e.g. 001, don't enter the leading zeros just enter a "1".

Other details on the Setup -> My Business Details page are not required for BAS lodgement but it would be a good idea to fill them in anyway.

2. Tax codes setup

The values generated on the BAS are generated based on the tax codes. The tax codes are created automatically when setting up the software so you probably will not need to edit them. Each tax code has a "BAS Classification" which is selected when setting up or editing the tax code. This determines the field in the BAS that transactions get added to.

Note that in Free Accounting Software amounts are entered as the amount you are receiving or paying. For GST this means GST inclusive. So the tax rate is applied to the amount inclusive of GST. Therefore the tax rate for GST is 1/11th = 9.0909091%.

Accounts can have a default tax code assigned to them. When entering a transaction and you select the account the default tax code is automatically selected. You should check that this is correct of course and override it if not.

3. Business Activity Statement list and prefill

On the Business Activity Statement lodgement page the first step is to list your BASs. This downloads the electronic BASs from the ATO. It also prefills them which was a separate step in our previous cloud software.

All the details required for the BAS list  and prefill should already be prepopulated and it's simply a matter of selecting your AUS key, entering your AUS key password and clicking the "Download and prefill" button.

Note that the software searches for your AUS key on your computer. You need to have an AUS key to do this lodgement.

4. Review the transactions generated by the software

Double click on the BAS to go to the detailed transactions page for the BAS. Free Accounting Software generates a list of transactions based on the transactions that you have entered.

Review the list and make sure it is correct.

If there are transactions on the list that are not correct you can go back and fix them or if they are correct and you just want to remove them from the BAS you can select the transaction and click Remove selected transactions.

If you have added transactions and coming back to this page you will need to click (Re)generate transactions to bring the new ones in.

5. The actual BAS lodgement

Most information on the BAS is already generated. However, you may need to enter some further information for something like a PAYG Instalment variation.

At the bottom of the page fill in the declaration, select your AUS key, type your AUS key password and then lodge.

6. Revising a BAS

It's easy to miss something and so it's very common to revise a BAS.

If you are editing transactions the software protects you from accidentally changing something that would alter a lodged BAS. In our practice we often receive data which has been altered since the BAS was lodged and this causes confusion about what was changed and why. Free Accounting Software protects you from this kind of time wasting by locking transactions that are on a lodged BAS.

If you have made a mistake you should reverse the transaction and add a new transaction.

You then can go to the Activity Statement list page and select a BAS and click Revise selected BAS. You can then click on the revised BAS, Regenerate the transactions and lodge the revised BAS.

Note that once the revised BAS has been lodged it gets a new Document Identification Number (DIN).