Thursday, July 17, 2014

The quarterly hell of BAS

I run my own business (ha! "Business" is giving it more gravitas than it merits right now) and have to report quarterly to the Australian Taxation Office, lodging a Business Activity Statement (BAS). I dread the 28th day of each quarter as BAS lodgement cutoff looms.

I am not great at keeping the Excel spreadsheet I use to run my very basic accounting system up to date, so BAS prep is a flurry of going through three months of bank statements and matching items to bills or payments, and chasing up things that I can't think for the life of me what they may be.

Excel likes to crash on my Mac, too, so it means saving after every single entry as I HATE having to retype items. I don't like using Excel as I get confused with writing formulas. I'm thick as two short planks when it comes to algebra. I am rather innumerate in general.

I also hate typing numerals; as a touch-typist I am crap and freely admit it.

I was rash enough to get a second-hand car on hire purchase 3 years ago as it's a good tax break, and the calculations required to run a car do my head in.

I could use a bookkeeper but can't afford to pay one, and I would still have to go through all the shite of printing invoices out, writing stuff on the bank statements etc etc so the bookkeeper could make sense of it. Then answer questions anyway, so I may as well just do all the stressy stuff in one afternoon myself.

To cap it all, my Mac has a java issue which means it can't talk to the ATO's tax portal, and my choices are to completely reformat the thing and lose a day or two while I hunt up licences for some programs, or buy a new one and lose a day or two etc etc. I don't have the time for either or the money for the latter. Thankfully my accountant has been lodging the BAS figures for me at no charge since the java issue popped up.

So I took out my annoyance after doing this quarter's BAS this afternoon and did a rather badly-drawn cartoon about my feelings. I have stopped swearing now; I think I will have a cup of tea.

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