Essential Bookkeeper Professional Liability Insurance Coverage for Australian BAS Agents

Are you an Australian business professional who provides your clients with bookkeeping, tax, or BAS services? If so, there are two important types of Accounts liability coverage you need.

First, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) requires that all BAS agents hold professional indemnity (PI) insurance coverage. This is an important consumer protection mechanism that helps compensate your clients in the event that they suffer any form of financial loss due to the services that you provide.

The second requirement is bookkeepers public liability insurance. This policy can protect your workplace against financial risks associated with death, bodily injury or property damage that occurs on-site.

Not sure what these types of insurance entail or how to get them? Read on for the answers you need.

What Breaches of Professional Duty Can Accountants Face?

While the TPB only mandates PI insurance for BAS agents, it’s advised that anyone in financial management, including accountants, tax advisors and bookkeepers, carry it. This is because your actions are directly related to the financial stability and security of your clients. At any time, they could face a negative consequence as a result of your action or inaction.

Examples of ways you could breach your professional duty include:

  • Negligence
  • Errors
  • Failures
  • Omissions
  • Mistakes

What does this look like for Accountants?

When you have direct access to and control over someone’s accounts, that responsibility is major. The risk factors you incur include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing incorrect financial advice
  • Making an error in a journal entry
  • Performing an error on financial statements
  • Failing to provide the expert services you promised
  • Rendering those services negligently or unprofessionally
  • Lodging documentation too late

If any of these instances happen and your client suffers as a result, PI cover can indemnify you from carrying the financial responsibility of those losses. This means your insurance policy would provide the funds necessary to cover them, along with any legal costs required to defend the claims and ascertain liability.

Thus, whether you need PI insurance to comply with legislative requirements or you simply want it for risk management purposes, it’s a smart move. Investing in a policy can help protect your bookkeeping business against financial and operational risk.

What is Public Liability Insurance Do Accountants Need?

While PI insurance helps protect your business against lawsuits following professional services or advice, public liability insurance works a little differently.
This type of coverage is required to protect your business against any type of damages suffered by a third party while visiting your office. In addition to personal injury, this also includes property damage to your structure, as well as legal fees required to represent your business in a lawsuit.

A few examples of personal injury cover include:

  • Bodily injury
  • Mental injury
  • Death
  • Sickness or disease
  • Shock or fright
  • Disability
  • False arrest
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Libel or slander

Examples of property damage cover include:

  • Physical loss of property
  • Physical destruction of property
  • The loss of use of tangible property

These types of unforeseen accidents aren’t related to the services you provide. In fact, they can occur anywhere on your property, to both members of the general public as well as business partners, clients, subcontractors and more. Public liability insurance covers your obligation to pay for the injured party’s damages, as well as the sky-high legal fees associated with lawful claims.

Why Do I Need It?

To understand why public liability insurance is so important, let’s take a look at a few examples of why you might need it.

Protection for Your Congregation

Say you’re working on the year-end accounts for a client. They come in to pick up their documents and while they’re in the bathroom, they slip on a wet floor. Or, maybe you’re setting up a cloud accounting system for someone and they trip on a cable in your office.

In either case, you didn’t necessarily breach your professional duty. You didn’t enter a field incorrectly or file a report too late. Still, the person experienced an injury while in or around your building, and it could be costly to treat.

Property Damage

What would happen if you hired a painter to spruce up your office and they spilled a bucket of paint all over your expensive video teleconferencing equipment? Or, what if a plumber broke a pipe and water leaked right into your office?

Not only would you lose money on replacing the gear, but if you work as a freelancer and are reliant on technology to connect with clients, you might even have to cease operations for a short while until you could get back up and running again. Could you withstand that kind of financial setback on your own?

How to Get Accountants Insurance and Bookkeeper Liability Cover?

Now that we’ve covered a few of the different types of insurance for bookkeepers available, let’s take a look at how our team works and the way our simple online quote system operates.
Covering more than 2,000 occupations (including yours), our team is well-versed in all types of insurance and can provide a comprehensive solution that makes it easy to get the cover you need.
For bookkeepers considering public liability insurance, we offer a choice of four different levels of cover, including:

  • $5 million
  • $10 million
  • $20 million
  • $30 million

We also offer a few levels of PI insurance cover, including:

  • $1 million to $20 million can be selected

With flexible payment options, including plans that allow you to pay by the month, we’re here to make this decision an easy and effortless one for you. When you fill out this form, we’ll learn a little more about your business and can help guide you on the type of insurance and level of cover you need.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the amount of public liability or PI insurance you might need. Every bookkeeping business is unique, and in some cases, you might be bound to a specific amount prescribed within a formal contract or agreement. We’ll work through those details together and make sure your plan meets your business requirements.