What software I need to use Connectworks?
For accessing Connectworks you’ll just need a modern web browser. Our precedents merge into Microsoft Word and you’ll need Adobe Acrobat for viewing documents and their electronic signatures.
Subscriptions and Users
Who can subscribe?
Connectworks subscriptions need to include the involvement of a professional advisor, it's not a "do it yourself" product for trust or company administration. Our aim is to offer a better collaboration between all parties involved to improve compliance and management.
Once the correct subscription is selected for your trust(s) (2 party or Unlimited) or company (unlimited), then you will be invited into Connectworks and will be able to see the relevant entity and be involved discussions, access documents, and create, accept or reject resolutions and more etc.
We are more than happy to contact your lawyer / accountant to discuss using Connectworks with them. Please let us know the details of the professionals you use.
Please note Connectworks is a software company-only. We do not manage trusts or companies or provide legal advice.
Is there a limit on the amount of documents stored or data used in Connectworks?
No, but fair use applies. It’s not fair use to store your music collection or family photos in Connectworks.
Is there maximum number of staff who can access Connectworks?
No. We don’t believe in that. Subscriptions are on a per client entity (trust, company etc), per annum basis. If your firm has subscribed or an entity, or been invited in to one, then all staff members of your firm can access it.
I’m a trustee and want to invite my accountant or lawyer in to use Connectworks. What do I do?
While we require the involvement of a professional (lawyer, accountant, trust manager) there is a no minimum number of trusts of companies for them to subscribe to and they don’t need to be an existing user. If they’re not using Connectworks currently, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a meeting or webinar to take them through or update them on what we offer.
Who can see the information?
Access to information is handled in two ways, firstly within a professional firm where access is managed by staff roles and business units. For external parties an individual would need to be explicitly invited to have access to Connectworks. Their view would also be defined by what subscription the entity is on and their access rights.
What happens if an employee with access to Connectworks leaves our firm?
Simply remove their user rights and they’ll no longer be able to login and access any data. We also integrate with leading Single Sign On (SSO) products for managing this including Okta and Azure Active Directory, please ask us for details.
Who owns the data?
The data is owned and managed by the subscriber which can either be an individual person in the case of direct subscription or the advisor in the case of an advisor managed subscription, refer to our terms of service .
How secure is the data stored in Connectworks?
Connectworks data is stored with top-levels of security and encryption, refer to our security policy for more details.
Where is the data stored?
Data for New Zealand clients is stored by AWS in 2 locations within Australia, with a redundancy in Singapore. (see How secure is the data stored in Connectworks? above)
The internet speed isn’t fast around our way. Will that be a problem?
Connectworks doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth unless you’re doing big searches of your firm’s entire database or bulk-uploading or downloading big documents. These should be infrequent events.
What happens to the data in Connectworks if a client leaves our firm?
There are three options available in this situation.
You can (1) move the subscription to their new firm (2) download all data and documents yourself at no charge or (3) use our Archive Plan.
(1) Moving subscriptions. You can move a subscription to the clients new firm, while it is still active (i.e paid for). The new professional firm will have access to everything and can either maintain the subscription or download the data and documents if they don’t wish to. To move a subscription, the current subscriber needs to notify Connectworks in writing, copying in the new firm. If you also wish to keep records for your firm (perhaps because you’ve been a trustee) you can use either option (2) or (3) below to do this.
(2) Exporting Data and Documents. Every document stored in Connectworks can be exported to a PDF for the period of your involvement with the trust or company. There are also various reports available for exporting a profile of the trust or company, the details of the parties involved and the assets and liabilities (for a trust) and share, interests, risks and soft assets registers (companies). Our advice is to download and export everything before either your access rights are transferred to the new firm or the subscription is cancelled. There is no extra charge for doing these downloads while you are a subscriber. However, we charge a one-off $250+gst fee if you need to do this once a subscription is cancelled.Connectworks will store data for at least 12 months after a subscription has ended. Beyond that we make no guarantees that it will be retained.
(3) Archive Plan. There is also an archive plan which will provide 10 years of storage for $75+gst per entity. Everything is complete, in one place, searchable and securely stored. You’ll be able to see the trust or company on the list of those you are involved with and will have read-only access to the profile. You won’t be able to access the minutes, documents, assets and liabilities, shareholding downloads of activity etc while it is in archive.
However, if ever required, you can find the company or trust easily ( by the name of the entity, client number, name of any person involved etc) and put back on to a paid subscription at any stage. So if the trust or company was ever challenged, it could be put on a paid plan (from $25 per entity per annum). This would then allow those with access to search all records, download minutes, documents and files of activity and share them easily from wherever they are.
Conversion and Setup
I've got data and documents in other systems, can you help get it into Connectworks?
Yes. We can do exports from a number of systems, either straight into Connectworks or to populate one of our loading templates. We also have contractors around that country who are trained and background-checked and can come into your firm to help load. Contact us today to discuss how you're holding data and documents currently and we'll respond with how we can help. We do make it quick and easy to get up and running fast.
If I use Connectworks, do I still need to keep paper documents?
We are confident that documents signed via Connectworks and stored within Connectworks meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, including the Contracts and Commercial Law Act 2017 and the Companies Act 1993.
However, the Contracts and Commercial Law Act allows parties to not accept electronically signed documents, even ones signed in accordance with the requirements of the Act. We would therefore recommend that key documents that may be required by external parties, such as trust deeds and variations be retained on paper.
How are subscriptions billed and when?
Subscriptions are billed annually in advance.
They are initially billed a month after loading The first month is a no-charge loading period. They are then billed on the anniversary of the subscription.
Changes in plans are invoiced or credited immediately and any outstanding amount is billed immediately.
The archive plan (10 years) is billed in advance
Billing is at the end of the month and will consolidate all charges for all plan changes / renewals.
We can itemise the names and costs of subscriptions billed in a month.
What happens if an invoice isn’t paid?
We send reminder notifications after one month and then will suspend access after two months.
Documents and Signatures
What format do documents need to be for uploading for signing?
Any format. All documents are automatically converted to PDF to enable digital signatures to be collected. They can also be saved in their current format if you wish (word, excel etc).
Are electronic signatures legal and accepted?
We believe our signing methods meets the requirements of the prevailing legislation, the Contracts and Commercial Law Act 2017. In addition we’ve made sure that we meet the requirements for both the IRD standards and the Companies Office standards.
Read more about digital signature in Connectworks here.
How should we name and date documents in Connectworks?
Our recommendation for naming documents is for firms to develop and use one format consistently for all staff and all entities, e.g. For a family trust ‘Trust Deed’. If some staff call it a ‘Deed of Trust’ and others a ‘Trust Deed’, it will make it difficult to find a required document by name, or to check that all documentation is contained in Connectworks.
You should also use tags, either provided by Connectworks and/or custom tags, to making finding documents quick and easy. An ‘Agreement for Sale and Purchase of 123 High St” can be tagged any combination of ‘legal agreements’, ‘ASP’, ‘Agreement of Sale and Purchase”, “123 High St” or anything else you believe to be appropriate.
How do we get documents into Connectworks in bulk?
There is the ability to bulk upload documents from within the document tab for each entity or an individual.
You can select or ‘drag and drop’ up to 10 documents at a time to easily import them.