March two minute update

March 2 minute update.jpg

New Auckland Senior Sales Manager
We're thrilled to welcome Nick France to the team as our Auckland-based Senior Sales Manager. He will be known to many people in the legal sector due to his previous roles at Practice Evolve and Lexis Nexis selling practice management software.

Nick starts on April 8th and can be reached at nick@connectworks.com, on:  
021 278 8499 or via 0800 456 580. 
 
Assets and Liabilities enhancements (trusts) 
We're undertaking some final user testing and preparing the support site for the release of the enhancements outlined in last month's Two Minute Update.
We'll send users a message prior to the release along with links to training and support site information.

What else is coming up?

  • AML/ CFT enhancements including more reports to help with your DIA or FMA reporting as well as oversight of your firm. Improved ability to perform CDD on non-natural persons (companies) and other entities associated with a client. Improved ability to search within entities to select CDD candidates that are not directly associated with a client and user roles and restrictions relating to AML/CFT, especially the creation of an AML/CFT Compliance Officer

  • More Companies Office integrations.

  • Xero Practice Manager/ WorkflowMax client contact syncronisation.

  • New entity types - Limited Partnerships, other partnerships, Joint Ventures. 

  • Custom emails. Firms will be able to manage their own branding and wording templates originating from Connectworks to client emails.

  • Firms will also be able to attach documents such as PPSR results and invoices to our annual return verification emails

Free webinar - How to get clients to appreciate and pay for your trust services (40 minutes)
Lindsay Pope of Trustee Support helps professional firms improve client and commercial outcomes in their trust and private client services.  In this free webinar, Lindsay will share some practical strategies, perspectives and ideas for ways professional firms can specifically improve commercial value and reduce risk in the delivery of professional trust services.  If you have been grappling with how to get clients to appreciate and pay for their trust services, we invite you to join Lindsay by registering for this webinar. 

The webinar will be at 2.30 pm on Thursday 11 April 2019 and take around 40 minutes, including Q&A. To register, click here
 
The benefits of an integrated AML solution
You have obligations to maintain accurate trust and company records as a trustee or the registered office. You have obligations to have accurate AML/CFT records. Why not have one solution that can seamlessly delivers both? Connectworks is an entity management solution with in-built, comprehensive AML/CFT functionality. 
 
If you use Connectworks for both, any new shareholder or director added, or any shareholding change putting a shareholder over 25%, and more is reflected in your AML/CFT solution. Similarly, any change to the beneficial ownership of a trust made in Connectworks can be instantly reflected in you AML/CFT solution.
 
This will reduce the risk of errors with information not being updated, or updated accurately in two systems. Naturally, it saves the time of double-handling information too.
 
It can also simplify your business, eliminating the need to deal with separate software vendors, extra training required, access rights and logins to set, bills to pay and more.
 
Best of all, there's no additional cost for Connectworks AML/CFT functionality except for the cost of any electronic ID checks undertaken. Or, you can use Connectworks for AML/CFT-only for some or all clients at just $5 per client, per annum, or $25 for 6 years (to meet your 5 year record-keeping requirements) plus the cost of any electronic ID checks.
To register for an AML/ CFT in Connectworks webinar, click here

Webinars: 
We use GoToWebinars, just click on the links below to register.

AML/CFT in Connectworks
Learn how to manage your AML obligations in Connectworks. 30mins.
Friday 5th April @ 2.00pm - Register 
Wednesday 10th April @ 11.30am - Register 

Companies overview
For those that haven't seen or are very new to companies this is a high level overview on all functionality including annual return processing. 45mins. 
Tuesday 2nd April @ 2.00pm - Register 

Trusts overview
For those that haven't seen or are very new to trusts this is a high level overview on all functionality. 45mins. 
Friday 5th April @10.30am - Register 

Easy Shareholder Continuity Tracking 
Learn how to undertake shareholder continuity tracking in Connectworks. 20mins. 
Wednesday 10th April @ 10.00am - Register 

Annual Returns Process 
Learn how to use the annual return workflow. Easy client verifications. Manage client changes. File individual returns and bulk filing. 30mins
Wednesday 3rd April @ 1.00pm - Register 

Lindsay Pope Trustee Support
How to get clients to appreciate and pay for your trust services. 40mins
Thursday 11th April @ 2.30pm - Register 

Quote of the month
“Change is the only constant in life” - Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 BC – 475 BC)

February two minute update

Feb two minute update.jpg

Trust Assets and Liabilities upgrade
As signaled a few months ago, we've been working on changes to make our trust Assets and Liabilities functionality easier and more flexible for users. The first round of changes is due for release in February. The main changes are as follows:

  1. Purchases and sales of assets will be able to be performed from a default Suspense account, meaning you won’t have to create any custom accounts before you can start recording transactions.

  2. Once created, transactions will be able to be edited, allowing you to reconcile transactions to specific accounts. 

  3. The Transaction and Accounts galleries will receive a new layout.

We'll send a notification to users before the changes are released live. We will also provide links to training webinars and updated support site material. 

Why our electronic ID verifications are probably better than what you're currently using for AML/CFT.
Connectworks offers a comprehensive workflow-driven CDD solution for AML/CFT.
It takes users step-by-step through the requirements, based on DIA requirements and guidelines. Your AML/CFT compliance officer can sign off on the process once done. You'll then have easy oversight of your firm, help with your DIA reports and it will be easier to be audited. It's easy and the functionality is included in company and trust subscriptions now, or you can use it without a company or trust management subscription.

There are two options for verifying client identity information. (1) You can record documentary verifications, using the bespoke fields for a passport, driver licence, utility bill, and more. Or (2) you can perform electronic verifications using the Centrix SmartID service.

In addition to verifying the licence or passport information, Centrix SmartID verifies the client's name, address and date of birth, using independent trusted sources such as property ownership records and the databases of numerous banks, finance companies and retail energy providers. Also included is a global PEP and Sanctions check using the Thomson Reuters WorldCheck database.

The whole process takes less than a minute and costs just $5 if using a NZ Driver Licence or $6 using a NZ Passport (ex GST). The results are saved against all entities the client is involved within Connectworks and the Centrix Smart ID certificate can be downloaded and shared. 

See further down where you can register for an AML/ CFT webinar. 

Training Videos on GoToStage 
Did you know we have a training video platform with clips covering our most popular features? You can view the videos now (or any time!) at Connectworks Training on GoToStage. Don't forget to save the page as a bookmark on your browser.

Tax time is coming - make shareholder continuity tracking easy.
While the Connectworks functionality for companies is primarily around streamlining company secretarial and AML/CFT tasks, a comprehensive shareholder continuity tracking solution is also included.It's available at no additional cost for every company you manage in Connectworks.

If you're a company secretarial specialist, this is worth mentioning to your tax team as they probably find shareholder continuity tracking a headache. With Connectworks, you ensure the share transactions and shareholder rights are correct, press the button and out comes the continuity lookup table. It even supports pooling at 5% and 10% and provides easy answers to Question 38 of an IR4 regarding the 'Lowest economic interests of shareholders'. 

You can register for a webinar demonstration here 

More options for calling Connectworks
You can call Connectworks and speak to a real person based in New Zealand, including one of the exec directors. However, we're growing quickly with 5 new staff already this year, so have had to make some changes to the phone system. You will now select the department you want e.g. customer service or sales, where you can then choose an individual to speak to or be routed to an available person.  

A business we like - InvestNow
A trustee is obliged under section 13B of the Trustee Act 1956 to exercise “... the care, diligence and skill that a prudent person of business would exercise in managing the affairs of others”. So when it comes to managing trusts' assets, many people believe it prudent to have an asset allocation to shares, not necessarily just New Zealand ones, and perhaps spread across a number of companies in order to gain a more balanced portfolio and spread risk. However, this can be difficult to achieve, with direct investments often complex to undertake and large, global fund managers often requiring minimum investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

New Zealand company InvestNow, a non-advice platform for self-directed Kiwi investors, has set out to make investing easier. Investors can contribute as little as $50 in regular amounts, or $250 for one-off orders to participate in funds such as those run by Vanguard, with USD$5 Trillion under management, or a number of other New Zealand and international funds. There are no administration or transaction fees and investors can manage and track their investments via a modern, online platform. 

To find out more, go to www.investnow.co.nz

Webinars: 
We use GoToWebinars, just click on the links below to register.

AML/CFT
Learn how to manage your AML obligations in Connectworks. 30min.
Wednesday 6th March @ 10am - Register
Wednesday 13th March @ 10am - Register  

Companies overview
For those that haven't seen or are very new to companies this is a high level overview on all functionality including annual return processing. 45min. 
Thursday 7th March @ 10.30am - Register 

Trusts overview
For those that haven't seen or are very new to trusts this is a high level overview on all functionality. 45min.
Tuesday 5th March @ 10.30am - Register 

Annual Returns Process 
Learn how to use the annual return workflow. Easy client verifications. Manage client changes. File individual returns and bulk filing. 30min
Wednesday 6th March @ 2pm - Register 

Easy Shareholder Continuity Tracking 
Learn how to undertake shareholder continuity tracking in connectworks. 20mins. 
Thursday 14th March @ 10am - Register 

Quote of the month
"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder" - John Glenn

January two minute update

January two minute update.jpg

We support other languages and alphabets. 
If you're involved in entities where the users preferred language isn't English, Connectworks can cope.  Discussions, minutes, resolutions, documents and even the names of people involved can be in Chinese, Russian, Arabic or a range of other languages. Please note that we only support the standard Gregorian calendar for reminders.  

january update image 1.png


Client ID checks and merging contacts.
The good news is that if you do CDD on a person in Connectworks, it automatically shows against all entities they're linked with. This reduces the effort and cost of doing CDD. However, this only works if you've created a single client profile in your firm contacts list and correctly linked the person to all entities they're involved with, as opposed to setting up the same person twice or more.

When you update a clients details, perhaps a new address, having them linked in this way also means the clients details will be automatically updated in all of their associated entity profiles. This article outlines how to link and merge contacts in Connectworks in order to achieve easier ongoing client management. Please share this information with your firm administrators if required.

We're running a short webinar on the process this month, feel free to join us by registering using the link at the bottom of this newsletter. 

New workflow - Trusts and investment decision-making 
A key purpose of trusts is to naturally hold and manage assets. Both the current 1956 Trusts Act and new Trusts Bill include provisions along the lines that, when investing, a trustee should be required to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a prudent person of business would exercise in managing the affairs of others. It is also expected that a higher standard of prudence is imposed on a professional trustee who has any special knowledge or experience in this field.

Keeping in mind the indicated content of the new Trusts Bill, our friends at Saturn Portfolio have created a best-practice workflow to guide trustees through the process of engaging with any professional to help manage a trust’s investment portfolio.

It's now available under firms/admin/precedents and it sits under Trust Workflows. See screenshot below.

january update image 2.png


If you're not a Connectworks subscriber and would like a copy, email enquire@connectworks.com with 'investment workflow' in the heading and we'll send you a copy.

For the tools, templates and resources referred to in the new workflow that detail how trustees undertake a best practice approach to investment, contact Saturn Portfolio on 0800 757 858 or email admin@saturnportfolio.co.nz with ‘Connectworks’ in the heading. 

New to filing Annual Returns in Connectworks? 
There's lots of reasons why Connectworks is the best place to manage your annual return filing. Our bulk-filing option means that you can file an entire months returns in under 60 seconds. It's quick, easy and best of all it's cheaper than filing directly with the Companies Office. Via the Companies Office website you'll pay $41.40 per return, but the fee in Connectworks is just $37.95 - saving you $3.45 per return!
(All prices include gst)

To get started with filing your February returns in Connectworks see our detailed guide here: Filing Annual Returns

Red 'overdue' flag in the Annual Return workflow (companies)
When you start using our annual return workflow from next month, you may notice some subtle changes. One important thing to note is that, if a client company you have on Connectworks has never had an annual return filed from Connectworks, a red "overdue" notification may appear beside it in the Work gallery. You can still continue to start the workflow and file the return as normal. In most cases, the return will be showing as overdue because Connectworks doesn't know when the last return was file, since it hasn't been completed from our product before. Here's a screenshot:

January update image 3.png


If you want to double check when the last return was filed you can click the three dots to the right of the screen and make sure the first screen that pops up has "unlink from the companies office" displaying. If it doesn't, simply click to link to the Companies Office. Then under the three dots click "retrieve last filing" and we'll get the last date the last annual return was filed at the companies office. This will get rid of any false overdue notices. Again, this isn't compulsory since you can run the workflow as normal without following these steps.

Marketing your firm better
The author has known Antony Young for over 30 years.  After a stellar international career running major advertising companies, he returned to New Zealand where he now brings big thinking to small and medium sized business.
So how well are you really doing at marketing your business?

Webinars: 
We use GoToWebinars, just click on the links below to register.

AML/CFT
Learn how to manage your AML obligations in Connectworks. 30min.
Thursday 7th Feb @ 10.00am - Register 

Intro to companies
For those that haven't seen or are very new to companies this is a high level overview on all functionality including annual return processing. 45min. 
Thursday 14th Feb @ 10.30am - Register 

Intro to trusts
For those that haven't seen or are very new to trusts this is a high level overview on all functionality. 45min. 
Wednesday 20th Feb @2.00pm - Register 

Merging Contacts
How to link and merge contacts in Connectworks in order to achieve easier ongoing client management. 30min. 
Tuesday 26th Feb 10.00am - Register 

Quote of the month
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill.