January - Two minute update

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Welcome back in 2018! Here at Connectworks we're off to a busy start...

New Features
New Companies Office integrations
We’re continuing our programme of integrations with the ability to update company director details held by the Companies Office from Connectworks. This is in addition to the ability to update the registered office details, as mentioned last month. These are now both available on the "File annual return" form*. We’ll soon be adding the ability to undertake the same changes from different locations within the product. The next integration will be the ability to e-file shareholder changes in the same way.
*Please note that you don’t need to file an annual return to make these changes, they can be done at any time.

Improved document signing
A process has been put in place to allow unconnected users to sign documents. This means you can send documents to people who have not already created Connectworks accounts, and have them sign using Connectworks flexible signing options. The email that signatories receive when they have documents to sign now also leads the signatory directly to their Personal Workspace with the document open to sign. This has been done in order to make the document easier to find and generally improve the ability to navigate Connectworks and complete the signing process.

Principal contacts for share parcels
We’ve responded to requests from firms wanting to record a principal contact for a share parcel. This is useful where, for example, shares are legally owned by a couple, but only one of them deals with shareholding matters. This can now be set in the share register under "Allocations". We’re adding a new report that will enable firms to see and mail-merge shareholder details (principal contact or existing name), parcel and contact. You can also use this to include additional details, such as dividend amount and bank account numbers, in order to make dividend payments.

Shareholder templates now auto-merge with shareholder details
You have long been able to auto-merge the company and director details with our templates. Now you can do the same with our shareholder templates. To generate them simply go to the company’s Shareholders tab, go to the Documents section, click the "I would like to..." button, and select "Download a precedent".

Improved annual return verification process
Firms love our annual return verification process, and we’ve made it even better with three improvements:
1. The workflow will now bypass the Review response step if a client hasn’t requested any changes to the Companies Office extract. Because there are no changes to make, there is no need to review the client’s response, and the workflow will now proceed straight to Ready to file.
2. Changes clients have requested to the Companies Office extract will now be highlighted. Fields that clients have entered text into are now highlighted in green, making it easier to quickly scan the extract to identify the changes.
3. You can now start the workflow and send the Companies Office extract with a single mouse click, for multiple companies simultaneously. This is available in the Work tab, directly below the current option to start the annual return workflow.

We’re currently working on some changes to the Work tab filters, to give users easier oversight of their open and outstanding filings. We hope to have these in place for February filings and will keep you updated.

Streamlined registration process for new accounts
The form new users complete to register a Connectworks account will now be auto-populated with the name and email address which the professional firm has provided.

NZBN’s - transforming the way Kiwi's do business
When Connectworks helps firms to get set up by downloading their clients’ company data and documents in bulk, we use New Zealand Business Numbers (NZBN). Some firms don’t use the NZBN, but many businesses want to know more about them. Below is more information provided by NZBN: 

NZBN’s have been designed to make it quicker and easier to do business in New Zealand. An NZBN is a unique number used to identify a business.  All businesses in New Zealand can have an NZBN, whether they’re a big company or a self-employed individual. NZBN offer a free service to match NZBN’s to company names and numbers supplied.

An NZBN is linked to the key business information which organisations are most often asked to share with other businesses and government agencies – like their trading name, phone number and email address. In the short term it will save businesses time and money as they won’t have to repeat the same basic details over and over again. 

What benefits will the NZBN offer?
By streamlining business processes and making it easier to share information, the NZBN will offer businesses a range of benefits over time.

  • Financial transactions will be smoother, as new ways to invoice customers, pay bills and apply for credit will be enabled.
  • Procurement will be more efficient and transactions like onboarding new suppliers/customers will be faster and simpler.
  • Having an NZBN shows that your business is real and tangible, giving others peace of mind in dealing with you.
  • The NZBN will allow businesses to cut down on manual processes and reduce data entry errors.

It’s the future of business
Government agencies (like Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and businesses are building the NZBN into their systems and processes right now, in areas like finance, procurement, customer relationship management, tenders, reporting and more. If you’re in business, your customers or suppliers will soon be asking for your NZBN - so head to nzbn.govt.nz now to get your NZBN and find out how it will help transform the way we do business.
Want to learn more? There’s a video here, you can visit nzbn.govt.nz, call the NZBN team on 0508 696 926 or ‘Like’ NZBN here on Facebook to receive news and updates. 

Training Sessions
We’re running training webinars on some of the most popular topics as well as ones that are new, or where we’ve made enhancements. Remember you can always ask us if new or existing staff have specific training needs. All of our webinars are free of charge.
Companies - Friday 9th Feb @ 10am
Annual return client verifications, e-filing annual returns, use of precedents and
a brief shareholder continuity tracking overview.
Trusts - Friday 9th Feb @ 1.30pm
Shared minute book, use of precedents, setting up and managing trustee
companies and assets & liabilities manager.

Quote of the Month
When Afghan lawmakers were recently debating rules of conduct for
accountants, some were confounded by their strictness. “Why should those
found guilty of murder be struck off?” asked one Member of Parliament.
Source: The Economist