AML/CFT fields in place this week
As mentioned last month, the fields to start capturing Client Due Diligence (CDD) information will be in place next week. You can then start adding required information such as the nature and purpose of your business relationship and source of wealth against an entity, and beneficial owner/control, authority to act and whether they're a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) against individuals.
If you're on a connected plan with your trust or company clients (signing-only, or full access) they can also upload their own driver license or passport details and proof of address if you wish. Or your firm can add this information.
We've also advanced our plans to integrate with an identity information verification system. This will allow you to easily verify an individual's name, date of birth, and address, verify their driver licence or passport details, and run a PEP check. It will produce a certificate showing the results of the identity check, which can then be saved back against the client in Connectworks.
We're aiming for a process that will take less than a minute, with no need to re-enter details (if recorded correctly in Connectworks) at a cost of around $5-6 per individual, depending on whether you need a driver license check or a slightly more expensive passport check. We've also been advised that the third party we're using will also be providing similar verifications for non-NZ'ers from major countries at a slightly higher cost.
The identity verification component of the CDD sits against the individual in our common database. This means if you've completed CDD for a client because the're a trustee, you don't need to do it again if they're also a director of a company managed within Connectworks. And, if you're on a connected plan with another firm for a trust or company, parts of the CDD can be shared, reducing the time and cost of undertaking it. Information about the legal ability to do this can be found here.
While we don't yet support LP's and other partnerships, JV's or incorporated societies, you can still run the CDD against the people involved and store it in Connectworks. These people, along with their CDD information, will be able to be attached to the other entity types once we support them.
We will soon be adding reporting functionality which will allow you to see which clients CDD hasn't been undertaken for, or if it is incomplete. We already support calendar reminders for ID and proof of identity expiries, and will add the ability for more reminders such as updating CDD.
Are you under-selling your registered office service?
Many firms’ who are the registered office for clients still just charge clients token fees for filing annual returns. But there's much more to being the registered office than just filing annual returns. If clients perceive that's all that is required and that it's easy to do, why do they need to pay you?
The legal requirements include the record-keeping required under Section 189 of the Companies Act; including directors certificates, shareholder communications, minutes, names and addresses of directors and maintaining an interests register. Plus maintaining a compliant share register as required under Section 87, plus an annual return verification and then filing the return (at the reduced cost of $33+gst when filed via Connectworks). A person convicted of an offence against any of these sections of the Act is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000.
The majority of firms we meet who are doing most of these things properly charge a registered office fee of $175 - $300 PA. On top of that you may want to factor in the cost of your growing compliance obligations, such as the requirements a few years ago to provide date of birth and place of birth for directors and now AML/CFT (see how we're helping above).
Then there are also non-mandatory things you could do and charge for additionally. In the case of a company being in liquidation, the liquidators will look for any improperly authorised director remuneration which is then treated as a loan and required to be repaid, for up to the previous 6 years. ADLS has more on this in their article Lessons from Liquidations. Connectworks contains all the precedents to properly authorise director remuneration that then merge with the company and director details, so can be generated in a few minutes. The remuneration still has to be 'fair'. So, for example, you could charge clients additionally for this as "insurance" against the potential personal loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars by the directors in the case of a liquidation.
We've got a new website
www.connectworks.com has now replaced the Trustworks and Companyworks websites. If you click on to one of these websites to login to the product, it will now re-direct to Connectworks.com. The new website has updated content and videos, but reading/watching video is never as good as getting a demonstration, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like one.
More onboarding help
Ischtar is now our dedicated Client Onboarding Liasion. She can help you get set up smoothly with exports of data from other systems, arranging for one of our trained loading people to come into you offices, outsourced scanning or loading help and making sure you get all the training you require. You can reach her on email@example.com or 0800 456 580 - option 4.
Enhancements planned to Assets and Liabilities (Trusts)
It's hard keeping everybody happy! As you may know, Connectworks has functionality for managing assets and liabilities for trusts, including trust-specific tasks such as gifting, related-party loans and distributions, and Xero integration for trusts that require it. It's designed as a double-entry system - after all, all money comes from somewhere, and this avoids any troublesome issues with accounts not balancing at a later date.
However, we've heard that some users are unhappy with the requirement for both sides of a transaction to be recorded. We believe in giving people what they want, so we're making changes to our assets and liabilities management so that any funds not accounted for will go into a suspense account. However, if at any time in the future, a user wants to, they can re-allocate the funds from that suspense account to where it has come from.
New look in place
As mentioned last month, we've changed the layout of Connectworks. The changes include having some navigation icons down the left side of your screen to enable us to cope with both current and planned enhancements.
Don't be shy - tell us what you think
We value feedback from users. It's how we determine how to make more useful solutions. We can't improve or add things we don't know about. The best way to log a question or feedback is by using the "?" symbol in the top right of your screen. We track the turnaround time on these and make sure we're not getting the same questions repeatedly. However, if you prefer you can call us on 0800 456 580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a free webinar demonstration
This month we're running webinars covering everything from the basics to some of our most requested training topics. Email your name and the date you’d like to attend to email@example.com and we’ll respond with login details. If there's any other topics you would like us to cover just let us know.
Companies - Monday 13th August @ 2pm
Trusts - Tuesday 14th August @ 11am
20min Training Webinars:
Connectworks AML/CFT functionality - Tuesday 14th August @ 1.30pm
Shareholder Continuity Tracking - Wednesday 15th August @ 9.30am
Precedents and signing - Friday 17th August @ 10.30am
Quote of the month
"Change before you have to"