September two minute update

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AML/CFT update
The first phase of our Client Due Diligence (CDD) workflow is due to go live next week! This means you will have a single space for managing and performing CDD on all your clients in Connectworks. The new CDD workflow will replace and combine the existing AML fields that currently sit within each client’s profile. We’ll be providing more information and guidance materials over the coming weekend, keep an eye out for further details.
 
Electronic Identity Verification - Overview and setup requirements
From next week, Connectworks will also begin offering access to a range of electronic identity information and verification services provided by Centrix, a New Zealand owned and operated consumer identification service.
 
Earlier this week we emailed all registered firm administrators detailing the services that will be available, pricing and the setup steps that need to be taken in order to be able to access them. If you didn’t receive the email, a copy is available here. If you would like to register as a firm administrator to receive future updates about ongoing enhancements, new features, and critical alerts for active Connectworks users, please subscribe here.
 
The core service will centre on easily requesting, receiving and storing Centrix Smart ID checks directly from Connectworks. Centrix Smart ID is an electronic identity verification service for verifying name, address and date of birth data.
 
A Smart ID check will be able to be created within the Identity Information section of a person’s Connectworks profile, in much the same way as driver license and passport records can currently be created. 
 
You will have to enter a person’s name (first and last), date of birth and address, together with either their driver licence details (number, version number, and expiration date) or passport details (nationality, passport number, and expiration date). Connectworks will then link to Centrix to perform the check, which will only take a few seconds to complete. The results will be automatically received back into Connectworks, displaying the pieces of identity information that were able to be verified. A .pdf report will also be produced, which can then be downloaded. On the basis of the evidence received, you will then be able to indicate whether you consider the person’s identity to be sufficiently verified.
 
Fees & Billing
Smart ID with Driver Licence             $5.00 NZD (ex. GST)
Smart ID with Passport                      $6.00 NZD (ex. GST)
See additional requirements below
PEP/Sanctions check search only        $1.00 NZD (ex. GST)

All prices are on a per-check basis, and are irrespective of the result. Every time you run an ID check, Connectworks will record it. A monthly invoice will then be raised for all fees incurred.

The ability to perform identity checks for non-NZ nationals is in progress, we'll let you know when this function becomes available and the cost associated.
 
Verifications using a driver licence will be easier & cheaper than using passports
In order to use Centrix’s Smart ID electronic identity verification services in Connectworks, you must download and complete the below forms, then return to enquire@connectworks.com   
 
Application for Centrix subscriber account (download)
These are the terms and conditions for using Centrix, and must be completed and signed by an authorised representative of your firm.

Application in relation to the Identity Information Confirmation Act 2012 (download)
This DIA form only needs to be completed if you want to be able to use passport information in your Smart ID checks. 

Parties receiving passport information must first be authorised by the Department of Internal Affairs, via Centrix (for more information, see here). Yes, that's the same DIA who made you an AML/CFT reporting entity and put the CDD requirements in place! 

When performing a Smart ID check you will be required to tick a box confirming you have obtained consent from the individual you intend to perform the check on. We recommend you engage with your clients to advise them of these requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact Connectworks on 0800 456 580 or email enquire@connectworks.com
 
Identity verification via ID documents - available now
If you're going to be verifying some, or all, of your client’s identities by sighting original proof of identity documents, or using certified documents, you can now enter the details and scanned copies of documents. More information can be foundhere.

As mentioned above, we will also be adding a PEP and sanctions check-only option for $1 per individual, so you’ll easily be able add this component to any manual ID verifications. 
 
Recording beneficial ownership - available now
Fields for recording all the required information regarding beneficial owners are in place. Click here for further details and instructions on using this feature.

Business Relationship with Tax Pooling Solutions (TPS)
We have entered into a Business Relationship with Tax Pooling Solutions (TPS) to enable the sharing of CDD information for common clients, to satisfy AML obligations.

Tax Pooling intermediaries are required to undertake CDD for their customers. By using both Connectworks and TPS you can reduce the time and cost of providing CDD information to more than one recipient.
 
Where your clients' information is uploaded to Connectworks and the same clients are also registered with TPS, after providing your consent the necessary CDD information will be automatically 'pushed' through to TPS, making it seamless for you to use TPS as a tax pooling intermediary.
 
For more information on TPS you can visit their website here and register. You are welcome to email taxpooling@nz.pwc.com or call on 09 948 8833 for any queries you might have.
 
New subscription plans available for an AML/CFT solution for every client 
If you're already using Connectworks for managing your companies and/or trusts, all AML/CFT functionality is included at no additional cost to your existing subscriptions.
AML/CFT-only subscriptions are just $5 per client, per annum (company, trust, individual etc.).
If you have clients that you don't have on-going relationships with, there is an option of a 6-year AML/CFT plan for $25. This enables you to complete the CDD and meet the 5-year record keeping requirements. If clients do return, existing CDD can be easily accessed, updated if required and the subscription extended.

All prices exclude GST and  the cost of any client identity checks undertaken via Connectworks (prices outlined in Fees & Billing section above).
 
Real Estate agents as clients? 
Real Estate agents become AML/CFT reporting entities on 1 January. If you have any as clients who are looking for a comprehensive but easy and low-cost AML/CFT solution, we'd love to hear from them. Please emailenquire@connectworks.com
 
Upgrade to Annual Return verifications and e-filing 
We've redesigned our Annual Returns workflow to improve the way the list of returns can be filtered and viewed. This is due to go live next week. We’ll send some guidance to the registered firm administrators to explain the new features. Don't forget to subscribe if you would like to receive administrator updates.
 
New login-free signing option
Firms have told us that some of their clients don't want to create a Connectworks account if they're only signing, and doing so infrequently. So we now have a login-free signing option. If you choose to use it, unregistered clients can only access the options of e-drawing a signature, or uploading a scan of a wet-signed document. The current method which allows clients to save a signature securely in Connectworks and insert it, will not be available. They also won't be able to access documents they've signed previously, or see your firms branded portal.

As well as having the most flexible signing around, any document can be signed via Connectworks, not just ones generated from our precedents. And there's no limited on the number that can be signed. 
 
Christchurch-based loading contractor wanted 
We're looking for a new person in Christchurch to help firms load data and documents into Connectworks, on an as-required basis. If you know anyone potentially suitable, please have them email ischtar@connectworks.com for more information.   
 
Webinars
We now use GoToWebinars, so no need to email us for details, just click on the link to register.

AML/CFT
Learn how to manage your AML obligations in Connectworks. 
Tuesday 2nd Oct @ 11am - Register
Wednesday 3rd Oct @ 2pm - Register 
Friday 12th Oct @ 3pm - 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.
Tuesday 9th Oct @ 2pm - Register

Trusts Overview
For those that haven't seen or are very new to trusts this is a high level overview on all functionality.
Tuesday 16th Oct @ 2pm - Register
 
Companies - Basic Training 
Covering all the basics. Importing a company, updating information, uploading documents, contact management, interest register and more. 
Wednesday 10th Oct @ 2pm - Register

Annual Return Process
Learn how to use the annual return workflow. Easy client verifications. Manage client changes. File individual returns and bulk filing. 
Thursday 11th Oct @ 9.30 - Register

Share Register Management 
Learn how to create compliant share registers using Connectworks.
Wednesday 17th Oct @ 1pm - Register

Trust Set up and Administration
How to set up a trust in Connectworks and manage its associated parties.
Thursday 18th Oct @ 9.30am - Register

Precedents & Signing 
How to use Connectworks precedents to generate documents and send them to clients for signing. Covers companies & trusts.
Thursday 18th Oct @ 2pm - Register

August two minute update

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Welcome PwC - After a thorough evaluation of the options, PwC has selected Connectworks to be the company secretarial product they'll use nationally. 

It's great to have another Big 4 firm on board as a user.

 

AML/CFT update

By early next week, we'll have completed adding all the fields to record CDD information against companies and trusts and the people involved in them and sole-traders or other individuals as clients.

This includes the ability to record proof of identity and proof of address against individuals.

 

New checkboxes will be in place to allow you to more quickly and accurately specify 'The nature and purpose of your business relationship with a client'. These checkboxes correspond directly to the business activities that are captured by AML/CFT, as given under the definition for "designated non-financial business or profession" in Section 5 of the AML/CFT Act. 

 

We believe recording the activities you undertake for clients this way will improve the accuracy as well as making it easier.

 

If you select the checkbox indicating that you're not performing any captured activities for the client, the entity will be classified as 'CDD not required' on your firms AML/CFT reports.

 

We'll soon be adding the ability to record CDD against other entity types such as LP's and others partnerships plus JV's, so Connectworks can be your AML/CFT solution for all clients.  

We'll also soon be releasing the ability for clients, who on a subscription plan with at least signing access, to upload their own proof of address and proof of identity information and documents.

 

We're also currently working on the CDD workflows and integrations with a third-party provider to do easy and cheap client identity information checks.

 

New subscription plans announced: AML only and AML + client engagement

As outlined above, Connectworks can be your AML/CFT solution for all clients.

If you don't want to use the full entity-management functionality of Connectworks, or, if the client is an individual, LP, other partnership or JV you'll be able to use Connectworks for AML/CFT purposed only for just $5 per annum.

 

At a later date you'll also be able to upgrade this to add our flexible signing and a branded client portal (see Six reasons to have a branded client portal for your firm article below for details) for just $5 per entity more, for unlimited signing by all signatories (= $10 total per client, per annum)   

A 2-year minimum subscription applies.

Pricing excludes GST.

Price does not include the cost of client identity information checks undertaken via Connectworks.     

 

Six reasons to have a branded client portal for your firm.  We know there are lots of signing products and portals out there. But we believe Connectworks offers a superior solution for 6 reasons.

(1) As well being a place for clients to sign and store documents, it's where they can upload their own identity information and documents for AML/CFT purposes (see AML/CFT article above).    

(2) Connectworks offers the most flexible signing around.   

With Connectworks, you can (option 1) upload a wet-signed document as 'signed' having sighted the clients signature (option 2) you can sign electronically on-screen, or (option 3) by inserting a signature already securely saved in Connectworks or, (option 4) you can print, sign, scan and upload. And Connectworks supports a mix of all 4 methods on the same document as well as the witnessing of electronic signatures, one-click approvals, oversight of outstanding signings and more.  

(3) Connectworks has a unique document pack function for compiling, sending, signing and tracking multiple-documents. While documents go out as a pack, there is the ability to set specific instruction against each one, such as 'sign', 'read' or 'retain'.

(4) It's a place to securely store documents you've sent to clients previously, so they can find them and don't need to ask you for another copy. It can also act as a secure, private vault for clients as they can also set documents as 'confidential'. They're held with our top-levels of security and available to them at any time, from anywhere they've got internet access. A portal can therefore be seen as an added-value offering from your firm.

(5) Any document can be can be signed via Connectworks, not just ones generated from our precedents and clauses. As well as documents being sent to the Companies Office or clients, firms use Connectworks for signing tax returns and a multitude of other documents.

(6) Unlimited document signing is just $5 more for a company or $10 more for a trust per annum.  Connectworks subscription plans are flexible, so you can pick and mix to have with or without signing, or full-access on a client-by-client basis.  And finally there's no additional charge for having a branded client portal for your firm. Contact us today to find out more at enquire@connectworks.com

 

Webinars

 

Overviews - 60 min:

Companies - Friday 7th September @ 1pm

Trusts - Tuesday 11th September @ 11am

 

20min Training Webinars:

Connectworks AML/CFT functionality

       - Friday 7th September @ 10.30am

       - Friday 7th September @ 2.00pm

       - Monday 10th September @ 2.00pm

Shareholder Continuity Tracking - Monday 10th September @ 3.00pm

Precedents and signing - Tuesday 11th September @ 2.30pm
 


Trivia:

An ASIC annual review in Australia, costs AUD $263 a year (about NZD$287) The equivalent here, a Companies Office annual return costs $41.40 here, or $39.95 if filed via Connectworks.   

Quote of the month

 

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get"


Warren Buffett

July TWO minute update

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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 LiquidationsConnectworks 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 ischtar@connectworks.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 support@connectworks.com

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 enquire@connectworks.com and we’ll respond with login details. If there's any other topics you would like us to cover just let us know.
Overviews:
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"
Jack Welch