July two minute update
Document pack – redefining client engagement
We know accountants and other professionals have unique needs when it comes
to document management. It seems nobody has mastered making the year-end
client requirements to “keep this one, sign that one, return the other one, this is
for the trust, that is for the company etc ” easy for firms.
To solve this problem, we’re working on the ability to collect multiple documents into a single ‘document pack’, able to be shared with clients, who can review, sign, comment on, or store, each document as required. We believe that together with our easy document generation from over 340 trust and company precedents, plus our flexible signing (electronically, manually, print- sign- scan and upload and even a combination of these methods on the same document) it will deliver a powerful solution for firms and their clients. We’ll keep you up to date with developments.
Moving up the value chain as the registered office
Many firms that are registered office charge clients a token fee for filing annual returns and that’s it. There are greater requirements of the registered office and naturally Companyworks can help you to easily fulfill them. These requirements include:
- Authorising remuneration and other benefits outlined under Section 161.
- Maintaining an interests register that includes:
Directors remuneration and other benefits interests pursuant to s161(2) of the Companies Act 1993.
General disclosures of interests pursuant to s140(2) of the Companies Act 1993.
Register of indemnities and insurances of directors and employees pursuant to s162(7) of the Companies Act 1993.
Specific disclosures of interests pursuant to s140(1) of the Companies Act 1993.
Register of use of company information pursuant to s145 of the Companies Act 1993.
See article below “Why are interests registers important”
The above register templates are now automatically generated for new companies set up in Companyworks.
- Maintaining records stated in Section 189 for a period of 7 years.
- Creating and maintaining a share register that is compliant with both section 87(2)(a) and section 87 (1),(2)(b,c) of the Companies Act. (Companyworks produces 2 separate reports in order to deliver this)
- Filing annual returns.
In addition to just meeting your obligations, with Companyworks any documents can be put through for signing with the variety of methods we support. A reminder: we even support different users signing using different methods on the same document. There’s a process to enable clients to easily verify their annual return details. Then it can be e-filed to the Companies Office (at a reduced rate). In addition, you’re well-positioned to be able to undertake an array of additional fee-paying work, such as director and shareholder changes and helping achieve compliance and good governance, using the 46 workflows and over 200 additional templates included.
Why are interests registers important?
In his article “Lessons from liquidations” for the Auckland District Law Society, Brent Norling, Senior in-house counsel at Waterstone Insolvency makes the following comments:
“Directors are entitled to receive money from their company pursuant to certain legal obligations, like dividends, salary or wages and reimbursement of expenses paid by or on behalf of the company. However, if section 161 of the Companies Act 1993 (the Act) has not been complied with, any monies paid to a director is to be treated as a loan”
His advice is as follows:
“Directors and those who advise directors ought to be familiar with the practice and procedures of obtaining remuneration and other benefits from companies. Although compliance with section 161 of the Act is not overly onerous, failure to do so will result in a demand from a liquidator (if one eventually gets appointed), and readers should be aware that a liquidator can look back six years from the date of liquidation. Additionally, the company can take a claim against the director, as can the shareholders (with leave of the court)”.
New Companyworks features
Enhanced shareholding management functionality will go live in a few weeks. It includes an enhanced ability to manage companies with ownership by trusts. Shareholding changes will automatically generate share transfer forms and better reporting. We’re also working on shareholder continuity tracking. The interests, risks and soft assets registers in Companyworks can all now be exported.
Unsure how to take the next step for positioning your professional trust services?
The new Trusts Act will be the biggest change in this area for more than 60 years. While the details are being worked through, there are 2 certainties:
Firstly, the higher levels of care expected of trustees will be more explicitly set out in the legislation.
Secondly, the new Act is likely the best opportunity you’ll ever have to re-set how you engage with your client trusts. A lot of firms we meet are currently re-assessing how they will manage their trusts in the future. This usually comes down to engaging with clients and selecting one of four options:
- Running the trust to a high standard and paying for professional trustee services (and disbursements such as Trustworks subscriptions and costs associated with running trustee companies).
- Winding the trust up if the reasons it was settled no longer exist.
- Staying on as legal or accounting advisor for the trust and appointing a specialist trust provider to manage the trustee services with all parties seamlessly connected via Trustworks (please let us know if you’d like the names of trustee companies who are happy to work this way).
- Resigning as trustee where the clients aren’t prepared to run the trust to a high standard, or pay for professional trustee services.
Sometimes, figuring out which step to take first is the hardest decision. We’ve mentioned Lindsay Pope in the past; he independently consults to professional advisers and firms wanting to unlock commercial value and reduce professional risk in their trust and estate planning services. He brings 40 years’ of experience in the field to help improve outcomes for trustees, beneficiaries and trust clients. Lindsay’s happy to have a an initial no obligation conversation to share the process he recommends to help professionals work through their options, establish standards of practice and reset the terms of engagement with trustee clients.
Join a webinar demonstration
Email your name and the date you’d like to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond with login details.
Trustworks – Wed 2nd August @ 11am
Companyworks – Thurs 3rd August @ 2pm
Portal – Wed 2nd August @ 1.30pm
Using Precedents - Mon 7th August @ 10.30am
"All progress takes place outside the comfort zone "
- Michael John Bobak