Annual Returns Troubleshooting FAQ
This article outlines the common issues users experience when filing annual returns and possible resolutions to these issues.
The company I'm looking for doesn't appear in Annual Return Workflow
The most common reason for companies not appearing in the workflow is because they need to have their filing obligation set.
Common issues and resolutions:
Does the company have the correct filing obligation set?
Setting filing obligations
The filing obligation setting drives which companies will appear by default in your firm's Annual Returns Workflow. If companies you file for aren't appearing in your default workflow, it's because their filing obligation hasn't been set.
The filing obligation types you can record are:
- Not Registered Office - your firm has no filing obligations for the company. These companies will not show in the Annual Return Workflow.
- Office filing only - your firm performs filings but does not act as the registered office.
- Check filing only - your firm checks filings on behalf of the client but does not file them.
- Registered office only - your firm acts as the Registered Office but does not perform filings. These companies will not show in the Annual Return Workflow.
- Registered office check filing - your firm acts as the Registered Office, and checks filings on behalf of the client, but does not file them.
- Registered office and filing - your firm acts as the Registered Office and performs filings.
Record the filing obligation for a single company:
1. Select Edit for the required company (either via the Clients tab, Work tab, or Company workspace)
2. In the edit form select the Incorporation tab
3. Select the required obligation from the Responsibility drop down
Bulk update multiple companies at the same time:
1. Navigate to your Clients>Companies tab.
2. Select the tick box of all companies for which your firm has the same filing obligation (eg. all registered office and filing).
3. Select the "..." menu in the top right corner of the slide out panel.
4. Select Change filing responsibility from the menu, and then choose the correct obligation to apply to these companies.
Has the company been set up in your firm profile?
Setting up companies
There are four ways to set up profiles for companies in Connectworks.
The quickest way to set up companies (or corporate trustee companies) is by importing the information held by the Companies Office, either individually or by using our bulk import service. This will automatically bring in the following:
registered office address
annual return filing date
the registered shareholding*
the publicly-available information for all the company directors (active and historic) and all active shareholders.
all the Companies Office documents made available to be downloaded as .pdfs
*Please note the share register information imported from the Companies Office reflects the shareholdings as they are registered at the time of import and is not deemed a compliant share register.
Select your preferred set up method:
Importing an individual company from the Companies Office
1. Navigate to your firm's Clients tab.
2. Select the "I would like to..." menu at the top right of the page and then "Add new Company" .
3. Use the search bar to find the company you wish to import by typing in the company name, company number, or NZBN.
4. When the company appears in the list, hover over it and click the ‘Import’ button.
5. Complete the Add company form.
In the Add company form we recommend selecting the tick box for "automatically merge people with identical names" - this will prevent duplicate contact profiles being created when a director is also a shareholder.
If you intend on using the Annual Returns Workflow it is essential to complete the filing responsibility for a company at the time of import, this ensures that the company appears in the correct filter in the annual return section of Connectworks.
For corporate trustee companies
In the Add company form, ignore the subscription plan and instead select the tick box "this company is a corporate trustee for one or more trust clients". This is a free subscription if the company will be linked to one or more trusts on a paid subscription plan in Connectworks.
Bulk importing companies from the Companies Office
After completing the Basic Firm Set-Up we offer a bulk data import service to help firms onboarding a large client base to Connectworks. It's the quickest and easiest way to get set up.
Our import templates can be downloaded below and contain detailed instructions on how to complete them. Please note that some templates have several worksheet tabs for recording your data.
Please follow the instructions carefully and do not alter the formatting of the sheets as this may cause your import to have errors.
If you do not have the NZBN's for your companies easily available please let us know and we will send your list to the Companies Office for a data match. Just be aware this will delay your import by approximately 48hrs.
Once completed, return the template to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise when the entity profiles become available.
How to Generate XPM Report to Populate Company template
To obtain client data from XPM / Workflowmax and quickly populate our import template:
1. In Workflowmax go to the Reports tab
2. Select report builder
3. Build a report including the details pictured below (if in use)
4. Preview the report and if you are satisfied with the results, simply download it and copy/paste the details into the applicable fields in our template.
Importing companies from XPM (Xero Practice Manager / WorkflowMax)
Please be aware
Companies imported from XPM will not be linked to the Companies Office. This will result in additional manual work to update the share register and connect to the Companies Office. Instead, we recommend setting up the company by manual loading or bulk import, then linking the company to XPM, as per:
Still want to import from XPM?
To import companies from XPM, you must have the XPM Add-on connected.
When the connection is set up, you can complete the following steps to import companies from XPM.
Import a company from XPM:
1. Navigate to your firm's Clients>Companies tab.
2. Click on the "I would like to..." menu and select Import from other system.
3. In the Add client form search for the company in your XPM list and import it into Connectworks.
Complete the company profile after import
For further information on updating the missing information please see Completing a company profile after XPM import.
Setting up companies manually (International companies / partnerships)
Generally, this option is only used to set up international companies, or entities such as partnerships that cannot be imported from the NZ Companies Office.
Manually set up a company
1. Navigate to your firm's Clients tab.
2. Select the "I would like to..." menu at the top right of the page and then Add new Company.
3. In the Add company form select the button "Manually create". This allows you to manually input the compliance and contact information shown.
4. After completing the form and creating the profile you will also need to add the associated parties into the company profile via the company Edit form or in the Company workspace>Admin Tab.
See more on adding associated parties to profiles here: Adding Associated Parties to Entity Profiles (how to create a contact).
Do you have the correct filters applied in the left column?
To view/search all companies in your workflow select filters:
- all filing obligations
- filing month = any month
- filing status = all no filtering
The applied filters will appear at the top of the workflow, you can remove the filters by selecting the 'x' next to it, or selecting another option in the left column.
Workflow Displaying 'Filing Problem'
Hovering over the warning will provide more information about the cause of the issue.
You can investigate further by checking the "Recent Activity" section of the Company's workspace. There will be an error warning which will provide insight into the cause of the failure.
Common issues and resolutions:
Personal Connectworks profile not logged in to Realme.
To enable filing annual returns from within Connectworks you must first link your Connectworks account to the Companies Office using the RealMe login which has authority to file on behalf of your clients. Your RealMe connection then remains active for 6 months.
If you encounter an error warning during the final stage of filing you will need to connect (or in some cases disconnect, then reconnect) your RealMe login.
How to connect to RealMe
1. In your personal workspace select the “Manage your profile” dropdown.
2. Select NZ Companies Office connection
If you are already connected but are encountering issues filing, select “Disconnect from the Companies Office” and then reconnect.
3. Select Connect to Companies Office - a pop-up window should appear.
If this window does not appear your browser is likely blocking pop-ups. In this event navigate to the web address bar in your browser - to the right of the web address there will be a small red icon - select this, and then choose “Always allow pop-ups and redirects from https://goconnectworks.com”. Then refresh your page and reselect the “Connect to the Companies Office” button.
4. When pop-ups are enabled you will be redirected to a Companies Office RealMe login screen. Log in with your RealMe username and password (must be the RealMe account which has authority to file Annual Returns at your firm).
5. Approve the User Consent request - you are now ready to begin filing Annual Returns from within Connectworks.
- RealMe account you have logged in with does not have authority to file.
Log in at the Companies Office. Obtain authority or reconnect your Connectworks profile with the RealMe that has authority.
- RealMe account does not have a direct debit enabled with the Companies Office.
Log in at the Companies Office and enable direct debit authority.
- The company may have been removed from the register, or may be in its first year of incorporation and therefore does not require filing.
Filed in Connectworks but Companies Office has not updated
If you have filed successfully the Companies Office will update in less than a minute. If this hasn't happened then the return has not filed.
The most common cause for this is inadvertently closing the workflow without completing the final declaration. In this situation, you simply need to enter the company workspace, select "file return" in the top right of the dashboard, complete the declaration and file.
Client email address has changed
See our article:
Resending the annual return extract
For details on how to send Companies office extracts to clients before filing the annual return for their company, please refer to Send annual return extract to clients for verification. In some cases, the client does not reply to the extract in time, or the extract is sent to an incorrect email address. This article outlines the process of resending the Companies Office extract to clients.
Follow up methods
There are three options for following up with your clients who have not verified their annual return extract. These are:
Send extract through email
This method is best for sending reminders to unresponsive clients, as the original extract is sent from email@example.com, which the client may be unfamiliar with and therefore may have ignored.
You can simply forward the client the company extract that you received by Bcc when you started the workflow.
Send extract through workflow
This method is best when the original extract was sent to an incorrect email address. First, update the companies contact details and enter the client's email address using the Edit profile option. Edit profile is available from either:
By hovering over the company in the Annual Returns workflow and selecting Edit which appears on the right.
Within the Company's Workspace, in the top right of the main dashboard.
Via your Clients>Companies list and selecting Edit which appears on the right.
All the above pathways will lead you to the Update client form (pictured below) where you can update the client's email address through the contact details section.
1. Type in the new email address in the appropriate field and click update and close.
2. Once the email address has been updated, navigate to the work tab and place a tick on the companyclick into the company workspace via the annual returns workflow.
3. Within the Company Workspace, the annual return workflow will appear on the right-hand side. Select the workflow step Prepare company extract section then select re-run under the Send variance report to client option:
Link to extract
You can also obtain the link to the extract and fill it out on behalf of the client or send it in a separate email. Click on Companies Office Extract (responses) under the Prepare company extract section of the company's workflow (as shown in the above screenshot). This will lead you to the Company's extract, you can either fill it out on the client's behalf or copy the URL and send it to your client in a separate email.
Filing dates showing incorrectly or missing
Occasionally in the Annual Return Workflow, companies do not show an accurate last filing date, which can cause a company to incorrectly appear as overdue for filing. You can quickly check whether a company showing as overdue has been filed by selecting the “retrieve last filing” button available to the right of the company in the workflow (see screenshot below). This will pull the most most recent filing date recorded at the Companies Office, and the workflow status will update accordingly.
Occasionally in the Annual Return Workflow, companies do not show an accurate last filing date, which can cause a company to incorrectly appear as overdue for filing.
You can quickly check whether a company showing as overdue has been filed by selecting the “retrieve last filing” button available to the right of the company in the workflow (see screenshot below). This will pull the most most recent filing date recorded at the Companies Office, and the workflow status will update accordingly.
Due date unknown - please connect
This error warning appears if the company is not linked to the Companies Office.
To resolve, select Edit, navigate to the Incorporation tab and select Connect to Companies Office.
You will be redirected to a search function which is auto completed with the company's NZBN as it is recorded in Connectworks. If the NZBN is incorrect or not recorded in Connectworks, then you can complete the company name, company number or NZBN in the search bar manually.
If no results appear when searched it is likely that the company has been removed from the register. Check with the companies office to confirm.
Review client response to the annual return extract after filing
If you need to review the client response to the annual return extract after you have finished filing the return (or because the workflow was accidentally closed before filing) you can access this by navigating to your firms main dashboard, then the "Workflow" tab in the centre of the dash, then search for the company, as pictured below:
Click "Open" and you will be redirected to the company workspace with the workflow available on the right.
Return to step "Gather changes from client" and then click the link "Companies Office Extract (responses)" to review.