Step 3 - The annual return workflow
Once you have completed the steps required for setting up your profile to enable Annual Return filing and have checked the companies due for filing are set up correctly you're all set to begin filing. This can be done in bulk lots of up to 30 at a time, or for companies individually.
Connectworks have a draft letter template available here to help firms engage with their clients about the annual return process. We find that distributing this letter to clients before sending the company extract greatly improves the client response rate.
How to send the verification extract
1. Ensure you have filtered the Annual Return workflow in the left column by:
Filing obligation --> Files Return
Filing month --> This Month
Filing status --> Needs Attention
Workflow step --> Not Started*
*If you have more than 30 Companies, in Workflow Step select 'not started'. When you start the process, simply refreshing the screen will remove all the extracts sent to clients, leaving those extracts requiring attention.
The refresh icon is located under the 'I would like to' menu option.
If client email addresses are missing the next step will result in errors. To prevent this you can enter your email (or a generic firm email address) and contact clients to ascertain if there have been any changes to the company, then respond to the verification email on their behalf.
2. Select up to 30 companies with the tickbox. Then click on the "..." at the top right of the list and select “start workflow and send extract”.
NB. If this option is not available, you have selected more than 30 companies. Deselect companies until it becomes available.
This will generate an Annual Return verification email which is sent directly to the client (more on this below). You will also receive a copy of this email via Bcc, which can be used to follow up with any non-responsive clients by forwarding it to them as a reminder.
In most circumstances, you will want to generate an annual return extract for the client to verify. If you're filing for a company that doesn't require an extract to be verified (for example corporate trustee companies) you can skip this step and just use the "File annual return" option instead.
After sending the Annual Return verification extract all selected companies will update the workflow list from “Workflow not started” to “2 - Awaiting response”
Tip: To quickly select a list of companies select the first company tick-box, hold shift and then select the last companies to tick box. Everything between these companies will be selected.
Client view of the annual return verification email
After selecting “start workflow and send extract" the client will receive a verification email from email@example.com, and you will also receive a copy via Bcc. Below is an example of this email. Your firm name will appear in place of "Connectworks Training Firm".
A Connectworks account is not required for clients to complete the annual return verification.
The client can either confirm the details are correct or advise of any required updates using the links contained at the bottom of the email.