Newsletter July 2015

In this issue:

Software support – 03 211 2595 Payroll assistance – 03 211 2589
Abandonment of Employment

In the past few months Nikki has had some queries around “Abandonment of Employment” so thought that she would cover this in more detail. All your employment agreements should contain a clause on abandonment of employment. However, even with a clause you are obliged to try to find out where the employee is and whether they intend coming back to work. Contacting the employee: If you haven’t heard from them, make an effort to contact them.

  • Call them on their home phone, mobile phone or any other contact numbers you may have. Leave messages for them to contact you as soon as possible.
  • Your employee records should contain emergency contact numbers – try them.
  • Jot down in their employee file, how and when you tried to reach them including notes on any messages you left.
  • Make a reasonable number of attempts over 3-5 days.
  • If you do manage to make contact, ask questions to find out whether the employee has actually abandoned the employment or if they have a valid reason for their absence.
  • Before you decide that the employee has abandoned their job, it’s important to listen to the employee with an open mind and consider any other information you may have about the absence, such as medical certificates, or conversations with family members of the employee.

Advising the employee. If a number of days have passed and you still haven’t been able to contact the employee and they have not made any contact whatsoever with you follow these steps:

Advise the employee by phone, email and in writing to their last known address, that their employment is in jeopardy. Let them know that unless they contact you by a certain time, you’ll regard their employment as terminated by reason of abandonment. Quote the relevant clause from their employment agreement.

  • If there is still no response, advise the employee by phone, email and in writing that, in accordance with your previous communication, you now regard their employment terminated by reason of abandonment.

It is vitally important that you keep a record of all attempted contact and correspondence so that should there be in dispute in the future you have it all well documented. Remember, if you are going to end an employment relationship, you must act fairly and reasonably and have a good reason. Click here for more information on Abandonment of Employment.

Excel reporting using ABM Alchemex

Simon has been using this powerful module and likes the following functionality:-

  • Able to combine any or all of your companies data, from multiple sources into a single report e.g. Top Sales by Customer and Top Sales by Product.
  • Uses Excel formulas so has great flexibility.
  • It is a great for forecasting.
  • Save as spreadsheets and email to your management/directors etc.
  • Drilldown to more detail within the emailed report.
  • Can be run without being logged into ABM
  • Reports can be created and/or changed quickly.
  • Comes with a number of standard reports, which can be altered.

Part time vs Casual

Eric has recently seen media coverage on  whether an employee is really a casual.  Getting it wrong can cost employers. As mentioned in an article on the Stuff website, The University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA) were asked to repay employees after a Labour inspectorate investigation found employees were not receiving their holiday and sick leave entitlements because UCSA deemed their employment to be casual when in reality they were part time employees.  Click here to see the full article.  When is it OK to pay holiday pay as part of the employee’s regular pay?

  • It is only lawful to add 8% holiday pay  to the employee’s regular pay if they are on fixed term contract or who work irregularly or intermittently e.g. on call workers.  If the employee has a roster then they are not a casual employee.
  • Staff who work a regular pattern, even if it is only one hour per week are actually part timers and are entitled to the normal annual and sick leave entitlements as per the Holidays Act 2003.   The responsibility is on employers to get this right and they must seek advice if they are unsure of their obligations.

Our recommendation is not to pay casual holiday pay each pay unless the employee works irregularly or they are on a short term fixed term contract.  We recommend employers get advice where the fixed term contract is for more than six months.  If in doubt, don’t pay casual holiday pay each pay and only pay holiday pay when the employee takes leave or ceases employment.

Microsoft OneNote

Jill recently provided training on Microsoft OneNote, so thought she would share how we use OneNote.   OneNote is a computerised notebook.  So instead of keeping a manual notebook and lots of pieces of paper, you can keep information all in one place.   A OneNote Notebook can be shared with other users and each time someone updates the notebook, it synchronises for all shared users.  It also tracks who made these changes.  OneNote can be shared with others:

  • On a server.
  • In the cloud (using OneDrive, Dropbox or SharePoint).

There are OneNote apps for tablets so a Notebook can be accessed from all devices.  It can be used offline and will sync later.  You can “print” a PDF into OneNote and add notes, for example, add your monthly reports, then write notes and questions that you want to discuss with the team.  If you can write onto your tablet, instead of typing, OneNote can convert the writing to typed text!   I use OneNote because a copy is held on my laptop and it is synchronised and backed up on the server.  The types of things we use it for are:

  • Knowledge base.
  • Office procedures.
  • Customer notes.
  • Notes from conferences and courses.

Plus OneNote has great search ability, so it is easy to find “stuff”. Ask us about OneNote during your next conversation – it may be handy to use in your business (or personally) and as OneNote comes with most Microsoft Office packages, so you probably already have a copy on your computer.

Ron’s ABM tip Back to Back Orders

When you process a customer order in ABM and that order contains a product, which is marked for “Back to Back Ordering” and is not in stock, then a new screen will appear showing the details of the product and the preferred supplier you purchase the product from.   You will then be able to create a purchase order to the preferred supplier for the product. Depending on the settings stored against the supplier, the order will either be processed immediately, or saved for consolidation with other orders as a requisition. The requisition can then be converted to a purchase order and sent to the supplier at a later time. When the product is received into stock the user is prompted that there are outstanding sales orders for this product. These orders can then be fulfilled and sales invoices processed in ABM. There are settings that need to be enabled in Suppliers and Products for this process to occur.




“We have used Strategic Software for many years for our Accounting Program as well as our Payroll and have found them to be extremely efficient and reliable. They have a vast knowledge of Accounting Systems and Payroll, nothing was ever a problem. Payroll was a very easy and painless task, Strategic Software took care of every aspect and the reports we received weekly were very detailed with all the information we needed. We have since changed our programs to match our Head Office, however . . . during the change over Strategic Software couldn’t have been more helpful. Their understanding of what was needed was paramount for a smooth transition.”

Owen Webb, Manager
Carpet Court, Invercargill

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