Newsletter June 2016


ABM Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software simplifies tasks such as client management, marketing, lead tracking and customer analysis.   With full integration of the ABM accounting system, and driven by a robust SQL database, the CRM software module provides a unique platform for accessing and utilising all your customer and supplier information.   If your business is focused on customer retention or generation, then managing customer information is vital.   ABM CRM provides the tools to deliver a higher level of service and more effective promotional campaigns.   ABM CRM can be accessed from inside ABM or on a mobile device.   Benefits

  • Improves customer service
  • More effective promotions
  • Visible campaign success rates
  • Improves communication with customers
  • Better information sharing
  • Access to data while out of the office

For more information click here

Importing general ledger journals

Save time on importing general ledger journals from an Excel spreadsheet into ABM. From the accounts menu click on the Import journal button. You will be asked to select the spreadsheet for importing, the date the journals are to be processed at, and the journal reference number. The spreadsheet must contain 3 columns – The Account code, the Amount, and a description. These are matched as part of the import process. The spreadsheet will also be checked to confirm the amounts balance.

Employment Agreements

Unlike the old days, it is law (Employment Relations Act 2000) that an employer must provide a written employment agreement to an employee, regardless of whether the position offered is permanent, part time, fixed term or casual.

The employment agreement is important as this is where you have all the details on what’s expected of both the employer and the employee.

Remember that the employment agreement must be agreed upon and signed by the employee before they start work. It is important that you allow the employee time to seek legal advice before signing the contract. There are some fundamental rules to follow when issuing an employment agreement.  These are:

  • Put the agreement in writing and include at least the mandatory clauses.
  • Keep a copy, and give a copy to your employee.
  • Advise your prospective employee they should seek independent advice before signing the agreement.
  • Give them a reasonable amount of time to get that advice.  We would advise at least 5 working days.
  • Consider any issues that they raise and respond to them.

For a list of the mandatory clauses required for an Employment Agreement click here  Some helpful sources for information on employment agreements are:

MBIE Website – Employment relations

Business.Govt Website – Staff and HR

5 Helpful Recruitment Tips

1. Write a Job Description      It is not a legal requirement to have a job description but this can be useful when it comes to completing the employment agreement and advertising the position. MBIE has a template that you can use to assist you in writing the job description.  Click here 2. Advertise the Position You don’t have to advertise a position and many roles are filled by word of mouth. If you are advertising then you do need to be careful about what you say in the advert.  Your advert must be accurate and non-discriminatory.  In short you can’t use language or terms that could be interpreted as seeking someone of a particular age, gender or race. However you can ask for a cover letter (handwritten) as well as a CV to get extra information about how suitable the applicant is in regards to the job you’re looking to fill. 3. Place the Advertisement There are many options where you can advertise for staff.  Think about the type of role you are looking to fill and where this person is most likely to look. Some of the options are:

  • Advertise on a website such as Seek, Trade Me Jobs or My Job Space
  • Target your industry – farming journals, magazines or industry magazines.
  • Speak with an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or establishment that deals with workers in your industry.
  • Recruitment agency – Has an upfront cost, but can save you lots of time and effort.

4. Shortlist and Interview Have a list of essential requirements for the position, then tick them off if the candidate meets them, also check the candidate has relevant qualifications and is eligible to work in New Zealand.   Once you’ve selected the candidates for interviewing make sure you have created a list of questions.  Try to keep the questions open-ended, so that you get a detailed answer not just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Ask for examples of situations and how they handled them.  Referees can be contacted at any time. Referees can give you great information that you might not learn during an interview, or can fill in any gaps following the interview. Remember – under the Privacy Act, you can only contact referees that candidates have specifically authorised you to speak to for references. 5. Selecting and Appointing By now you should have a good idea of who you want to offer the position to, or have a few options to choose from.  If you are having difficulty choosing between candidates, consider:

  • Relevant experience – will the applicant be able to pick the job up immediately, or will they need training?
  • Personality – how will they fit in with you and the rest of the team?
  • Attitude – have they got the attitude you are looking for?

For more information on recruiting staff click below:

Business.Govt website – Hiring and Employee

MBIE Website – How to hire guide

How to identify potentially dangerous attachments on tablet or phone There are a number of ways to identify potentially dangerous attachments on tablets or phones. The main criteria to look for are the same for emails on computer systems such as:

  • The email doesn’t address you by name.
  • Attachments are executable files (file types such as “.exe”, “.bat”, “.com” or “.scr” and sometimes double extensions such as “.doc.exe”)
  • Hyperlinks – check the properties of the link, the text of the link can be changed to say anything so while the screen shows one location, the actual link may go to another website.  To verify the actual address when using a tablet or phone, press and hold the link until a box appears showing the web address. Warning: Make sure you press and hold rather than tap the link otherwise the link will open.
  • Emails that request personal information.
  • The email address for the sender doesn’t match with the senders business.  To check this from a mobile, tap the senders name and their address will be shown.

4 tips to consider to keep safe from malicious emails:

  1. Only open attachments you explicitly requested.
  2. If you have to send private information, start a fresh email rather than use reply.
  3. Verify all web links before clicking on them.
  4. Investigate any email you receive that does not address you by name, even if you know the sender.

If you have any uncertainty at all about an email then delete it.

App feedback from Debbie – Viber

I use Viber to message family overseas.  It allows me to send messages, photos, video messages and stickers to individuals or a group I have set up.  I have all my siblings (7 in total, living in 4 different countries) in one group, so we all hear the same gossip at the same time or send birthday messages to each other.  We also send photos of what the kids are up to.  For me it’s a private way to share messages and photos very quickly from my phone with the group.  You can group message up to 100 friends. What is Viber? It’s a mobile application that allows you to make phone calls and send text messages to all other Viber users anywhere in the world free of charge.  Although calls and messages are free, it will use your data plan.  If your data plan is not unlimited, they advise that you use a Wi-Fi connection as often as possible to avoid additional charges. Viber uses your 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi internet connection to allow you to connect via your Desktop, any android device, iOS or Windows Phone, which has Viber loaded, on any network.  Viber will integrate with your own contact list.

Excel Tips
Keyboard Shortcuts

Excel has a number of keyboard shortcuts to help when creating and using
a spreadsheet. The main shortcuts are:

Select entire data list Ctrl+Shift+*
Select entire column Ctrl+Shift+down arrow
Insert a new worksheet Shift+F11
Enter data into a range Select the range, enter the data/formula then press Ctrl+Enter
Return to first cell in row Home
Return to first cell on work sheet Ctrl+Home
Move between worksheet tabs Ctrl+PageUp or Page Down



“I was concerned when changing from a payroll system that I knew so well to a new one. I needn’t have worried, the team at Strategic were able to recommend, install and train me on a new system that gave me improved reporting and helped with budgets. They made it easy and hassle free. I use Strategic Software for ongoing support as what could take me 5 hours takes them 5 minutes and I am confident with the result.”

Debbie Hodges, Office Manager
E. Hayes & Sons Limited

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