Save Your Business An Hour A Day By Automating These 5 Tasks

05/12/2017

Most companies and employees might view automation as a job killer. On the other hand, it can be considered as a lifesaver for companies who are looking to streamline their business processes while saving both time and money.

Automating business processes need to necessarily mean an immediate major overhaul to processes. It could be several daily tasks that could help the company to save an hour a day. Here are some typical business processes whereby businesses can consider to automate.

Related reading: 6 simple ways to cut business costs

Accounting, invoices and taxes

Given the amount of manual calculations and paperwork, accounting tasks and invoicing is one of the most dreaded tasks faced by small business owners. With the help of automation, this tedious and time consuming task can be avoided.

There are numerous online invoicing services that automate accounting tasks ranging from recurring payments, tax filling and deduction, storing or receipts and even bank transfers. These online accounting services can help the business when it comes to balancing books and filing of taxes during the tax season.

Data Backup

Laptop crashes due to malware or hardware problems are fairly common within the workplace. Of course, it does not make sense for departments to print hard copies of the data and store them in a cupboard for the next 5 years. Neither will there be sufficient memory storage on any hardware to store years of company’s data.

Thankfully, with the introduction of the cloud, business data can now be automatically stored online. This means that even if there is the unfortunate situation of a hardware crash, the company’s data can still be easily recovered.

Tracking Employee’s Schedules

Timesheets and punch cards simply adds on to the mountain of paperwork that the HR department and line managers have. Moreover, punch cards and timesheets might be easily misplaced, resulting in employees not being compensated for the time they have worked. Instead, there are plenty of online tools available that can keep track of employees’ schedule. At the same time, employees can also easily view their line managers or availability should there be a need to arrange meetings or discussions.

Payroll

Payroll is another major issue which small businesses face. Given that most small business owners are unable to afford third party payroll vendors, many simply rely on manual Excel calculations to calculate the company’s payroll and cheques to disburse salary payments. However, such methods are typically highly prone to calculation mistakes.

Instead, there are several online payroll services that may not fully automate the company’s payroll but could take care of time consuming payroll tasks such as wage calculations and tax filings.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an essential tasks for small business owners in order to grow their brand awareness. However, it can be a time consuming responsibility to send individual emails to each and every client. Online tools such as Mailchimp and Drip can help business with marketing emails, from email launches to welcome messages and follow up emails.

There are many other ways in which small businesses can automate tasks to save on costs and time, while enhancing productivity at the same time.

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

Zegal has launched in the UK

03/12/2017

We at Zegal are very excited to announce that today we launched in our 5th country – the UK!

Zegal – from zero to one to five

The idea for Zegal started in 2013 with the vision of a world where the business of law works for everyone. First launched in Hong Kong, and now available in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, Zegal offers a cloud-based legal software that allows SMEs to create and sign legal documents online, work with lawyers to handle legal matters and implement best practice business processes. Since our launch in 2013, we have grown our user base to more than 20,000 business users.

For Zegal CEO, Daniel Walker, and Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, our launch in the UK is a homecoming. Both Daniel and Chris are former English solicitors who found that the small and medium sized business segment received little to zero attention despite making up 85% of most national markets.

Zegal CEO Daniel Walker together with co-founder and Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, at the Legal Geek Conference in London

 

Now, with more than 4 years of experience in serving small and medium sized businesses, we have crystallised our philosophy with our new brand Zegal and are excited to go global. To learn more, check out our blog post here.

Ever since moving back to his hometown of Manchester a couple of months ago, Chris has gotten busy meeting with law firms and potential clients to spread the word about Legal Tech. We have found that businesses in the UK are highly receptive to cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Legal professionals are increasingly using technology solutions in their daily lives. This is a market that no legal tech company can ignore. This is a market that we’re excited to bring our cloud legal software to.

Our cloud legal software helps businesses manage their legal needs more seamlessly and efficiently

As a small business with limited resources and tight finances, you inevitably face a host of challenges when it comes to running your business. On top of managing the operational side of things so that you can deliver your goods and services to your clients on a timely basis, you also have to manage your accounts for optimal cash flow, submit applications to protect your intellectual property, and review legal documents that impact your business interests.

By using Zegal’s cloud legal software to create, e-sign, manage and store your legals you can help your business improve its efficiency, accuracy and compliance. Here are some of the features you will enjoy as a Zegal user:

1. Access the more than 200 legal documents available in Zegal’s cloud legal software

With our sizeable library of legal documents, you will be able to find the essential legal documents that you will need in the course of running your business, from Employment Contracts for hiring new employees to a Trade Mark License Agreement for when you want to expand into new markets effectively by lending your licensee your company’s established name and reputation.

Our document builder uses a simple Q&A interface that makes drafting your legal documents a straightforward and fuss-free process. When you amend a clause, the technology automatically ensures that corresponding numbers will match, numbers run correctly, and new rules are triggered to either set compatible clauses or prompt you for even more data that you might have missed out.

We provide on-boarding and training and assistance through our Help Centre and Live Chat so that you can navigate our web app easily right from the get-go.

2. Store, share, collaborate, manage, and e-sign of all of your business legal documents in the cloud

With the Zegal app, you can:

  • Store your legal documents in a centralised place within our cloud legal software to streamline the process of managing your legal documents; 
  • Grant access to members of your team who would need to deal with legal documentation, while still retaining the ability to pull up and review your business documents when necessary;
  • Invite your business partners to collaborate on and e-sign legal documents within our app.

3. Manage your workflows seamlessly with integrations

Organising all the legal documents you need to run your business is simple with Zegal’s integrations with Google Drive, One Drive  and Dropbox. It’s just one of the many ways we have improved our product to help you get what you need done, hassle free.

Our integration with cloud-based accounting software Xero allows you to link your Xero account to Dragon Law and easily generate invoices from certain documents, thereby saving you time and reducing data entry.

Pricing plans for every stage of your business

Since starting Zegal, we have expanded the range of plans that we offer to cater to a greater range of businesses at various stages of maturity and with different levels of legal needs. Our Startup Plan provides targeted support for startups with limited financial resources that nevertheless want to get their legal fundamentals right and hit the ground running. Our Premium Plan is for companies that want legal advice from a dedicated UK law firm in addition to our full suite of legal documents.

Check out our pricing page for a succinct overview of what each plan offers and decide what best suits your business.

Start a 15-day Free Trial

*no credit card required

Existing users: Easily purchase the UK jurisdiction add-on for your account

For existing Zegal clients doing business in the UK, you can easily scale your business into the UK with the support of Zegal’s document library.

As an existing Zegal customer, you can purchase the UK jurisdiction add-on for your account in one click!

Get in touch to find out how Zegal can assist your business

Based in London or Manchester? To learn more about how Zegal can assist your business, schedule time for a cup of tea with our Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, at chris.sykes@zegal.com

Schedule a meeting with Chris

Dragon Law is now Zegal – we’re going global!

01/12/2017

We are very excited to announce that we have hit yet another milestone in our mission to connect businesses across the globe with knowledge, advisors and workflows that make them smarter and more profitable. We first started as Dragon Law in 2013. With feedback from our clients and our partners, we have iterated our product, our website, and our approach over the years to realise our vision of a world where the business of law works for everyone.

  • With the aim of helping businesses to self-service their legal needs, we started out in Hong Kong with Dragon Law 1.0, a document builder that allows you to create, e-sign, manage and store business documents online;
  • In June 2016, we developed Dragon Law 2.0, where we seamlessly integrated our website and document builder so that you can find the legal documents that you need in one integrated menu, assess your needs, and start drafting right away;
  • From starting out in Hong Kong, we have expanded our offerings and now provide legal documents tailored for businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and as of today, the United Kingdom;
  • We brought law firms on board and launched our Premium Plan, which allows our users to benefit from our cloud legal software, plus the added support of a dedicated law firm;
  • We launched our first white label product in partnership with a law firm in order to provide more clients a suite of online legal tools alongside industry-tailored legal advice on drafting and reviewing legal documents;
  • We welcomed our chairman Antoine Blondeau, who brings with him significant expertise in artificial intelligence (AI); and
  • Last month, we organised the inaugural DragonCon, Asia Pacific’s top Legal Tech conference that brought together more 100 legal professionals, industry experts and Legal Tech enthusiasts from across the region to uncover how technology is transforming the legal industry and how we can stay on top of our game.

And now, we’re excited to announce a new step in our journey…

As of today, we are Zegal.

Five years ago, a cloud legal software for the underserved small and medium sized business community was just an idea. Today, this idea has become reality. With a team of more than 60, we have enabled more than 20,000 small business users to self-service their legal needs and access legal services seamlessly and affordably.

With more than 4 years of experience in serving small and medium sized businesses, we have crystallised our philosophy and are excited to go global. Zegal comes from a combination of zero and legal. It was borne out of the notion that as a company, we have successfully taken Legal Tech from zero to one. It also represents our approach of not being tied to the status quo. Rather, we bring a fresh approach to building accessible and affordable legal products for the underserved SME community.

What’s new?

Zegal has launched in the UK

Our app is now available in the United Kingdom. Our evolution to our new brand Zegal is happening in tandem with our launch in the United Kingdom. For us, our UK launch is both an ambitious global expansion and a homecoming.

Ever since moving back to his hometown of Manchester a couple of months ago, our co-founder Chris Sykes has gotten busy meeting with law firms and potential clients to spread the word about Legal Tech.

Zegal CEO Daniel Walker together with Zegal’s Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, at the Legal Geek Conference in London

 

We have found that businesses in the UK are highly receptive to cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Legal professionals are increasingly using technology solutions in their daily lives. This is a market that no legal tech company can ignore. This is a market that we’re excited to bring our cloud legal software to.

We have opened an office in Manchester headed up by Chris. If you would like to learn more about our product or about partnering with Zegal, reach out to Chris at chris.sykes@zegal.com.  

For our loyal customers in Asia Pacific looking to expand globally, we are excited to bring you legal documents customised for other jurisdictions around the world in the years to come.

Helping law firms serve the small business community better

The small and medium sized business segment makes up 85% of most national markets. Over the last four years, we have strived to empower SMEs and startups to self-service their legal needs, as well as easily access legal advice whenever they need additional support. Our live chat function allows our Premium Plan subscribers to access legal advice from a dedicated law firm.

To all our law firm partners, we couldn’t have done it without you. We are committed to continue helping law firms serve their clients better. Our app is available free of charge to law firms and sole practitioner lawyers.

Check out our page for law firms to learn about partnering with Zegal.

New website domain

We’ve moved our website to zegal.com, where you can find out more about Zegal’s products and services, register for a free trial, or log into your existing account.

All Zegal employees – still fondly known as Dragons – will be getting new @zegal.com email addresses! You know where to reach us Dragons.

Zegal Plans

We now have the Startup, Professional and Premium Plans in 5 jurisdictions – Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

As of 1 December 2017, we have stopped offering new Lite Plans. All our existing Lite users will continue to pay the Lite price, and can opt to continue with the Professional or Premium Plan once their existing plan expires.

Check out our pricing page for more details.

What can you look forward to in the coming months?

Now that we’re Zegal, what’s next? Our transition to Zegal will be happening in stages, so look out for more updates in the coming months:

  • A new logo!
  • We’re launching the biggest update to the Zegal app to date! Want to get a sneak preview? Get in touch with Zegal’s Head of Product Development at tae.kim@zegal.com

Even as we expand into new markets, we want to retain our identity as Dragons passionate about the Legal Tech cause. Building on the success of DragonCon 2017, we will be making DragonCon by Zegal our annual flagship event to promote Legal Tech and make legal services accessible around the world. We’ll be releasing more updates soon, so stay tuned! 

An efficient, accessible, and seamless way to manage your legal needs

Here at Zegal, we pride ourselves on combining innovation with customised service to deliver efficiency and reliability. We started with a no-frills document builder that takes you through the process of generating customised legal documents from start to finish through a simple Q&A interface that gathers insights about your business in order to address your specific needs. That hasn’t changed, and since then we’ve built on our core product to better connect businesses with the legal advice and support they need.

Zero to one. We’re glad to have journeyed with you over the years as we’ve sought to improve our product to better support your legal needs. Join us in our mission to connect businesses to their advisors with technology that makes them thrive, and build a world where the business of law works for everyone.

Why does my company need an Anti-Corruption Policy?

Many top business hubs around the world pride themselves on having a robust anti-corruption regime. Hong Kong is no exception. It was ranked the 15th least corrupt place in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 and ranked the place with the least bribery risk in Asia in the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix. According to the annual survey conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) which measured public perception of corruption, 99.2% of the respondents agreed that keeping Hong Kong corruption-free is important to the overall development of Hong Kong.

Apart from landing your business in trouble with the law, corruption can also bring about many negative effects, such as a loss of resources when an employee tries to cover up his corrupt activities. As a business owner in Hong Kong, it is important that you assess the risk of corruption in your company and implement an Anti-Corruption Policy to tackle potential corrupt practices.

What is corruption?

Corruption occurs when an individual abuses his authority for personal gain at the expense of other people. It can take many forms, including bribery and embezzlement. In Hong Kong, the anti-corruption laws are laid down in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) which is enforced by ICAC. Under POBO, corruption is prohibited in both the public and private sectors.

In relation to the private sector, POBO states that it is illegal to offer any advantage to an employee in connection with his employer’s business without the latter’s permission. It is also illegal to solicit or accept any advantage without the employer’s permission.

Advantage in this case includes money, gifts, loans, commissions, offices, contracts, services, favours and discharge of liability in whole or in part, but does not include entertainment. Entertainment refers to the provision of food and drink, for consumption on the occasion when it is provided, and of any other entertainment provided at the same time (e.g. singing and dancing).

What are the consequences if an employee is found to have acted corruptly?

Conviction of an offence of corruption carries a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment and a fine of HKD 500,000. The convicted individual may be ordered to make full restitution of the illicit gains and may be prohibited from being a director or manager of any company, managing any partnership or practising any profession for a maximum of 7 years.  

How to prevent corruption in my company?

Given the gravity of corruption, it is important that you maintain a corruption-free business. This boosts your company’s reputation and staff morale and ultimately enhances your business’ competitive edge.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) requires on a ‘comply or explain’ basis that listed companies disclose their anti-corruption policies. Even if your business is not a listed company, it is beneficial for you to implement an anti-corruption programme in order to prevent, detect and deter corruption. An effective anti-corruption programme should include the following elements:

  • An Anti-Corruption Policy;
  • Ethical standard and anti-corruption guidance for all company personnel, including directors and staff, through a Code of Conduct;
  • A mechanism for the identification and assessment of corruption risk;
  • Anti-corruption control;
  • Training and communication.

Apart from putting in place an Anti-Corruption Policy, it is important that this policy is properly communicated to all your stakeholders. Company policies and business processes are after all carried out by people. Business owners need to take steps to promote an ethical, anti-corruption and compliance friendly culture within their company and build capacity for corruption prevention among staff at all levels.

What is an Anti-Corruption Policy?

An Anti-Corruption Policy states a company’s commitment to ethical and anti-corruption practices in doing business, and its position and key measure against corruption. It sets out the basic standard of conduct expected of all staff and board members, as well as your company’s stance on acceptance of advantage and handling of conflicts of interest.

The Anti-Corruption Policy should be issued to all staff members, directors and members of any management board and it should be made clear that the policy applies to all personnel. No one should be exempted from the policy.

The key elements of an Anti-Corruption Policy are as follows:

  • Pledge to adopt ethical and anti-corruption business practices;
  • Scope of the policy;
  • Statement of policy against corruption in doing business and zero tolerance of corruption of any form;
  • Key integrity and conduct requirements for the company’s personnel;
  • Ethical and anti-corruption requirements for business partners;
  • Whistle-blowing policy for corruption and violation of the anti-corruption policy, and policy on the handling of reports; and
  • Brief description of the company’s anti-corruption programme.

Where can I go for anti-corruption resources?

Set up by the ICAC the Hong Kong Business Ethics Development Centre develops resources that address the ethical issues faced by businessmen and professionals and help them enhance ethical management in the private sector.

The Corruption Prevention Advisory Service (CPAS) is a specialised unit within ICAC that focuses on providing professional corruption prevention advice and services to private companies, organisations and individuals.

Check out the anti-corruption guides and tools by CPAS.

Claim your free trial. Start drafting legal documents with Zegal today.

Do you have any topics in mind that you want to hear about at future Zegal events?

How Well Do You Know Your Pay Check?

20/11/2017

As HR professionals, we are definitely experts when it comes to pay checks. However, when it comes to employees, could we say the same?

Based on a quick survey conducted by Complete Payroll via Facebook on how well an individual knows about their payslip, majority of the people are seemingly very familiar with their own payslip or at a complete loss as to what their payslip entails. Most people are aware that their payslips would include their gross salary and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions. Partly because these are mandatory contributions, therefore most would be aware of these deductions.

However, when one does the math, there are actually other deductions that most people might not even be aware of. It might range from a small figure of two dollars to a substantial amount of thirty dollars – but where do these deductions actually go to then?

Given that most of us tend to simply take the payslip without really scrutinising how much and what is exactly paid and deducted, this could at times result in over-payment or even under-payment of wages. Essentially, it is important to know where your money is going in order to better plan and work out your savings.

On 1 April 2016, the Singapore Government mandated that employers must issue itemised payslips to all employees covered by the Employment Act. Regardless of whether the payslip is issued in soft or hard copy, it has to detail all payments made as well as deductions for the employee.

Certain deductions which employees might not be aware of are contributions to self-help groups (SHG). Depending on the race of the individual, the SHG contributions differs accordingly. Essentially, the SHG funds are the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Eurasian Community Fund (ECF), Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF) and Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) fund. Moreover, depending on which bracket of income that an individual falls within, the contribution rates differ accordingly. The higher one’s monthly gross salary, the higher the SHG contribution.

Another deduction which employees have to be aware of would be CPF contributions. Majority of the workforce would likely fall under the 55 and below age bracket, which corresponds to a 17% and 20% CPF contribution by the employer and employee respectively. However, once an employee is above 55 years of age, the contribution rates by both employer and employee varies accordingly.

Related readingWhat are my CPF contribution obligations as an employer in Singapore?

To conclude, do not simply rely on the HR department when it comes to wages. After all, the company’s payroll is still checked and reviewed by humans, whom are inevitable to make even the slightest mistakes. It is best to always understand what your pay check is telling you – that way, you can also ensure that you are being compensated the right amount of wages at the same time!

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

Want to read more articles related to payroll, HR & technology? Visit www.gpayroll.com

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