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Monday, 10 May 2021
We've updated Alpha Legal so that ID photos, documents and videos all upload much more quickly.
|Faster uploads of ID photos, documents and videos in Alpha Legal|
This change also helps clients with slower Internet speeds who, previously, may have not waited for their form and ID documents to upload before cancelling and trying again.
There are more updates coming along this week... watch this space!
Friday, 7 May 2021
|Secure ID document requests are just one aspect of Alpha Legal|
|Water NSW and Alpha Tracker working together|
Judy has completed the virtual training sessions for the asbestos consultants working inside and alongside Water NSW. Great job, Judy!
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
|Start Software Support Desk - April 2021|
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
|Alpha Tracker for Morecroft Group|
Morecroft specialise in most aspects of asbestos detection, management and removal...
|visit Morecroft at https://www.morecroft.co.nz/ for more info|
... and they are a proud family business. We're proud to be working with them, too!
"We’re a family business, founded in 1991. What makes us special? Our commitment to excellent service, innovative solutions and a total commitment to providing you with a perfect result, on time, every time.
Based in Auckland, we serve residential, commercial and government clients nationwide. We’re very proud of our highly skilled team, many of whom have been with us for 20 years or more. You can always rely on us to provide you with an outstanding outcome."
Welcome to the Alpha Tracker family, we're looking forward to a long and productive working relationship. If we can help your asbestos consultancy with asbestos software systems, do get in touch (UK or Aus/NZ).
Thursday, 22 April 2021
The latest version of Tracker Filer is now available for download.
Tracker Filer has always read the subject line and body of emails to look for quote references or project numbers, but it now also looks in the attachment filenames too - really useful if you're forwarding on a quote, for example, and you forget to put the reference in the email itself.
Here is an example email with a quote attached:
I've cc'd the special Tracker Filer email address as usual (1) but haven't put the quotation reference anywhere in the email itself. Previously, this would have caused Tracker Filer a problem. Not now! The updated Tracker Filer can now read the attachment filename (2) and see that the quote is BQ21-0104 and file the email and attachment correctly for you.
If you'd like help to update your system, please do get in touch.
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
|Water NSW are the latest Alpha Tracker users|
Thursday, 15 April 2021
|Legacy Legal and Alpha Legal are working together in partnership|
"Legacy Legal have a network of estate planners who offer estate planning through our bespoke software.We have been working with the team at Alpha Legal for many years and have always been impressed with their innovation. They they are ahead of the game in helping make things easier for the client and the salesperson.We would strongly recommend them if you are look to streamline your systems and processes."
We love working with companies like Legacy Legal. Can we help your will writing or estate planning business, too? Get in touch!
We've added an extra option to enable you to export forms from Alpha Legal.
This means you now have 3 export choices - you can send a form to Countrywide Legacy, you can send it to Legacy Legal, or - new - you can download straight to your device (PC, laptop, tablet or mobile).
Here's the new menu option:
|New "Download Files" option on an Alpha Legal form|
One word of warning - do take care if the information you are downloading is sensitive or private - once you've downloaded it to your device, it is outside of the secure Alpha Legal environment.
|The article about Will in the Shropshire Star|
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
We have some exciting news for users of our asbestos software platform, Alpha Tracker.
Performance release 34.2 is now publicly available with some bug fixes, performance enhancements and minor changes. You can install this yourself or ask our support desk (see https://www.start-software.com/support/) for help.
Our Spring update, Release 35, is now in early beta with some interesting and important new features. Improved hot-spotting has made it through to this build and we're trying to cram more features and changes into this under-used sub-system before Jack finalises the build.
|Release 35 sees improved hot-spotting in Alpha Tracker|
April 12 was another COVID milestone here in the UK. You might have had a haircut yesterday or even a drink in a pub garden (if you were wrapped up warm)! The relaxation of measures we all felt yesterday was another sure and steady step towards normality. But will everything be as it was pre-COVID?
Here at Alpha Legal, we don't believe that verifying a client's ID will ever be the same again. The days of asking clients to bring in passports, driving licences and bank statements to be checked and photocopied are numbered. The future is electronic ID verification using Alpha Legal or similar systems to capture & transmit ID documents easily, safely and securely without the need to examine a physical document.
The government are now recognising that the world has moved on. The important UK government document "How to prove and verify someone's identity" (see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/identity-proofing-and-verification-of-an-individual/how-to-prove-and-verify-someones-identity) lists the ways you can check. Electronic is now top of the list!
|The UK government now recognise "digital" as the first ID checking option|
HM Land Registry is also exploring new ways of working. They are looking to encourage digital identity checking in conveyancing (see https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2020/11/17/encouraging-digital-identity-checking-in-conveyancing/) and here at Alpha Legal we will be ensuring that our processes are compatible and compliant with every new standard that is issued.
Finally, is asking for a digital ID check a barrier to dealing with the older generation? Should that be a concern? Not any longer. Take a look at this blog post showing how the older generation's use of the Internet has flourishing during the COVID outbreak as they have found new ways to keep in touch with friends and family.
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
We had the chance to watch it too - what a great introduction to the benefits of using Alpha Legal whether you're a will writer, estate planner or solicitor.
|Some screen-grabs from the Countrywide Alpha Legal webinar|
Some of the benefits that Countrywide showed off were
- secure requests for ID documents including passports, driving licences & "it's me" videos
- simple and secure document sharing
- a fully-branded client portal
- electronic signatures for one signatory or multiple - so easy to set up and use.
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
One of the questions we're often asked here at Alpha Legal is How do older people react when asked to send their ID documents electronically? Do older people manage OK or do they struggle with technology?
In our experience, senior citizens are just as capable as younger generations when using technology. A year of social distancing has been the game-changer here. Smartphones, tablets and laptops have all been grasped with open arms in order that grandparents (in particular) have been able to keep in touch with children and grandchildren.
Don't assume that grey hair means that users will struggle with Alpha Legal, because, likely as not, they won't!
Here is an article from today's Guardian newspaper which really backs up that claim: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/06/britons-aged-75-and-over-using-internet-nearly-double-in-seven-years?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
|Alpha Legal meeting calendar|
- easy ID requests to on-board your clients
- document sharing and electronic signatures
- meeting calendar (which works with Outlook, Google Calendars and other diaries)
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
|Alpha Legal Branded Subscription|
- a fully branded Client Portal so you and your clients can share documents securely
- your company branding on all emails sent by Alpha Legal
- all forms & messages (eg ID requests and COVID home visits) branded with your logo
Monday, 22 March 2021
You've shared a document with your client for electronic signature within Alpha Legal but they're not happy to sign. What happens next?
|Sharing a document for signature is so easy in Alpha Legal|
It's easy! With an update coming out this week, your client can tell you exactly why they don't want to sign. Whether the problem is:
- spelling mistakes
- names not correctly specified, or
- issues with the document structure or intention
|Start Software is looking for new Alpha Anywhere developers|
Tuesday, 16 March 2021
|Alpha Legal checks the uploaded photos completely automatically|
- if the photo is blurry
- if they have used the wrong document
- if they have "cut off" the important driving licence number or passport number, or
- if their date of birth doesn't match what they have entered.
Friday, 12 March 2021
We just checked the system stats and another 1,000 clients have sent their ID documents via Alpha Legal to their estate agent, will writer, accountant or solicitor. Every week Alpha Legal gets busier and busier!
This means that another 1,000 clients have been protected from identity theft and have experienced a modern, easy and - most importantly - secure way of sending ID documents to their advisor. It also means that the advisor businesses have been protected from GDPR breaches and - equally importantly - had increased their customer service.
Here's a quick video to remind you of the importance of using a secure service like Alpha Legal to onboard your client and request their ID:
Alpha Legal - easy, safe & secure.
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Thank you so much to all of our wonderful asbestos consultancy customers for being part of the Alpha Tracker family. Your continued support for us at Start Software and the product has meant that we could continue to invest and keep Alpha Tracker at the forefront of the asbestos software market.
|Asbestos software Alpha Tracker from Start Software|
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
|The Alpha Tracker website for Australia & New Zealand|
Friday, 5 March 2021
Release 34.1 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now available for you to download and install.
This is a patch release and so mainly includes bug fixes and performance improvements, but there are some new features to enjoy, too:
- faster opening of quotes, projects and clients if you know the specific reference number
- improvements in the client portal (including interactive drill-down dashboards)
- better user feedback when entering or editing survey data.
The release notes are available here https://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/release-notes/ as usual and if you need help to install the update, please do contact support.
Thursday, 4 March 2021
Have you spotted the improved Client Timeline feature?
It now shows all forms sent & received (eg ID), documents shared & signed and appointments - all in one place!
|Alpha Legal's improved Client Timeline|
If you are a UK Alpha Tracker user affected by the recent VAT change regarding "reverse charge" (see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-domestic-reverse-charge-for-building-and-construction-services) you will find these notes from Kim useful:
Set up a new VAT code for a zero rate by using Setup|General|VAT Codes.
Make sure that the VAT Rate field is set to “0” on the new record.
The Account Software Code only needs to be set if you export your invoices to Sage.
Make sure that the system is set to use the Standard 20% rate VAT Code by default:
a. Go to the System Repository and search for “VAT”.
b. Ensure “Default VAT Code for Invoices” is set to your standard rate VAT Code, eg “20”.
When you raise an invoice, the default VAT Code is applied and the VAT is calculated. The total VAT is displayed.
If you need any more help, please do contact our support desk.
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
|HSE Australia is now live with Alpha Tracker|
Judy completed her training of the HSE asbestos professionals this week and they are now live and enjoying the benefits that Alpha Tracker delivers:
- Before the asbestos survey - reduce admin and improve scheduling
- During the survey - help asbestos surveyors with on-site data & photo capture in our app
- Improve the lab - reduce paperwork, increase quality
- Faster and better reports - one-click asbestos reports in your format
- Sharing reports - clients can read and download reports as soon as they are signed off
- Invoice your work - click to generate and send invoices; post into Xero or QuickBooks.
Tuesday, 2 March 2021
We're publishing another Alpha Legal update later today!
Look out for the new features to help you to communicate safely and easily with your clients:
- in-built calendar - book appointments with clients and share the appointment
- better document signing - easier for your clients and better for you
- improved emails - easy to read, shorter, better instructions for your clients.
|Another Alpha Legal update goes live today|
Why not join the growing family of Alpha Legal users - estate agents, solicitors, will writers, accounts & estate planners? Alpha Legal - easy, safe & secure.
Our support desk performance improved for urgent issues in February, back to a more normal 92% of calls being solved within 2 hours. This is a significant improvement compared to January's performance.
We're continuing to monitor our performance when dealing with lower priority problems as 84% overall is not as good as we'd like. Working from home is the key factor here - the support desk staff simply can't do their jobs as well when they are not sitting in the same location.
Hopefully, we'll all be back to normal soon!
In time (%)
In time (H) (%)
In time (total)
In time (H) (total)
Friday, 26 February 2021
|Alpha Tracker - vehicle checks|
Feedback from users has been great. Here's a comment from Sarah, Technical Manager at one of our asbestos consultancy clients:
"Many thanks, and we are really liking the new changes, especially follow-ups and van tracking"
Another landmark for Judy & Leanne based in our Alpha Tracker office in Adelaide, South Australia!
Another 50 asbestos consultancy clients have joined the Alpha Tracker family and are using our asbestos & environmental software to:
- improve their admin with integrated quoting, project management and staff diary
- save time and improve quality on-site with smartphone surveying apps
- increase throughput and efficiency in the lab
- produce asbestos reports with one-click
- share reports and results with clients using the integrated portal
- invoice for work completed and send invoices automatically to Xero or Quickbooks.
|Alpha Legal is getting noticed world-wide|
We're about to publish a major Alpha Legal software update ready for our next release in March. Exciting times!
Thursday, 25 February 2021
|When Nick Knowles met Alpha Tracker!|
Here is the link to watch the programme yourself! https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000sdc3/diy-sos-series-31-6-the-big-build-barnstaple
Tuesday, 23 February 2021
|Easy Close - what a time-saver!|
Monday, 22 February 2021
Our asbestos and environmental services software, Alpha Tracker, is receiving an update this week.
Release 34.1 adds some new features but is mainly a performance and patch update to Release 34.
One of the new features we like the most is so simple - we don't why we haven't thought of it before!
If you search for a job or quote using the menu and there is only one match, Alpha Tracker will now jump straight to it without displaying the search results first. Easy!
|Jump to results with Alpha Tracker!|
|How to share a document using Alpha Legal|
- Estate Agents are mainly sharing their Terms of Business (for signature) and draft sale particulars
- IFAs are also sharing their Terms of Business and notes of financial reviews
- Will Writers are sharing draft wills and invoices issued for completed services
- Accountants are using Alpha Legal to share P11d forms, tax returns (Trust & private) for approval
Thursday, 18 February 2021
Booking an appointment to meet your client? Setting up a Zoom call and want to share the details with a prospect? You can now do all of this, and more, all within Alpha Legal!
|Alpha Legal's new Calendar feature|
We've incorporated some amazing features into our Alpha Legal diary system including the ability to
- instantly share the appointment with your contact
- add the meeting to your Outlook or Google calendars
- plot the meeting (when we're allowed physical meetings again!) on a map, automatically, and
- see all of the appointments, at a glance, on the contact screen or their timeline.
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Estate Agents across the UK are signing up with secure communication service Alpha Legal.
Requesting ID by email is not secure! Estate Agents are still asking for personal and sensitive information by email and Alpha Legal is the easy-to-use & cost-effective solution to this problem.
|Meeting clients face-to-face isn't easy - use Alpha Legal instead|
If you can't meet your clients in person, how do you check their ID documents (driving licence, passport, bank statements)? Is it OK to ask your client to take a photo of these documents and send them by email? No! Emails are not secure - you can read more about the risks here.
Alpha Legal solves the security problem for Estate Agents. Estate Agents use Alpha Legal to request ID from clients moving home. It's so easy for the client to use, too, even easier than attaching a photo to an email!
In additional, Estate Agents use Alpha Legal to send their terms of business, share draft particulars of sale for approval, even their final invoices! More and more features are being added to Alpha Legal every month.
Alpha Legal subscriptions start at only £10/month with no long-term commitment. Register in just 60 seconds by clicking this link: https://software.alphalegal.co.uk/register.a5w
Friday, 12 February 2021
|Alpha Legal works in partnership with Countrywide and their Legacy software|
This article https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19076879.blyth-colliery-asbestos-death-drives-widow-raise-awareness/ caught our eye.
Yet again, asbestos-related cancer has bereaved another wife after causing the premature death of her husband, a worker exposed to asbestos fibres early in his career. World Cancer Day is a good reminder of the misery that cancer causes to millions each year,
Here at Start Software, we're proud of the role that our asbestos software Alpha Tracker plays in detecting, recording and managing asbestos in more than 4 million buildings worldwide. Our software is used by hundreds of asbestos surveyors every day to record suspected asbestos, take photos and sample details, and then (once the lab has analysed those samples), to report findings by way of report back to the client or building manager.
If we can help you to manage your asbestor or if you're an asbestos consultancy looking for the best support and software in the industry, please do get in touch.