Showing posts from March, 2021

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

A record week for Alpha Legal

Our Alpha Legal platform for will writers, estate agents, solicitors and accountants has had a record week!

Subscriptions are up 143% and use of the meeting diary has doubled!

Have you tried the built-in meeting diary yet?  Give it a go!

Alpha Legal meeting calendar

Not subscribed yet?  Still wondering whether Alpha Legal will work for your business?  Give it a try - you'll get 50 free credits to try the system and you can cancel at any time.  Register now!  It takes seconds to sign up and you'll then have access to:
  • easy ID requests to on-board your clients

  • document sharing and electronic signatures

  • meeting calendar (which works with Outlook, Google Calendars and other diaries)

Branded Subscription benefits in Alpha Legal - your own Client Portal and more!

Want to make the most of your brand?

Would you like your clients to see your logo and company name in every communication you have with them? 

Would you like to add more value to each and every interaction you have with your clients?  

Alpha Legal's Branded Subscription is for you!

Alpha Legal Branded Subscription

For only an extra £10/month, you will receive the following benefits:
  • 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
You can upgrade in 60 seconds within Alpha Legal itself - click your Profile image in the top right and then the "..." next to Subscriptions.  Or contact us and we'll walk you through it.

Client not happy to sign? Alpha Legal helps them to tell you why

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
your client will be able to quickly and easily highlight their objections.

Alpha Legal isn't "just another electronic signature platform", it has been built to help you and clients communicate easily, safely and securely.  Alpha Legal: easy, safe & secure.

We're hiring! Alpha Anywhere developers needed for new project work

Are you an Alpha Anywhere software developer with time to work on new projects?

Start Software is looking for new Alpha Anywhere developers

We're hiring! It doesn't matter where in the world you live, we already have developers working around the globe. We're a specialist Alpha software development business and we're growing.

Get in touch and tell us all about yourself:

No more blurry ID photos! Alpha Legal checks them for you

Are you fed up with clients sending you blurry photos of their driving licence or passport?

Or perhaps they send you photos without the important serial numbers showing in full?

What a waste of time this can be! Alpha Legal has the solution.

Alpha Legal checks the uploaded photos completely automatically

If your client's photo of their ID document (typically a driving licence or passport) isn't good enough, they will be prompted to retake it before sending.  For example:
  • 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.
What a time-saver for you and your client.

Another problem solved with Alpha Legal: easy, safe and secure.

Another 1,000 ID requests have whizzed through Alpha Legal

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:

Want to try Alpha Legal for yourself?  It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up - click here!

Alpha Legal - easy, safe & secure.

VAT invoices available in Alpha Legal

Need to download VAT invoices for your Alpha Legal subscription payments?  It's easy!

1 Click to access your profile:

Click your profile photo

2 Find your subscription and click "..." next to it

View the subscription details

3 Choose Payment History

Choose Payment History

4 Download invoice
Download invoice

5,000th software update! Another Alpha Tracker milestone

Our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker, has reached another milestone... 5,000 software updates published!

That means our asbestos consultancy clients have seen 5,000 new features, performance updates or bug fixes since we launched the product to the market.

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

Alpha Tracker in New Zealand & Australia - our clients are our sales-people!

It's wonderful when our asbestos consultancy clients refer other businesses in the asbestos industry to take a look at Alpha Tracker.  Having happy customers, keen to make referrals, is better than having an army of sales-people!

We've just had two new orders for asbestos software Alpha Tracker in New Zealand & Australia, both of which were referrals from existing clients.  We're really pleased and very grateful - with so many businesses struggling to cope with the fall-out from coronavirus restrictions, we are delighted that we have been able to grow our operations over the last 12 months.

The Alpha Tracker website for Australia & New Zealand

We welcome enquiries from asbestos and environmental consultancies of any size.  Please do get in touch here (Australia & New Zealand) or here (UK & Ireland).

Alpha Tracker Release 34.1 is now available

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 as usual and if you need help to install the update, please do contact support.

Improved Client Timeline feature in Alpha Legal

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

Managing the VAT reverse charge change in Alpha Tracker

If you are a UK Alpha Tracker user affected by the recent VAT change regarding "reverse charge" (see you will find these notes from Kim useful:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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”.

Step 3

When you raise an invoice, the default VAT Code is applied and the VAT is calculated. The total VAT is displayed.

Step 4

If the reverse charge applies, use the dropdown on the VAT Code field to select the “0” VAT Code on all lines on the invoice.

The VAT total is then displayed as “£0.00”.

Step 6

If you want to display a note on the VAT liability, you can add this to the Additional Information field.

If you need any more help, please do contact our support desk.

HSE Australia goes live with Alpha Tracker

HSE Australia, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is the latest organisation to go live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

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:

  1. Before the asbestos survey - reduce admin and improve scheduling

  2. During the survey - help asbestos surveyors with on-site data & photo capture in our app

  3. Improve the lab - reduce paperwork, increase quality

  4. Faster and better reports - one-click asbestos reports in your format

  5. Sharing reports - clients can read and download reports as soon as they are signed off

  6. Invoice your work - click to generate and send invoices; post into Xero or QuickBooks.

We'd love to help you to improve your asbestos consultancy.  Get in touch!  Click here for Australia or here for UK.

Asbestos managed by Alpha Tracker in two more organisations

Two more organisations, one in the UK and one in Australia, have chosen Alpha Tracker to manage their asbestos.

Water NSW supply and seek to improve the availability of water essential for the water users and communities of New South Wales, Australia.

NHS Tayside is an NHS board which forms one of the fourteen regions of NHS Scotland. It provides healthcare services in Angus, the City of Dundee and Perth and Kinross. 

New Alpha Tracker asbestos software users - WaterNSW and NHS Tayside

We're delighted to be working with these two organisations.  If we can help yours, get in touch!

Another Alpha Legal update today!

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.

Support desk performance in February 2021

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!


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