Entity management is the modern science and art of integrating operations and performance of duties, including administration, governance, legal compliance, planning and so on, across all of the various subsidiaries that compose a modern multinational enterprise.
In short, it’s a method of integrating corporate duties like regulatory compliance, administrative maintenance, monitoring of insider trading and internal record-keeping activities. It involves an organization’s governance, compliance and legal departments, which manage the flow of information in and out of a company, as well as producing documentation and reports that can inform every transaction and legal filing.
Therefore, the purpose of entity management software (hereafter EMS) platforms is threefold:
- Increasing efficiencies: EMS cuts out manual tasks, expedites the formation of new entities and ensures that regulatory requirements are met. It thus frees the legal department to spend more time on the long-term strategic goals of the organization;
- Ensuring compliance: Investing in robust EMS positions a multinational organization to achieve improved governance, risk and compliance standards in all of the complicated, messy map of jurisdictional regulations, which change sometimes by the day; and
- Mitigating risk: Unified and accurate data transforms and eases the ability with which large organizations like yours can manage it, in particular, by allowing staff in different departments to locate quickly the right data and effectively respond to requests from across the company.
We’ve discussed at length how potential buyers should look at competing EMS platforms in this space recently. This post is more general, identifying five different best practices that can serve and guide an organization as it implements entity management on an ongoing basis.
The 5 Best Practices for Entity Management Software
1) Involve all stakeholders
EMS platforms, implemented properly, can offer advantages to everyone from the C-suite and the board of directors on down the corporate ladder to the corporate secretaries, paralegals and accountants manning the trenches. Hence, it is important to have people from all of these levels brought into and involved in the task of entity management.
Here are a few examples of how a wide variety of stakeholders can benefit:
- The Board of Directors can view compliance-related data in order to provide advice on how the organization can both achieve and maintain a healthy position;
- C-Suite Leaders can access the same data in order to ensure that this position is maintained;
- The General Counsel can ensure that the legal team works with the best quality data, and can adapt to new regulatory and compliance problems;
- Corporate Secretaries can keep entities up to date with these requirements, and respond readily to data requests from different departments; and
- Paralegals can find answers to entity-related questions from key stakeholders faster and with the most accurate data.
2) Ensure data is complete and accurate
Entity management starts with the collection of all essential and relevant data from the different entities comprising an organization in a single place. This is the central system of document management, often called a data repository or vault, as well as by other names. These data banks are sorted so as to be easily searchable, and use group permission functions to handle access and to track content creation and editing. Accomplishing this creates one source of data truth that your entire organization can rely on.
3) Leverage software capabilities
An EMS platform’s functionality should be suited both to what your organization is now and what you hope it can grow into. Some of the features you should always be looking to easily apply to your data workflows include:
- Adding and updating;
- Sorting and filing;
- Authorizations and permissions;
- Compliance reminders, management and reports;
- Documentation and audit trails;
- Regular review of essential documents;
- Functions adapted to each team, but also for cross-departmental synergies; and
- Synchronization of data across different kinds of software
4) Utilize partners in implementation and management
There’s a reason why two out of three transformation initiatives fail. It’s because individuals at all these levels don’t have proper clarity on the four hard elements that successful implementation requires: duration, integrity, management and effort. This is why it’s so important to have partners who are heavily invested in making your implementation of their software successful. Most of all, ongoing service, including such things like representative availability, onsite visits, quarterly product releases and updates, training, availability of transparent manuals, webinars and customer newsletters — all of an outstanding quality — is essential to ensuring success.
5) Align capabilities with business goals
Thinking about the future means considering the ways in which your current EMS can develop and change to serve the changing needs of your company. An effective EMS solution can maintain, and even increase, efficiency in its features and functionality as an organization grows.
Think about how EMS vendors have, or may not have, broadly compatible goals and commitments to corporate governance with your own organization. You should also understand where potential vendors are placing their R&D investments to see better what features and functionality will be available in the future as your relationship with them deepens.
Leverage technology for entity management best practices
Blueprint OneWorld’s EMS platform offers its users a number of elegant and effective solutions along these lines to enable smarter decision-making.
Our vision: With Blueprint, the leader in global entity management, and Diligent, the leading solution for Boards, having unified in one company, we are driving the governance, regulatory and compliance industry forward with Governance Cloud, as well as investing in innovative solutions for our customers inside and outside the boardroom. We have R&D investments that exceed — by a mile — those of our closest competitors.
Our expertise: We have been providing governance solutions to the full range of corporate needs for over three decades in nearly 150 countries, with clients in the Fortune 100, FTSE 100 and ASX 50.
Our platform’s flexibility: Whether you’re a highly regulated multinational organization with thousands of entities or an up-and-coming, mid-market company, the Blueprint platform can seamlessly integrate fulfilling the short-, intermediate- and long-term aims of your organization’s compliance function.
We are confident that we can serve as your organization’s entry point and constant partner in establishing best governance practices. Please call or email us today to discuss our solutions.