The tasks of completing the essential goals of a robust corporate governance program are grouped under the increasingly common term “entity management.” Organizations growing and changing in today’s business world need to focus on standardizing manual processes and investing in software that increases the automation of these everyday tasks, leaving teams including legal, financial and accounting, better able to focus on their core competencies while providing the best, most up-to-date governance information.
How Entity Management Software Comparisons Should Be Approached
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 a robust EMS positions a multinational organization to achieve improved governance, risk and compliance standards in all of the complicated, messy map of jurisdictional regulations that 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, particularly allowing your staff in different departments to locate quickly the right data and respond effectively to requests from across the company.
The first fundamental purpose of a solid EMS platform is to create a single source of data truth. This data repository or vault comprises a single space, created by software, which contains the corporate data and documents that comprise operations for a company’s many overlapping entities. These data banks are sorted so as to be easily searchable, use group permission functions to handle access, tracking content creation and editing.
4 Requirements for Entity Management Software Platforms
A wide variety of stakeholders, from the Board and the C-suite on down the corporate ladder to the corporate secretaries and paralegals, stand to benefit from such a robust EMS platform. This post covers the four major functions of an EMS platform that buyers should be looking out for:
1) Data Storage for Legal Data
We discussed above the idea of putting in place a single source of data truth for your entire operations. This is needed to be better attended to than ever before, as new legal, regulatory and compliance factors make it imperative to have accurate legal entity information at your fingertips. This is what’s specifically defined as legal entity management: a strategy for handling regulatory compliance and administrative maintenance on an ongoing basis, particularly the functions typically handled by the legal, compliance and/or governance departments.
Despite the increasing need for secure and efficient legal data in today’s business world, many organizations continue to suffer from inaccurate data, siloed software solutions and bad processes, which compound problems across the board. Overcoming this requires a solution to quickly access:
- Entity management
- Entity documents
- Entity search
- Third-party integrations
2) Data Management
Establishing a central data and documents repository is half the battle won. But winning it all requires effective management of that data, which means full entity lifecycle management and structured workflows around changing data. You also need a compliance calendar that centralizes these tasks and makes sure every process is bent toward the need to complete them effectively and on time, as well as audit trails that make available an understanding of what has been done to the data.
3) Data Analysis
The ability to easily visualize corporate data is increasingly essential to decision-making within the governance and compliance functions. Charting and similar solutions are also integral to other business activities, like evaluating tax implications and projecting the impact of M&As.
Entity relationship diagramming or charting is a software-driven method to make the overall operations of your enterprise accessible and digestible, and is an essential function of any EMS platform. It aims to overcome the tyranny of thousands of documents and spreadsheets that each present a fragment of a fragment of the picture by presenting a general portrait that boards and senior management can understand, relate to and act on.
The boxes, circles and other shapes, lines, text and colors that make up a diagram aren’t there first and foremost because they’re pretty or aesthetically appealing. They’re meant to help your leadership come to actionable insights about your business. With entity diagramming, you can see in real terms the effect different decisions — for example, spinning off a new UK entity in light of Brexit or expanding operations in the United States to take advantage of the new tax law — will have on your overall operations.
4) Data Reporting
An organization’s ability to analyze data and transform it into concrete action is where the rubber of entity management meets the road. A sound EMS platform needs to have easy, flexible and effective reporting options that can collate data from every part of the system in order to quickly create and distribute information to responsible parties, auditors and regulators. Such a module should include, at a bare minimum:
- Electronic filings
- Corporate governance reporting
- FATCA reporting
- SMCR reporting
How Blueprint Meets Your Entity Management Software Needs
Blueprint OneWorld has 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.