As the pace of change quickens across the globe, entity managers face a choice: stay ahead of the curve, or get left behind. Risk is inherent in entity management. Appropriate management of compliance, governance and communication risks positions an entity for success.
That’s where entity management comes into play. The entity management environment of the past may seem simple compared to today’s rapidly evolving landscape. The fact is that efficient entity management has never been a slam dunk. Instead, it’s a product of strategic planning designed to meet specific goals.
Technology is a potential game-changer in the entity management space. By partnering with the most appropriate entity management software vendor, your entity can position itself to comply with regulations, streamline administration and manage corporate governance.
The result? The entity and its shareholders profit from increased transparency, improved collaboration, more reliable processes, more secure records, more timely regulatory reports and more appropriate management of corporate and shareholder data.
The ABCs of entity management software
Entity management software is an application designed to ensure that your entity complies with governance, compliance, communications and security regulations and standards. Security breaches are rampant around the world and reputational risk can bring down a company with one tweet.
In other words, these kinds of apps facilitate effective entity management. What is entity management? It’s an approach that streamlines an entity’s compliance and governance processes, creating a system to manage documents, records and communication.
Securing your entity or entities with an appropriate technology solution protects important information and ensures compliance with governance standards and rules. How does entity management software accomplish these tasks?
By storing, identifying, integrating, securing, managing and controlling data. Storing data appropriately ensures that it is in a central, secure location. Appropriate storage also ensures proper data integrity, accuracy and consistency.
Data must be identified correctly so that stakeholders across your entities can use it and share it. Integrating data ensures that all departments, employees, managers and stakeholders related to compliance and governance can access and use the data with minimal disruption.
Secure storage of data is critical, as governments, multinational corporations and local businesses are reporting increased incidence of sophisticated hacking attacks. Complying with data standards and security protocols is essential for proper business functioning. Managing data involves ensuring data is kept up-to-date and creating accountability. This is important for audit purposes as well.
Finally, controlling data provides that the right people can access the right data at the right time so that communication and decision-making occur seamlessly.
The advantages of entity management software
Effective entity management creates the potential for positive change in your entity. Your stakeholders can rest assured that compliance and governance standards are in place and that your data and communications are fully secure.
Consider how superior a technological system that includes processes and workflows is to the entity management default of spreadsheets and paper. Management by spreadsheet breeds a number of problems, including difficulty in updating, locating and collaborating.
Mistakes and errors proliferate in spreadsheet- and paper-based systems, impairing effectiveness and efficiency and making audits painful and difficult. Printing, tracking and filing paper-based documents is time-consuming and frustrating. Both spreadsheet- and paper-based systems pose major security risks. A stray email, a lost laptop or a misplaced file can lead to embarrassing and costly security breaches.
The right solution places you in charge of your data, rather than your data being in charge of you. Data is a tool and it must be deployed appropriately to ensure that your entity functions effectively and meets its regulatory, governance and compliance regulations and best practices obligations.
What to look for in a software partner
While there are legitimate differences in features and benefits within the universe of entity management software providers, consider implementation and support for the solution you choose. The true benefits are in the execution just as much as they are in the selection of the most appropriate vendor.
All too often, new technology such as entity management software is underutilized. Why? Because all of the investment occurs in the spending on the technology, and not on the training, implementation and support for leveraging its capabilities.
When selecting a vendor, don’t ignore execution capabilities, including:
- Integration: Many entities possess existing compliance systems. Ensure that your entity management software integrates with and can function alongside your existing solutions.
- Implementation: Customization of your implementation with a step-by-step project plan will ensure that your installation will occur seamlessly without disrupting your ongoing business functions.
- Training: Options such as in-person and online training provide your organization with ongoing opportunities to maximize your software investment.
- Ongoing support: Technical and user experience support ensure that any issues are managed and resolved as quickly as possible.
- Security: Investigate third-party certifications and audits to ensure that solutions are compliant with the latest security protocols.
- Hosting: Self-hosting and outsourced hosting provide flexibility to meet your entity management needs wherever you are.
- Evolution: Vendors must invest in their solutions to stay abreast of trends and ensure that ever-changing regulatory and governance standards are met.
Vendors should also have experience working with your type of entity. The universe of entities is incredibly varied in terms of size, function, location, organization and purpose. You want a vendor who has experience working with organizations that are similar to yours, and with similar objectives and goals.
Such vendors should also be conversant with all of the functions involved in an entity that touch compliance and governance, including the corporate secretary, finance, treasury, compliance, taxes, risk management and legal.
Secure your entity with the right partner
With the right technology partner, your entity is positioned to deal efficiently and effectively with all aspects of entity management, including governance, compliance, information management and documentation.
Shareholders can be sure that their communications are secure and their obligations are being met. Employees and managers possess a robust system to facilitate ongoing administrative and governance tasks.