Our last blog highlighted three reasons that will change the way you think about entity management systems. The next blog in this series will focus on what key considerations should be looked into when adopting an entity management platform.

Entity Management platforms work seamlessly across many departments within an organization, allowing data to be easily centralized. This inevitably means business units can simultaneously access entity information directly from one central data source.

Typically, the following business units/teams within an organization will need access to entity data:

  1.     Company Secretary
  2.  Compliance and Management Teams
  3. Finance and Treasury Teams
  4.     Legal Teams
  5.   Risk Management Departments
  6.     Tax Departments

Entity Management Adoption Checklist

There are many providers of entity management software, these providers have the specialist knowledge and skills to ensure the system meets the specific needs of a company. These vendors also fully understand what makes an effective governance, risk and compliance system and often provide a whole suite of services and solutions that will meet your business circumstances and budget.

With this advanced level of reporting granularity at your fingertips, an entity management system is truly advantageous to any business function. Many entity management platforms have the functionality to orchestrate complex workflows, allowing users to track and report on many facets of the business process, ensuring your business stays forever compliant in an ever-changing compliance and regulatory environment.

1. Why is data readiness important and should be a major point of consideration?
Internal departments will often have their own process and methods of storing data, either using a spreadsheet or database, this data in many instances is not linked to a central data source. These methods may work in the short-term, but in the long-term it can be very unproductive and counter-intuitive to a business.

The end result of having multiple systems, is the duplication of data often leading to inaccurate reporting from data being stored in multiple systems; when reports are generated, data will often only be pulled from a few systems and not from a central data source.

When companies are looking to adopt an entity management platform all data sources must be identified and validated to ensure all data can be cleansed before being imported into the entity management system. This is a great opportunity for business to look at their entire data set and overhaul any data that is not needed.

2. Safeguarding your entity data online
Online identity protection and ensuring your company data is safeguarded, should be of paramount importance to all stakeholders within the business, especially in today’s digitally-driven ecosystem. A reliable and robust entity management system should allow businesses to fully protect company data, whilst ensuring only authorized users can access the data.

Many entity management platforms on the market have multiple layers of protection and user-rights access control, which means access rights can be granted to different users depending on the granularity of information they need to access.

Unlike traditional methods such as paper and spreadsheets, the same level of security cannot be implemented, which leaves your data in a vulnerable state and prone to cyber-attacks and data leakage.

3. Monitoring your data and being readily available to stakeholders
Key stakeholders need to have certain levels of transparency with any entity and corporate data, but the level of transparency vastly depends on their role within the organization. Entity management platforms offer users with varying degrees of transparency, access control and functionality. The level of access and functionality can vary from:

  • Viewing and editing all organizational entity data
  • Only view and edit limited entity information
  • Only view some organizational entity information
  • Plus, many more variations

Unlike paper-based entity management methods, there are only two levels of transparency, completely visible or not visible at all. However, spreadsheets do offer users a higher level of transparency compared to paper, but will never match a dedicated entity management platform.

Entity management platforms simply allow users to monitor corporate, compliance and entity data within the platform, reducing errors, data duplication and inaccurate reporting.

4. Keeping your business fully compliant at all times
Effectively managing corporate and customer data can seem like a daunting and never ending task without having the correct systems in place, this task often becomes unmanageable resulting in lost revenue to the business. The risk of not being able to manage compliance and entity data can have severe consequences to a business, which could end in legal action being taken.

Entity management systems mitigate the risk to a business, because the system will serve as a central repository for all entity data, empowering users and avoiding any legal complications whilst ensuring the business stays fully compliant with any new legislative changes.

Spreadsheets and paper-based methods can support businesses in being complaint to an extent, but often these traditional methods will not enable your business to stay adequately compliant, here are some reasons why:

  • lack of an audit trail
  • does not support collaborative working methods
  • forms and legislation changes need to be updated manually
  • legal teams need to be ahead of the game to implement legislation changes immediately

Unlike paper-based entity management methods, there are only two levels of transparency, completely visible or not visible at all. However, spreadsheets do offer users a higher level of transparency compared to paper, but will never match a dedicated entity management platform.

Entity management platforms simply allow users to monitor corporate, compliance and entity data within the platform, reducing errors, data duplication and inaccurate reporting.

5. Let your systems talk to each other
Integrating systems seamlessly, whilst ensuring users face minimal service disruption is critical for many reasons. This is especially important when a business is looking to implement an entity management platform, the integration must be carefully planned, and must involve key stakeholders from across the business, and all risks must be identified and contingency plans must be in place.

Entity management service providers will be able to help and guide a business in a systematic manner to ensure the integration is as seamless as possible, causing minimal disruption to all users.

By effectively integrating your entity management system with other legacy systems, enabling the business to centralize all entity and corporate data, allowing comprehensive reporting, whilst ensuring a business remains fully compliant.

6. Can you put a price on your corporate data and ensure it is kept safe at all times?
News stories about security breaches, data leakages, and systems being hacked, is a daily feature across many of the news channels; no one wants to become a victim of this crime so it is essential that the right measures are in place to safeguard data against this happening.

Businesses need to be confident that their data is always completely secure with the latest security measures. Entity management platforms offers a business with complex levels of security, measures that ensure critical data is shielded from potential vulnerabilities, online or offline.

Unfortunately, with spreadsheets and paper-based methods of entity management, the same robust and resilient methods of protection are not always feasible; also with these methods internal threats add another level of risk.

An entity management system is only the start of the journey to true compliance

With the ever-changing regulatory environment, you need to be confident you not only achieve compliance, but you remain compliant. Your compliance system needs to constantly evolve as the legislation and reporting requirements change.

When a business makes the choice to adopt an entity management platform or continue to use traditional methods such a paper or spreadsheets, it is imperative that company secretarial teams need to continually look to evolve their systems and processes, allowing them to stay on top of regulatory changes.