3 Reasons That Will Change the Way You Think About Entity Management Systems

Nicholas J Price

In today’s business climate, company secretaries do not have the time to sift through reams of paper or navigate through multiple spreadsheets every time they need to find or review the organisation’s entity data.

With modern day entity management systems company secretaries can effectively manage the organisations entity information, but will also ensure the organisation stays compliant in an ever-changing compliance and regulatory environment, which requires complicated entity management with coordination of information across time zones, languages and departments.

The system can also ensure the day-to-day management of entity data, document compliance, communication, collaboration and in-depth reporting for all company subsidiaries.

The main objective of an entity management solution is the establishment of a single source for all entity-related information and the implementation of processes and procedures to ensure its precision, accuracy and timeliness.

Entity management platforms can perform all the above-mentioned tasks and much more, providing company secretaries with a robust, secure platform to organise and monitor your company’s corporate entities.

Central repository fostering collaboration
Critical business information within an organisation can often be scattered across many departments within a business and gaining access to the most updated policy can often be very difficult; particularly when there is a significant need for this information, such as the submission of a tender document. Does this scenario sound familiar?

This is very common with many organisations despite the size and global footprint of the company. Entity management systems can often help avoid this scenario, most entity management systems will allow individuals and teams to:

  • Securely manage, update, share and organise your corporate data
  • Manage, update and store key entity related information
  • Manage sensitive shareholder allocation information
  • Track filing milestones and set active reminders
  • Develop powerful regulatory reports
Entity management systems provide users with a flexible platform allowing teams to work collaboratively and share information throughout the organisation minimising the distribution of inaccurate information, comprising the generation of any reports from the data.

Taking your reporting to the next level
Timely and effective decision-making, regulatory reporting and process management rely on effective reporting. Users need an intuitive yet powerful ad-hoc report writer to explore and find answers to critical questions without deep technical knowledge.

Therefore, an inbuilt ad-hoc report writer is necessary to empower users to create and save searches and reports. Security should be essential to the ad-hoc report writer so users cannot bypass the security mechanisms built into the system when running ad-hoc reports.

Most modern day entity management systems allow users to

  • easily create custom reports on corporate data,
  • develop graphical and interactive reports, and
  • generate a comprehensive list of shareholder’s other representatives
  • extract corporate information to support board activities
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.
Ironclad security to protect your entity data
Within the business ecosystem, security is always high on the agenda for IT and technical teams, and rightly so, but the problem extends far beyond these departments and often affects all business units.
Companies need to fully understand the complexities involved in safeguarding a business’s critical assets such as intellectual property, customer information, financial data, employee records, and much more.
Spreadsheets simply do not have the level of functionality to manage a company’s entity information, and lacks the high level of security needed to protect entity data, also they cannot provide a full audit trail.

Are there alternatives to entity management platforms?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Spreadsheets and traditional paper are often used as alternatives to entity management systems, but each of these have their own set of disadvantages compared to a dedicated entity management system.

Spreadsheets are often used by many organisations to record company entity details; historically before entity management platforms, spreadsheets were often used to record critical company information.

But now, with the major changes that have taken place within the compliance and regulatory environment, it is imperative that business have a robust entity management system. Some of the key reasons why spreadsheets cannot be used as an alternative to a dedicated entity management system:

Spreadsheets are unreliable

  • Ensuring accuracy is difficult, and the increased likelihood of data errors is almost inevitable, wasting precious time validating and tracking data
  • They can be extremely challenging to spot and correct errors, especially with a larger volume of data

No Real-Time Asset Data and Limited User Access

  • Only one person can edit the spreadsheets at a time
  • There’s no audit trail, which makes it tough to keep your entity management data in sync and see what changes have been made to a specific spreadsheet

Spreadsheets can easily get too complex too quickly

  • Often making it difficult for quick analysis and generating simple reports
  • Have a tendency to get overly complicated when forward planning
Traditional Paper-based Methods
Paper is still widely used within the business environment, forms are printed and filed away in large lever arch folders, which are then archived. Often, these papers will not be touched again for several years or until these are required by auditors.
This method is not only costly, taking into consideration the cost of printing and storing, but also not very friendly to the environment, and most importantly they pose a major security risk.
Entity management platforms have been built to ensure corporate data stays secure forever; many entity management platforms include multiple security measures all built with a robust, secure framework safeguarding your entity data. Think of these security measures as a security officer protecting your data against, cyber criminals, cyber terrorists, malware and ransomware.
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Nicholas J. Price
Nicholas J. Price is a former Manager at Diligent. He has worked extensively in the governance space, particularly on the key governance technologies that can support leadership with the visibility, data and operating capabilities for more effective decision-making.