Company secretaries are often some of the busiest people in an organization. As the keeper of the corporate record, the company secretary is the one whom colleagues and stakeholders come to when they need to access entity data ' whether it's as complex as running a report or creating an organizational chart, or as simple as finding the name of a director or the current compliance status in a certain jurisdiction or entity. That's why many company secretaries and legal operations teams are researching the impact entity management software could have on their day-to-day workload ' and how it may solve some of their resourcing challenges by automating workflows and putting entity data access into the hands of those who most need it. Entity management software can ease the burden on the company secretary and make the organization as a whole more efficient and streamlined. However, entity management solutions don't come free, and the company secretary's department is often under-funded. Bringing stakeholders into the entity management software buying cycle can help to secure additional funding and put entity management software within easier reach for all concerned ' but stakeholders will need convincing before they'll part with any of their own hard-earned budget.
Who to bring in to build the business case for entity management softwareMany stakeholders in the entity management software buying cycle may not realize how much of a benefit they could see in their own job roles by deploying governance and compliance technology ' particularly if governance and compliance are not part of their everyday roles. Yet, entity management software can have a profound effect on the legal operations of even the smallest organization. The company secretary should consider the following lines of argument when trying to build the business case and get stakeholders on board for the entity management software buying cycle.
Board of DirectorsEntity management software can help the Board to view compliance-related data, as well as enable the company secretary to run reports using real-time, up-to-date data. This, in turn, can help the Board to make strategic business decisions, as well as to achieve or maintain a healthy position. Some entity management software, such as Diligent Entities, can also be integrated with the board portal used by directors to bring seamless compliance and governance management to the Board.
Compliance and risk officersThe ability to access real-time entity data will be of particular interest to both compliance officers and risk officers. For the compliance officer, entity management software can provide support with proactive compliance reporting, as well as with statutory regulations such as the need to maintain a register of beneficial owners. They can log tasks and reminders on configurable compliance calendars and get an at-a-glance view of all pending deadlines, plus automated email alerts to warn them of pending renewal and task deadlines ' also something the risk officer will find useful, as it contributes to the organization's risk rating. For both of these stakeholders in the entity management software buying cycle, data libraries could prove a strong selling point for the business case; data libraries can be used to track licenses and store contracts in a central repository.
Legal department and internal/external counselThe organization's General Counsel can ensure that their department is working with good-quality data, is on top of tasks, and can adapt to changes in the regulatory environment or new circumstances. Entity management software can power efficiencies in the legal operations team by helping officers to find answers to entity-related questions faster and with access to more accurate and up-to-date entity data. Outside counsel and legal support can be given cloud-based access to only those areas of the corporate record that they need to see, helping to keep entities up to date with local filing requirements. Legal stakeholders in the entity management software buying cycle will be interested in functionality such as data libraries, automatically triggered workflow functionality for change management, and compliance calendars to give an at-a-glance view of the status of all entities.
Security teamThe security team may take the most convincing of any stakeholders involved in the entity management software buying cycle ' the word 'cloud' can cause palpitations for an IT security manager. However, modern governance systems can actually prove more secure and robust than on-premises solutions. By harnessing entity management software, IT departments can build user permissions to restrict and customize access to stakeholders, and rest safe in the knowledge that cloud-based entity management software is easier to keep up to date ' the IT team and the CSO don't need to worry about maintaining firewalls and security measures robust enough to protect the corporate record from bad actors; the service provider does that for them.
Financial management, tax and treasuryEntity management software can also provide huge benefits to those dealing with the organization's finances. They can leverage entity data to assist with tax reporting and financial modeling, while knowing they have easy access to the sort of information needed to comply with global regulations such as Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. The Head of Treasury can leverage the entity management software to help their work with capital, cash and liquidity ' from forecasting future cash flows to ensuring liquidity for daily operations ' while the Head of Finance can use data analytics and organizational charting to become much more strategic and proactive in financial decision-making.
Cloud-based entity management software can solve challenges for many stakeholdersWhile the company secretary can clearly benefit from using entity management software ' the single source of truth for all entity data makes a compelling case in itself ' investing in entity management software can provide a boost to the whole organization by:
- Streamlining subsidiary management by standardizing existing manual processes and increasing the automation of everyday manual tasks
- Increasing efficiencies through automation and easier access to information
- Helping to ensure compliance by tracking the regulatory status of entities, as well as achieving improved governance, risk and compliance standards across the global footprint
- Mitigating risk by ensuring the corporate record is based on unified and accurate entity data that is easily accessible yet securely held