Legal has finally embraced digital transformation and it’s paving the way for new operational models. Today’s legal teams see some responsibilities carried out exclusively by humans, while others are handled by software and platforms.
The legal function is becoming an ecosystem of capabilities with humans and machines working side by side.
The work that comprises entity management should be tailor-made for software and automation: rote and administrative tasks that are highly repeatable but take an inordinate number of hours for teams to complete. In our experience, entity management is often siloed, with responsibility broken up between geographies and departments with little central oversight by the people back at HQ. Harmonizing it under one unified platform software adds control and certainty to fragmented processes.
As legal teams make the digital leap, weaving in entity management just makes sense. The benefits of an entity management platform can include:
- Dynamic task management: Automatically tracking deadlines that need to be actioned and capturing changes in status or personnel that need to be reflected immediately in corporate records and filings.
- Auto-generate key documents: Create and share information summaries with regulators and tax authorities. Automate country and company workflows for key processes in every jurisdiction.
- Improve collaboration: Build secure shareholder and board meeting portals with integrated secure messaging and reporting.
- Ready for surprises: When non-standard issues or questions arise, access a community of global experts who can provide the answers.
- Digital simplicity: Full electronic management of key tasks like document legal compliance review, process and project management, electronic signature collection, e-document filings, legalizations, apostilles and notarizations.
The business value of those capabilities can be impressive. Consider a scenario where a new CFO is coming onboard.
In a large company the CFO could have responsibility for 30 countries and might have a board-level role on each national division. In order to formalise their role, a series of documents would need to be completed and filed with local authorities. However, the documents required for financial disclosure, licensing, and registration in Japan may be different from those required in France, different again for Brazil, and so on.
Without an entity management platform, the process of activating the new CFO’s position will have to be actioned manually, step by step, country by country. With an entity management platform, the process becomes immensely faster and simpler.
Documents can be generated, completed, and signed electronically, even when multiple signatories are needed. The entire global process can be managed by a single project manager using the platform’s dashboard. No deadlines are forgotten. No documents or details are missed. And at the end of the process, the entity management database is updated automatically with the latest corporate information. The new joiner receives the previous CFO’s login details, dramatically simplifying handover and onboarding.
Making legal more agile
Digital transformation is putting pressure on every organisation to move faster. The speed at which new initiatives go forward or contracts get signed can mean the difference between sustaining market share or falling behind. Seeing an important deal tied up or compliance breached by poor entity management practices are both avoidable business catastrophes.
A survey by Harvard Law School and EY at the start of 2021 found that legal departments are under increased pressure from boards, CEOs and CFOs to operate differently. Boards want corporate legal teams to play a stronger role in enabling growth, providing better data, and transforming risk management.
GCs have to ensure that their operating models are optimised to deliver, picking up the pace and providing faster advice in support of faster decision-making.
So, the pressure is on legal to streamline and automate. In the case of entity management, moving to a digital platform can de-risk and simplify a long list of time-consuming tasks, freeing up the legal team up for more value-added responsibilities.
It will contribute to greater operational alignment with the business, and better allocation of precious legal resource and brainpower.