Legal24 June, 2019

4 tips for legal departments to improve corporate record-keeping

There is an exceptional growth in the new legal entity formation and the regulatory landscape. For an instance, the EU UBO (ultimate beneficial owner) register, intended to provide increased transparency, is likely to extend to territories beyond those within the EU– putting legal teams under immense pressure to keep a close tab of the corporate records within the legal entities managed globally.

As the business keeps growing beyond borders (and different jurisdictions!), gaining clear visibility into the corporate structure is essential. However, with all the complexity surrounding legal entities, maintaining the corporate structure can be difficult (more so if you are looking at multiple entities) even for the most organised legal department.

In fact, almost half (49%) of the participants in a survey by Deloitte said that their department’s legal spend was growing in the area of regulatory compliance. However, increasing the legal spend might not be an option for many legal departments with budget constraints.

Having this in mind, we compiled a list of 4 tips for all-sized legal departments, to better manage their corporate records to ensure governance and compliance while mitigating risks- to demonstrate value across the organisation they serve.

1. Keep your legal documents readily available

Let’s assume you want to know the directors that were appointed between 12th September 2003 and 9th May 2009 and their term limits. Searching for a critical piece of information in a pile of documents scattered in different systems or hidden in emails can be tedious and time consuming. Whether they are Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Association, share certificates, stock transfers, or service contracts of directors- it is important to store and share them on one secure platform. Increased visibility helps you search for information quick, saving time for high-value work.

2. Augment data visualisation

By consolidating all of your corporate information (historical and current) into a single system, you can search them by entity, partner, company or person- to generate customised, audit-ready reports and organisation charts to view ownership and value across complex structures with multiple entities. Moreover, you can keep track of key corporate information for each group, company directors and shareholders and see changes over time.

Whether you are asked to prepare an audit or provide an update on corporate entities and related subsidiaries on a last minute request from the Board, having a better overview of information can help you deliver accurate reports, interactive maps and organisation charts- to aid visualisation for improved decision-making and risk mitigation.

3. Automate routine tasks

When managing corporate records, you will find yourself having to carry out routine tasks. Whether you have to send notices to current directors about board meetings or you need to gather information about shares, these activities should not get in the way of your high-value work. Therefore, it is important to automate and eliminate time-consuming routine tasks. By streamlining workflows, you can save time and reduce errors to drive better outcomes.

4. Keep on top of all your deadlines

When you have to manage corporate records within multiple entities on a global scale, key dates can easily slip off your mind, putting the entire business at risk. Whether you must file annual accounts or need all your entities to submit annual returns or renew licences on time, by setting alerts to relevant team members, you can avoid missing deadlines.

To conclude, the key is make sure your legal department is equipped with the right tools manage information and workflows so that you can better manage corporate records without having to increase your resources and/or budgets- ensuring ongoing compliance and governance by mitigating risks.

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