Navigating the Challenges of Managing Global Compliance
ComplianceMay 05, 2021

Navigating the challenges of managing global compliance: best practices for legal teams

How are corporate legal teams evolving to adjust to global growth? A recent survey conducted by IDC – Modernization of Corporate Legal – found that while most legal departments surveyed made an effort to evolve their operations in the past few years, 85% said much improvement is needed in managing international legal and regulatory compliance.

Challenges of scaling legal compliance to support global operations

Under pressure to do more and ensure global operations go on without a hitch, corporate legal teams face common obstacles.

  • A lack of jurisdictional knowledge: In-country expertise is a significant pain point. It’s easy to underestimate the differences in legal systems and regulations between countries, and it becomes increasingly challenging when you are unfamiliar with specific local requirements or processes. Add to this keeping track of ongoing changes and a growing volume of regulations around the world.
  • Resource constraints: Teams are also under-resourced and/or lack the capabilities in-house to manage all the aspects of global compliance. In the absence of local directors or contacts, the responsibility often falls on existing resources who are already being asked to do more with less.
  • Managing multiple vendors: Legal teams often contract multiple vendors for multiple services. Not only can this be time-consuming, but service level differences and a lack of continuity across countries can lead to inconsistencies in work output.
  • Operational inefficiencies: Multiple and diverging priorities within different internal clients, stakeholders and agendas can add complexity to internal processes.
  • Poor information management: Often times different systems are used for different things, between teams and locations. Without a repository of corporate data or one that integrates with other internal systems, data management issues can arise. Additionally, without visibility across all entities, there is a higher risk of non-compliance.
  • Budget management challenges: Corporate legal teams may lack awareness of the true costs of compliance work in each country. Many often fail to leverage their economies of scale to get better pricing with vendors. This makes it hard to keep track of costs or estimate their budgetary needs.

These challenges are compounded by cultural and language barriers, different time zones, and the need to be operationally agile.

It’s no wonder that the main reason respondents to the survey said that they need the most help in improving how they manage their international regulatory and legal compliance.

Despite these challenges, only 20% of respondents currently outsource legal corporate compliance and entity management compared to other legal responsibilities.

Navigating the Challenges of Managing Global Compliance
Looking for strategies to better manage global corporate compliance?
Explore some of the pain points and best practices for corporate legal teams to improve efficiencies in global compliance operations.

Strategies to improve efficiency in global compliance operations

Increasing global operations creates additional responsibility for legal teams. Here are three best practices to consider to help improve efficiencies in your global compliance operations:

1. Invest in technology

Legal teams understand that technology can help solve many of the issues they face. However, only 41% of survey respondents use software for entity management and corporate legal compliance. This suggests that entity management is mainly being done manually. Those who don’t have a software solution cite implementation and training as the main reasons they lack widespread adoption.

Yet technology can provide efficiencies and reduce burden by implementing an option that can be tailored to your company’s unique internal processes. The right entity management system can act as a single source of truth for all entity data – across the globe. It should combine calendaring capabilities, document management, and organizational charts. Record management capabilities also ensure efficient processes and workflows for updating records.

The result is greater control and visibility into the compliance standing of your domestic and foreign subsidiaries and branches.

2. Implement a robust workflow process

An efficient workflow can consolidate domestic and international compliance obligations and streamline entity work in each country. This will ensure better coordination and communication between headquarters and local support and keep things on track. And with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, it is easier to know who is accountable for what.

A consolidated workflow also reduces operational inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and quality issues associated with the work output.

With increased visibility into entity compliance status, teams can act quicker and maintain control over entity data and accuracy.

3. Partner with an experienced and truly global provider

Working with a truly global provider brings many benefits.

Because much of the compliance work is handled by a trusted partner, your team will be more productive and realize cost efficiencies. For instance, the cost of remediating issues or tasks that were handled incorrectly or are out of compliance due to a lack of knowledge can be expensive. A single provider can provide additional sources of savings by helping free up your team’s time from manage multiple vendors and consolidate varying rates and pricing structures to have better control over budgets.

Risk mitigation is another benefit. Having the support of an expert with local know-how can help you avoid compliance mistakes or oversights in local requirements that can lead to penalties (in the worst-case scenario, administrative dissolution).

provider’s expertise can also help you stay on track with important local requirements and keep you informed of regulatory changes.

Finally, a global partner also frees up your team to focus on other high-value, business-critical tasks. With services customized based on your needs, the complexity of managing the volume of entities and jurisdictions while keeping track of regulatory updates is taken off your team’s hands.

Outsourcing considerations

What influences outsourcing decisions? IDC discovered that risk and cost drive the majority of outsourcing decisions made by legal professionals. Most notably, respondents expressed the need for provider expertise. Other drivers were limited staff and turnover, a lack of core competency in global compliance expertise, expanding business/acquisitions, a need to cut cost, and the lack of an entity management system.

Outsourcing clearly addresses many pain points and brings numerous benefits, but what should you look for when exploring a service provider? Find a partner who checks these boxes:

  • Acts as an extension of your team. Integrates with internal workflows and finds efficiencies
  • Has a breadth of services, but can also tailor services to specific needs
  • Understands governance/and has the reach to stay abreast of local regulatory requirements and updates while feeding the information back so that you can make any necessary adjustments
  • Can help navigate cultural and custom considerations in the countries you do business
  • Has the know-how to remediate any non-compliance consequences
  • Can provide cost predictability, greater control over budgets
  • Efficiently manages your data to save time and resources and increase ROI

Why choose CT?

CT’s model takes the complexity out of global compliance so legal teams can gain the confidence to act quickly in any country they do business by trusting the hard work has been done right.

As the leading global provider in legal compliance services, CT provides:

  • A single point of contact in the U.S., coordinating all global compliance work and keeping you up to date with the latest local regulatory developments
  • Access to in-country experts in over 160 countries
  • Customized services based on your specific needs, when and where you need them
  • An industry-leading entity management system – a single repository for all entity data and documents
  • Fixed fee pricing, invoiced in US dollars. Receive one invoice for all services in all countries

To learn more about how CT’s Global Corporate Services can help your team better manage your global compliance needs, contact a CT representative at (855) 444-5358 (toll-free U.S.).

Additional resources

Gonzalo Garcia
Global Business Lead

Gonzalo Garcia is a Global Business Lead with CT Corporation, a Wolters Kluwer business. He is a subject matter expert for CT’s global business solutions with more than 10 years’ experience in the industry.

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