As the current “new normal” has become no longer “new”, many corporations are beginning to wonder what the “next normal” will look like.
One thing is certain, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the importance of productivity and thinking outside the box in the work environment. For legal counsel, this means doing more with less to manage enterprise risk, increase efficiencies, and ensure business resiliency.
To meet these demands, legal counsel and their teams look to adopt tools and processes that help them achieve these goals while being dispersed geographically.
In this article, we explore some of the issues that are at the forefront for legal counsel as they look ahead to the “next normal” in global entity compliance.
Greater emphasis on data management and process
The current crisis has shone a light on the importance of finding more efficient ways of working. With employees distributed in home offices, legal teams are seeking ways to streamline processes to reduce the burden and eliminate redundancy.
They are also placing an emphasis on effective knowledge and information sharing so that risks can be identified and quantified in a timely manner.
An important way to achieve this is by having an easily accessible central repository where all corporate documentation is housed. Such a repository can help legal counsel maintain data accuracy and ensure greater oversight of global entities – wherever they’re located – in the face of evolving regulations and facilitate a coordinated response to risk as compliance issues arise.
Achieving economies of scale
As the global economy contracted during the pandemic, so did corporate budgets. As such, legal counsel are considering new ways of operating and improving cost predictability.
One such area they are looking for efficiencies in is the management of their global entities across multiple countries. This work is often managed by a vendor in each jurisdiction or by multiple vendors across regions, with teams seeing increased costs and decreased control. Additionally, ensuring compliance management and oversight of each vendor in addition to managing separate vendor invoices, different payment terms, billable hours, etc., is a time-consuming task for legal counsel and their teams and reduces productivity.
Consolidating global compliance operations with an experienced and trusted global partner with coverage all over the world can aid in achieving economies of scale. Managing global entity compliance through a single point of contact in the U.S., providing one invoice for all services, in U.S. dollars, further saves time and aids cost predictability.
A single provider can also better align with the organization and streamline the management of compliance obligations. With visibility in all jurisdictions, such a partner can ensure that decisions are made with confidence and any issues that arise due to changing regulatory environments are addressed quickly.
Post-COVID-19 health check
As we enter into a new phase of “business as usual”, legal counsel should review critical operational and administrative decisions made during this crisis and evaluate how these decisions are faring in the short-term, and if they are in the long-term interest of the company.
The regulatory environment in each country shifted to address challenges brought on by the pandemic, which has had a significant impact on businesses and prompted many of those critical decisions. Therefore, it’s important that companies conduct a health check of their global entities. This will help legal counsel ensure they have a clear picture of what changes need to be made and any areas that require immediate attention. A trusted expert can provide guidance through this process and work on the best methods to address specific concerns avoiding possible non-compliance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the way business is conducted and it’s hard to predict when or if things will return to “normal”. Companies have faced operational challenges due to this crisis which has put increased pressure on legal counsel to mitigate any foreseeable risks in the jurisdictions in which they conduct business and increase efficiencies. As a result, legal counsel are considering a variety of steps to better position their global entities for the “next normal”.
With the right partner by their side who can provide support whenever and wherever they do business through a single point of contact, has the local know-how, keeps up to date with changes in regulation and compliance obligations affecting their business, and provides guidance on the most effective ways to address any compliance issues, legal counsel and their teams can navigate these risky, unchartered waters with confidence.