Legal Entity Management: Workflow Automation & Reporting

Legal Entity Management: Workflow Automation & Reporting

│ Software review for data-driven corporate housekeeping in collaboration with Corporify │ 

Legal entity management is key to navigating complex organizations, especially in a digital environment that is highly dependent on corporate data and streamlined work processes. Whether assigned to the legal team or a business unit, people entrusted with corporate governance tasks are responsible for efficiently coordinating all legal entities of the group: holdings, operational companies, SPVs, subsidiaries, and branches. Carefully designed workflows and reporting are inevitable in this context.

While generating detailed overviews of ownership structures, voting rights, and governance bodies is – to some degree – doable manually, these routine tasks are not only tedious and time-consuming but also require accurate data. Modern corporate housekeeping enables organizations to keep all legal entity-related information up-to-date in a single source of truth, track transactions, and automate repetitive work processes.


Editor’s note: Belgian legaltech provider Corporify recently asked InvestCEE to prepare a detailed overview of their cloud-based legal entity management and corporate housekeeping solution. Part 1 of the Corporify software review series focused on capturing corporate legal data in a single source of truth for all stakeholders. This is Part 2 of the article series and focuses on driving corporate efficiency with workflow automation and reporting. Stay tuned for Part 3 that will be dedicated to IT integration capabilities and system security. InvestCEE software reviews focus only on legal technology vendors and products that we believe demonstrate quality, thoughtfulness, responsiveness, and legal innovation. 


 

Digital Corporate Housekeeping: Org Charts, Share Registers, E-Signatures & more

Legal and business teams that are in charge of managing complex organizations need to stay on top of all corporate data relating to group legal entities and generate up-to-date documents regarding ownership structures, voting rights and management bodies. Organizing an easy-to-read spreadsheet, tracking changes, updates, and revisions to all legal entity information – while minimizing the risk of errors – is a tremendous task when done manually. 

To drive operational excellence in corporate groups, data input, exchange and workflow needs to be streamlined, accurate and efficient – especially when it comes to corporate governance. In this context, automation is the natural next step once highly manual and administrative work streams have been carefully mapped out. Currently, legal and business leaders increasingly move away from a spreadsheet-based approach and turn towards software solutions that offer specific corporate housekeeping features in a digital environment, in particular:

  1. Automating organizational charts: detailed org charts created (in just one click) from the digital corporate database not only provide a visual overview for all stakeholders but offer a real time saver for the team. Note: Corporify also enables automated UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) calculations via their digital entity management platform.
  2. Tracking proxies, mandates & participations: apart from the basic group company details, the main data points for corporate governance purposes will include proxies, mandates and participations (both shareholders and entity shareholdings). Note: Corporify also ensures integrations with company registers.
  3. Digitizing the shareholder registers: depending on the jurisdiction, organizations may be allowed to replace traditional paper share registers with a digital alternative – make sure to check your local legal requirements in this respect. Even if not accepted for official submission to public authorities, a digital share register may still be very useful for reporting to internal stakeholders and communicating with business partners. Note: Corporify enables legal teams to draft and download fully compliant digital share registers directly from their platform (under Belgian law).
  4. Creating a data portal for board members and other stakeholders: a digital legal entity management platform helps to centralize all corporate data in a single source of truth and provides easily accessible information for internal and/or external stakeholders – depending on corporate policies and pre-defined access rights. Note: the Corporify platform has fine grained user roles and permissions. It also enables users to gather, exchange and validate company information without lengthy email exchange.
  5. Generating and tracking e-Signatures: with the ongoing shift to digital contracting, having e-Signature integrations directly available in a corporate housekeeping platform is definitely a must-have. Note: Corporify offers an optional e-signing module that integrates with major e-sign service providers.

InvestCEE insight #1: Cloud-based legal entity management has become best practice for business owners, managers and legal practitioners because it provides flexible yet accurate corporate data governance for organizations of any type and industry focus.


Generating Corporate Documents: Targeted Automation

Technology plays a crucial role in optimizing corporate work processes and document automation has been increasingly used by lawyers and business teams over the last several years. In the context of legal entity management, generating corporate documents is a specific use case of document automation – limited to corporate governance related files, activities and tasks. 

The developers of Corporify have recognized the added value that targeted document automation would play for their subscribers. While keeping the focus on digital corporate housekeeping, they added an optional support service for automating certain types of documents. Here are some key questions to consider from an end-user perspective:

  • What corporate documents may be worth automating with Corporify? Depends on the corporate environment, but information sheets, invitations letters and proxies for board meetings, general meeting of shareholders, dividend distributions, reports or even certain types of contracts may be good examples to consider.
  • How to build tailored document templates in Corporify? No need for Corporify users to ‘code’ their own documents – instead, they can turn to Corporify to assist with creating specific templates. Feel free to schedule a brainstorming call with the team to see if your organization’s corporate documents are worth automating with Corporify.
  • Does Corporify also offer legal document management? Yes, all documents relating to group legal entities and directors are stored in a structured way in a proper and flexible folder structure (e.g., per business unit, country, activity). The Corporify platform also enables adding document properties and metadata. Finally, documents can be linked to persons, entities and transactions.

InvestCEE insight #2: Generating corporate documents may not justify spending legal budget on a full-scale document automation software, but the functionality may prove handy when offered as an optional module in a digital corporate housekeeping tool.


Corporate Task Management: Reminders & Alerts

A low-tech, spreadsheet based approach to corporate housekeeping does not offer the ability to manage the multiple tasks associated with corporate housekeeping. Unless centralized on a single platform, legal entity management related activities will need to be logged in various calendars, project management tools, or to-do lists. For example:

  • setting deadlines and due dates linked to legal documents and corporate actions: e.g., annual filings, internal group restructurings,. call/put options in M&A documents, commercial agreements, etc.
  • generating legal documents: e.g., appointment and dismissal of directors, regular reports, meeting minutes, etc.
  • coordinating e-signatures: collecting and following up signing status of documents;
  • sharing confidential legal, business and tax documents: e.g., in the framework of board meetings, shareholder meetings, managing transactions, etc.
  • keeping corporate data up-to-date: updating the share register, group organizational chart, filing and communicating with public company registries, etc. 

Efficiency in corporate housekeeping means accomplishing highly administrative tasks quickly and accurately, hence improving overall productivity both within the organization and when communicating with third parties (partners, advisors, public authorities, etc). Corporify enables cooperation and task management for all team members on a single, secure platform, thereby supporting any organization to make the best use of its existing resources, including time, money, and personnel.

Legal Entity Management 4

InvestCEE insight #3: A digital corporate housekeeping tool allows users to assign tasks, track progress, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Essentially, it functions as a collaborative to-do list that is regularly updated and helps team members stay organized and focused.


Reporting to Stakeholders and Authorities: Data-Driven Communication

Whether in the framework of board meetings, shareholder/investor events or transaction related projects, private and public stakeholders regularly require accurate and structured information about all legal entities of a corporate group. In addition to data accuracy, efficient communication with stakeholders is also about how quickly all relevant information can be extracted from databases and organized in visual reports. 

While a spreadsheet does not offer the ability to produce a report relating to a specific point in time, nor to instantly compare various data points over different time periods, a digital corporate housekeeping platform is expected to provide these options in just a few clicks. For example, with Corporify users are able to quickly generate:

  • corporate information sheets on various data points, 
  • an overview of all the group entities’ directors, 
  • an automated organizational chart, 
  • an overview of all the upcoming dates of the annual meetings, 
  • a list of all proxies and mandates (including the underlying legal documents),
  • specific reports for ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO), Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), know-your-customer (KYC) filings, etc.

When it comes to the business activities of complex corporate groups – managing several legal entities often located in various jurisdictions, making investment decisions and managing transactions, crafting budgets on several levels, coordinating data submissions to various public authorities, compliance and regulatory institutions  – reporting requires data supported by legal documentation. In addition to keeping corporate data up-to-date in a single source of truth, Corporify users also have the possibility to enter and extract historical corporate data, manage the underlying legal files, and generate insightful reports for internal and external stakeholders.

Legal Entity Management 5

InvestCEE insight #4: Implementing accurate and speedy reporting in legal entity management shows a proactive, business-minded approach to corporate housekeeping – a far more sophisticated solution than a spreadsheet summary. 


Conclusion

Optimizing legal entity management is essential for any international business operation. Mapping out the underlying work processes, implementing automation where necessary and data-driven reporting ensure that a group’s operational structure is aligned with overall strategic objectives and complies with local and international requirements. Using technology in this context is crucial for avoiding legal pitfalls and optimizing business performance.

InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy is nurturing an ecosystem of curated tools and services, we advise and assist from vendor selection to implementation. Opt in for a product tour of Corporify to test key features or get in touch for a free brainstorming to get started. You can also just leave us your questions below and we’ll get back to you:





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