Why Data Matters in Managing Multiple Legal Entities

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“Data” is a modern-day business buzzword. Companies want to harness it. Customers want to protect it. And increasingly, it’s becoming the most valuable asset any given organization has on its books.

Businesses that manage multiple legal entities are no exception.

In the world of legal entity management, “data” just looks a little different than the credit card numbers and personal information we typically associate with the term. Legal entity data encompasses everything from legal documents for every one of your entities to membership and ownership structures to compliance deadlines.

When you have a thorough understanding of that data, you have tremendous power to structure your entire organization in a way that saves time and money and ensures across-the-board compliance.

When you don’t, you put your company at risk.

The process of managing legal entity data has taken many forms over the years: The documents have been housed in minute books, filling up shelves on office walls. The data management has been outsourced to attorneys or other third parties. Spreadsheets have been used to wrangle all the disparate pieces into one organizational catch-all.

But each of those processes have come with distinct downsides: The minute books are cumbersome and manual, requiring someone to leaf through hundreds of pages to find one specific document. Outsourcing adds an unnecessary layer of complication and navigation to your work — i.e. If your attorney isn’t available when you submit a request for information, you have no choice but to sit back and wait. And spreadsheets are subject to human error, among other shortcomings, which can lead to corrupted or even lost information.

Technology has given us a better way forward, and it starts with the understanding that you need a system built to manage your specific kind of data. There are lots of systems out there that allow you to upload documents or create organizational charts or log important deadlines, but you need something designed to do more than manage the individual pieces of the puzzle. You need something that pulls it all together under one roof. And here’s why.

The most basic benefit is, of course, convenience. When all your legal entity data lives under one roof, you only have one place to go to get everything you need. It’s simple, and that matters in managing a complex matrix of multiple entities.

That convenience also saves you time and energy, which saves you and your business money. And it helps you manage risk and ensure compliance with all relevant filing deadlines and regulatory obligations.

In addition to all that — and this is where the magic of data comes in — using a single digital platform to manage your legal entity data allows you to take a 30,000-foot view of your entire organizational structure. You can spot similarities and differences, trends and overlap. And that allows you to identify opportunities to improve systems and processes and increase overall operational efficiency.

What do we mean? Say you load your legal entity information into EntityKeeper, a platform designed specifically for that purpose, and when you take a step back, you notice your most important filing deadlines are all clustered around the same times each year. That may inspire you to schedule certain meetings or review periods around that time, so you can ensure you have everything you need to hit those deadlines, without fail. You may understand the need to hire additional resources during specific times when workloads reliably increase. You can take action that makes your business faster, more efficient and primed for additional growth.

The potential is right there in the data you already have. When you find the right way to manage that data, you unlock that potential, and your business benefits as a result.