As one of the UK's largest professional services secretarial teams, Company Matters provides a full range of governance and company secretarial knowledge and support.
One thing we see increasingly from clients is a desire to modernize their approach to governance. As the pace of business — and the pace of change that businesses face — increases, companies need to ensure their governance strategies can keep up.
Many of our clients are investing in Diligent's suite of solutions to deliver this modern approach to governance; Board Directors, Corporate Secretaries and General Counsels are recognizing the benefits to their operation of employing software to make governance more robust, efficient and effective.
Company Matters was recently certified as an accredited Diligent service partner meaning we are well-placed to help with implementation of Diligent solutions. As the software is extensive, we recognize that without support, not all clients leverage the technology to its full capacity, and have accumulated tips and tricks to help our clients maximize their use of Diligent software to centralize information, collaborate more effectively and do more with less.
A Deeper Look at Some Governance Challenges and Solutions
Challenge: CS01 Preparation
Every company — including dormant and non-trading companies — must file a confirmation statement with Companies House at least once a year, to confirm that the information Companies House holds about the company is up to date.
Data inaccuracies or inconsistencies can cause problems here; Diligent's comparison and company data reports can be used as part of your "check and confirm" process, enabling any differences to be ironed out prior to your CS01 filing.
Challenge: Having an Up-To-Date Company Profile and RegisterEnsuring your company profile and register is current is essential; you can do this through the software which speeds the creation of company profiles and registers, enabling companies to get an up-to-date picture at the touch of a button.
Challenge: Managing the Batch Appointment and Batch Resignation of DirectorsIf your organization has a large number of subsidiaries, batch appointment or resignation of directors can be an administrative headache. Instead you can update or resign directors at mass through Diligent Entities, rather than on a one-by-one basis.
Challenge: Onboarding a New Entity into Your Business
Bringing a new subsidiary under your corporate umbrella can be a time-consuming process. For some organizations this can take days. Not all businesses hold accurate registers; ensuring you have the right data on any new entities is essential for comprehensive oversight and robust corporate governance.
Through Diligent, download information direct from Companies House when onboarding a new entity; overcoming issues of inaccurate or incomplete registers and speeding the onboarding process.
Challenge: Achieving a Full Picture of Your Group Structure
This is a challenge that many larger corporations face. Once your company starts to grow, it can be difficult to keep track of your corporate structure. Use the visualization tool to give your legal team oversight. This is useful for entity rationalization projects or for tax teams looking for transfer pricing opportunities.
You can home in on a particular entity — hugely helpful if your group structure is large and complicated — see the entities that sit above and below it, and as a result, gain a clear picture of your business structure.
Challenge: Creating a Single Source of Truth for Your Corporate Information
A core challenge for businesses, especially as they grow and become more unwieldy, is achieving a clear, comprehensive picture of the organization. Use data libraries to store your corporate documentation in one place — giving you accurate, complete data at a glance. Another tip is to setup admin users to control the data, and limited users to simply view and access data.
Filter to segment data via location, director name and other criteria to give yourself the bespoke insights needed to make more informed corporate decisions. Regional differences can be accommodated as well, with — for instance — dates presented in the format your users are familiar with.
Moreover, any Diligent user can add any pertinent information to the "company notes" feature, enhancing the breadth of the corporate record.
Challenge: Progressing Governance (and Other) Projects When People Work Remotely
The challenges of remote working have been brought into sharp focus during the coronavirus pandemic — but are not confined to unusual times. Whether your organization is geographically diverse, has a large number of home workers or needs to progress projects while people are on the move, keeping strategic imperatives moving can be a challenge.
The DocuSign integration allows organizations to use electronic signatures to overcome this; with digital signing increasingly accepted worldwide, the ability to progress acquisitions, divestitures or other projects via electronic signatures safeguards business continuity and speeds decision-making. Automated workflows remind users to complete the document if deadlines are looming.
Challenge: Surfacing the Right Information to the Right People
Corporate paralegals notoriously spend a lot of time responding to ad-hoc requests from other team members and business functions such as tax or finance. This of course is an inefficient use of time whereas the great governance teams create a culture of self-service. One way this can be achieved is by setting up persona-specific dashboards; a custom selection of graphs and reports that give a snapshot of the information relevant to that business function. This means that those submitting the requests can access the information relevant to them and give back time to the paralegal to focus on more strategic initiatives and proactive tasks. Similarly, users can automate routine reports to these personas as well.
Make the Most of Solutions That Modernize Your Governance
Governance in today's world means empowering leaders with the technology, insights and processes they need. It means running your business in a compliant, ethical way that enables you to survive and thrive amid ever-changing challenges.
Diligent's solutions give leaders a competitive edge, driving improved governance by providing the information, analytics and insights organizations need to identify risks, act on opportunities, and turn insight to action. Through our partnership with Diligent, we look forward to helping businesses to get the best from the solutions they offer.