You’re in the market for software to manage your legal entities. Good. You’re on your way to helping your business run more efficiently — and to making your life a lot easier.
Now comes the tricky part: Which software do you choose? There are a variety of options out there, each promising to deliver everything you need to manage your entities, hit deadlines and maintain compliance. But what are the most critical features to look for? What makes the difference between a system that will help and a system that will make an impact?
Below, we’ve compiled our list of the top 5 features to look for as you weigh your options:
One centralized platform
If you’ve ever managed your legal entities in Microsoft Excel, you know the pitfalls of having information spread across multiple documents and multiple people within an organization. More tools and added input only increase the opportunity for costly human error.
First and foremost, you want to make sure the software you choose will house all your entity information in one centralized database. A single platform allows for multiple users to access the data they need without compromising the integrity of that data. And maintaining data integrity is priority No. 1.
Important key features
In addition to that basic function, a centralized legal entity management platform should come with a few key features:
- It should operate in the cloud, so users can access information anytime, anywhere, and view updates in real-time.
- It should allow you to designate user permissions and limit access to critical data, where necessary.
- It should include search functionality, allowing you to find the information you need fast, rather than scrolling through pages of documentation.
- It should offer custom notifications so your business never misses a deadline.
When you have all of that, you have everything you need in one place, and that makes you more efficient, more effective and more accurate — all good things when it comes to legal entity management.
Control over compliance
One of the most important aspects of the legal entity management process is staying compliant with all the relevant filing deadlines, as well as all the other rules and regulations that govern legal entities. You may need to monitor conflicts of interest or compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations. Your taxes need to be paid on time, and annual reports need to be filed by their deadlines to avoid costly fines or — worst-case scenario — dissolution of your businesses.
There’s a lot to manage, and a lot at stake. And while people will always be core to the legal entity management process, a commitment to complete compliance demands a tool built with the intricacies of entity management foremost in mind. Your business needs a system that tracks relevant data and deadlines, while removing the risk of human error.
With a system like that in place, compliance becomes one less thing you need to worry about.
Security for your most important data
When we think of security, we often think of data breaches and cyber attacks. And those are very real threats in the modern business world — no matter what the size or scope of your business.
That’s why, when you’re considering bringing in a new system to manage your legal entity data, you need a solid understanding of the security associated with that software. And that requires more than a cursory glance across a company’s marketing materials. When you take part in a demo or trial period, ask the system providers what security measures are in place to protect your data. And don’t settle for answers that sweep your questions under the rug. You need to be sure your most critical information is secure. A good provider will be happy to put your mind at ease with a full, transparent disclosure.
Ease of use
Any technological system you bring into your business should streamline and simplify your operations — not make things more complex. That’s why you need a legal entity management platform that is not only user-friendly when inputting data and other information, but one that makes that information easy to extract.
Do you keep lists of contacts and other important information in Excel documents? You need a system that allows you to import information via those file types, rather than forcing your team to input information line by line. Do you require that your team deliver regular reports or updates? You need a system that allows you to create charts and other informational downloads in seconds.
And above all, you need a system that makes the onboarding process simple for every member of your team tasked with using it, with prompts to guide you through different tabs and sections and a customer service team available when you need them.
At EntityKeeper, we designed our software to satisfy all the needs of those tasked with managing multiple legal entities. We know it’s a complex process, and we want to make it easy, efficient and effective. Schedule a free demo today to find out how we can help.