How In-House Counsels Can Better Handle Corporate Compliance & Risk Management

In-house legal counsel is expected to handle more today than ever before. Being at the forefront of technology has never been as vital for corporate attorneys as it is today. There’s always a new tool to utilize in the ever-changing fields of compliance and risk or a novel skill to learn.  Many in-house counsels find themselves stuck using overly complex tech platforms that ultimately slow the process instead of increasing productivity. Determining compliance is no easy task, and some lack the knowledge to determine the status of compliance. There are solutions to these challenges and ways in which to better handle corporate compliance and risk management.

Cooperation Is Key

Cross-departmental cooperation is crucial for in-house counsel handling legal compliance and risk management. All departments must be informed of legal compliance and risk management policies in order to mitigate any mistakes.  Effective communication with the various departments entails giving just enough information so that departments like Finance, HR, and IT can do their jobs. However, for compliance and risk management reasons, it’s crucial that counsel does not give away too much sensitive data to unnecessary parties. Additionally, in-house counsel often has the uncomfortable job of telling the company’s executives “no” on corporate compliance and risk management issues. Unfortunately for counsel, it’s not a popular word with many industry professionals. However, prior collaboration with other departments can help back up your decision with facts and supplemental information. You can frame your reasoning not only from a legal standpoint but also with a financial, HR, or technological best practices mindset. 

Embrace Technological Innovation

Corporations expect in-house legal teams to do more than ever with fewer resources. This has led to tension and frustration. Technology is key to succeeding and living up to demanding corporate expectations. The legal teams who advocate for tech inclusion will be more appropriately armed to meet the demands of today’s in-house legal departments. There are two ways in-house counsel can better embrace technology to improve their handling of the compliance program and risk management. First, they can seek out new technology to aid with physical documentation. Second, they can research and make the case to invest in new technology to allow them to innovate their duties within the company. Embracing these technologies will provide in-house counsel with the necessary resources to perform their duties to the best of their abilities and begin to seek out new areas of risk and compliance improvement within the business. 

New Technology for Physical Documentation

It’s no secret that the legal field is fond of detailed documentation. However, quality compliance and risk management require more than simply digitizing physical documents. An excellent digital customer lifecycle risk management product can streamline processes across multiple departments.  If your company uses multiple file-sharing services, it can become quickly overwhelming or unintentionally disorganized. It’s not uncommon for larger companies to employ scores of file-sharing services. This may be in addition to a digital document repository that requires digging through folders similar to the outdated method of sifting through physical files. And, of course, a jumble of unlinked services doesn’t offer you an effective way to manage your entities.  However, technological products can offer everything above and more all on the same platform. Investing in this technology could allow your in-house legal team to benefit from a regulatory environment with increased efficiency and collaboration across departments. Some products can support every function you need in your legal department in a single location, including:
  • Filing, forming, and managing entities
  • Total entity lifecycle management solution
  • Payment linked to entities
  • Customizing documents based on entity, jurisdiction, relevant laws, or other defining factors
  • Collaboration support between different teams for improved entity management
  • Project and task management for various teams based on entities and shared documents
  • Better track requirements for regulations like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Automated notifications 
Digital lifecycle management products can allow you to see team-level progress with different entities with the touch of a button. Want to pull up all associated documents for an entity? Push another button. You’ll eliminate redundant and time-wasting tasks like tracking down a colleague to receive an update report that you need before proceeding to the next stage. 

Investing in New Technology To Innovate 

As your office embraces technology like digital lifecycle management products, in-house legal counsel will have more time to think creatively about their roles. They will begin to see how evolving technology could be utilized to increase efficiency within the office. And staying on the cutting edge of technology is crucial. Staying ahead of non-compliance means investing in new tech to help in-house counsel innovate their practices. For example, compliance and risk management software can:
  • Organize your entire compliance program
  • Automate filings
  • Adapt to modern transparency requirements
  • Easily share deadlines and practices with relevant parties
  • Reduce time wasted

Push for Proper Risk Assessment

Without proper enterprise risk management protocols in place, in-house counsel can’t be expected to manage the organization’s compliance and risk assessment adequately. Corporate attorneys are often a guiding staple in leadership meetings. They typically voice objections and warnings on compliance risks that are sometimes met with resistance. Of course, effective compliance risk management is not just a warning sign — it is competitive and innovative. In-house counsel should push for complete compliance risk management and proactive strategies to bring their company to the forefront of their industry.

Establish Contingency Plans

The corporate landscape has changed drastically since 2020 as industries adapted to COVID-19 precautions and then transitioned into the post-COVID-19 world. Meanwhile, many companies learned how ineffective their disaster plans were.  Going forward, your legal team should dedicate significant hours to forming and refining competent regulatory compliance and risk management strategies to combat any scenario. There are resources and developing technology all around you. Use them to develop relevant plans for an unpredictable future. 

Easing The Pain of Compliance and Risk Management 

In-house legal counsel can ease the pain of compliance and risk management by ditching ineffective technology to stop wasting time on processes that can be digitized and streamlined. This digitalization and process reformation also solves the common problem of a lack of visibility and transparency into compliance statuses or issues. Many in-house counsels don’t realize that compliance and risk management don’t need to be a pain. There are innovative solutions that make tasks related to compliance and risk management more organized and efficient. 

Corporate Compliance and Risk Management With Filejet

In-house counsel has a hand in most aspects of compliance and risk management. Today, many attorneys and legal support players specialize in the subjects. Often, it’s up to the in-house counsel to push for the proper tools and technological resources necessary to stay on top of risk management and compliance obligations.  When you decide you need better support for your legal department, consider Filejet. It is the only entity formation and maintenance platform that will provide your in-house counsel team with an automated, organized, and secure location to form and maintain business entity compliance. Contact us today to learn more about how our corporate entity management platform can cut hours off your week.
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