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Helping public companies and their suppliers deliver better and more cost-effective programs since 1994

Entity management systems

Every public company has some sort of subsidiary or entity “management system” - even if it’s like one of those marked-up, paperbound notebooks – or maybe a box of file-folders - that many colleagues have sheepishly admitted to using as their only system.

Back in 2007 few people foresaw how many subsidiaries their company would end up having – much less the number of non-US subsidiaries they might accumulate as their overseas operations grew -- much less the fact that entity management and record keeping would turn out to be a critically important Corporate Governance issue – much less a SOX-induced compliance issue.

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It sure seems to us as if a surprising number of public companies are still using rather shaky, makeshift sorts of systems to handle subsidiary record keeping. Many others are using old and outmoded versions of software programs due to ‘expense control measures’ - little knowing that this is likely the least cost-effective way to go. Many other companies are way behind in terms of “good housekeeping” tasks - like cleaning up old records, purging and correcting out-of-date information, and closing up subs that have outlived their useful lives. Another big problem we hear from subsidiary management experts are “rogue subs” - that make all sorts of deals without proper parental consent and supervision - and that fail to follow established procedures or report to headquarters at all.

If you are one of those companies – or even if you have what you think is a good system, but you haven’t made a careful assessment of all the records you may have on file – and how many may be “dead” or “dirty” data elements, it’s high time for a checkup, we’d advise. There is robust completion among service providers these days, which can help you get a lot more for your money – along with a lot of valuable help in getting your records into shape. Also, you can’t afford to neglect your non-US subsidiaries, where global attention to “profit shifting” activities is ratcheting up in a big way… So please look at our section on Foreign subsidiary Management, below.

Currently, we have no recommended suppliers, but please feel free to contact the editors if you would like additional background information and a few names to investigate.