As we discussed in our recent blog, Top 10 Entity Management Questions You Should Ask Yourself, there are many questions to ask before selecting an entity management provider. But what, exactly, are the correct answers to those questions? Sometimes an expert is the best one to ask.
So we talked to our own in-house expert, David Jefferis, senior sales engineer for Compliance and Governance Services at CSC, a global service provider of entity management solutions. Jefferis answers these questions and discusses how to choose an entity management provider that is right for your organization, stressing that security, efficiency, and ease of use are paramount factors in maintaining your data and documents.
Questions to consider when choosing an entity management platform
What is the key factor in choosing an entity management provider?
Functionality and the features an entity management platform can offer are obviously important, but security is key and really shouldn’t be overlooked. Hackers and cyber criminals are not only creative, but also tenacious, and constantly inventing new ways to illegally steal sensitive information. Because of the type of information it stores, the entity management provider you select should be held to the highest industry standards when it comes to security, and should conduct annual third party security assessments that attest to their ability to keep client data private and secure. At the end of the day, if the platform you select can’t ensure your information won’t fall into the wrong hands, then it is all for naught.
In addition to external security, you also want to make sure the platform utilizes the concept of role-based permissions to ensure that users within your organization only have access to the information they need to do their job.
Finally, you’ll want to implement an application that allows you to pick and choose what people can and can’t see, and what they can and can’t do. For example, upon logging in, certain users might be able to see basic entity vitals―and rightly so―but perhaps they should not have access to some of the more sensitive documents you’re storing within the solution.
Can an entity management provider simplify things for me, while keeping customization, integration, and automation in mind?
What you’re looking for is the right fit for your company and your needs, and your provider should absolutely be able to provide a customized solution that is unique to you. Real-time integration will keep your data and filings up-to-date and compliant, and automation will streamline the process.
In particular, automation is critical because you want to have a tool that can make your life easier. A quality tool is going to be able to automatically update your data and documents as your filings occur, automatically calendar your critical obligations, such as your compliance and good standing events, and run reports at your convenience.
Should the entity management platform enable me to collaborate with others?
Definitely. The ability to collaborate is one of the key benefits of an entity management platform. Even if some of your team―be it tax, finance, whomever―is halfway around the world, your provider should not only be capable of doing business wherever you are, but offer a solution that allows each department to access information on a user-based system.
How long does a solution typically take to implement, and will the provider be there to assist our employees during the process?
Entity management isn’t one-size-fits-all, so each solution requires a certain amount of time to implement based on the nature of your business. That said, the provider should populate all your core data into their system and integrate that data with the functions and features they provide, and offer expert assistance throughout implementation. Providers should offer services to migrate all of your data and documents, whether you’re transitioning away from a former provider, or implementing a system for the first time.
How much does an entity management solution cost?
There are myriad entity management system providers around the world that will offer different packages at various price points, but the cost should be catered to your budget and your needs. One aspect to keep an eye on, however, is a provider that charges for services on an a la carte basis, rather than including everything up front. Some providers will charge customers for users, certain components of their platforms, upgrades, and may even charge fees for training or support. You’ll want to make sure all of those services are included.
How do I go about finding an entity management solution that provides all of this?
When you know your budget and needs, you can begin looking at potential providers, but don’t forget to keep in mind these 10 questions when researching entity management solutions.
At CSC, we offer everything discussed above at some of the most competitive pricing in the industry. Our company, founded more than a century ago, is devoted to customer service and helping our clients be better off tomorrow than they are today. To learn about CSC Entity Management℠, or to arrange a demonstration of our award-winning solution, call us at 1-800-927-9800 or visit cscglobal.com.