The paralegal is one of the most sought-after and busy people in the legal operations team. Not only do they have plenty of work to do in entity management, it’s likely they are also fielding queries from all over the organisation asking for specific corporate data or access to files.
The risk is that the paralegal is seen as more of an inbox manager than an essential part of legal operations. If they’re spending their days reacting to requests from the finance and tax teams, creating ad hoc reports on the status of corporate data and entity management information, they are left with less time to do the strategic legal entity management work.
With the paralegal and legal assistant profession projected to grow by more than 15% in the next decade, legal operations need a better working model.
Some have already found it: those legal operations teams working with entity management software have a leg-up. They have the option to not only streamline operations through a single source of truth, but also create persona-specific dashboards for all corporate data. This empowers the various teams around the organisation to handle their own information needs, reducing the burden on the paralegal to provide entity data and putting time back in their day to focus on strategic governance and compliance.
How a persona-specific dashboard can lighten the paralegal load
Corporate paralegals are critical to keeping businesses in compliance, wherever they’re operating. Even in quieter times than we find ourselves today, in the middle of a pandemic, corporate structures and operations have always been a constantly evolving picture. It’s an enormous task to maintain the integrity of ever-changing corporate data and ensure its ongoing accuracy in real time.
When corporate data is funneled through a bottleneck, which could be the paralegal given the weight of requests, it can have knock-on effects to every practice in the organisation – the CFO could be making budget decisions on out of date information; the compliance team may make an error in a regulatory filing; the Board might be reviewing the wrong details for an important strategic move.
Undertaking corporate paralegal work through entity management software, and establishing a single source of truth in the cloud – where any approved person can access corporate data at any time, from anywhere – helps to alleviate the challenges surrounding data integrity. It also helps to empower those approved persons to gather their own information.
A paralegal can set up entity management software so that a specific persona – say, the General Counsel, the tax manager, or the financial controller – can see at a glance any information that is pertinent to their job role. These personas, or job types, can then go to their persona-specific dashboard and see only what they need to – without needing to come knocking on the paralegal’s door.
Creating a self-service culture for entity management
The potential time saving here is significant. Once a dashboard has been set up for each audience type, all organisational roles are empowered to be self-sufficient. It helps to instill efficiencies across the board – the financial controller doesn’t need to wait for the paralegal to have time to help them find information; the paralegal can focus on their own work instead of going on a discovery mission.
What’s more, it means the paralegal can reduce the amount of time spent managing inboxes and fetching information, and more time supporting the important strategic work of the corporate legal team.
There’s also efficiencies outside of legal, with those finance, tax, and others in need of entity management data able to see exactly what they need. There’s no confusion about which bit of the full picture is for them; they can pinpoint their small part of that bigger picture quickly and without complexity or getting tangled up.
The importance of secure file sharing
Of course, there will be times when the paralegal must collaborate with other teams to get information to the right places – but the sort of corporate data the finance or tax team will be looking for is highly sensitive and cannot risk being leaked.
Digital records mean less need to use traditional mail to get documents to directors and signatories, for example, and less physical paperwork to store. However, digital sending introduces gaps in a security framework, with the risk of an errant email or a stray document ending up in the wrong hands. It can also introduce issues into an organisation’s infrastructure, with malware infections, hacking attempts or loss of confidential information at heightened risk.
Entity management software adds an extra layer of security to file sharing. Using a platform such as Diligent Entities enables secure file sharing across not just an organisation’s network, but the world. Also known as protected file sharing, this is the process of protecting information using encryption algorithms; it helps to prevent an outside party from being able to read and understand what’s being transferred.
The secure file sharing platform can be set to allow access only by certain user profiles, or only for a certain amount of time, helping to add even more security to the process of entity management.
Diligent Entities can help to streamline the load of the paralegal by setting guardrails for data entry, user access controls, and data workflows. By integrating with third party platforms such as HR systems for data validation, the Entities dashboard can provide that at-a-glance view of the status of corporate data for any team – without needing to ask the paralegal for help.
Store your corporate record in a secure cloud and ensure data integrity with data assurance workflows, user permissions and integration with third party platforms for validation. It’s all part of the Diligent Entities strategic governance ecosystem. Get in touch and request a demo to discover how Diligent’s suite of entity management software can help you to collaborate better with finance and tax colleagues.
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