Corporate governance is a process by which a corporation is directed, managed and run. Organized properly, it serves as the foundation for business decisions supporting enterprise growth and stakeholder value.
Healthy engagement between stakeholders, the board of directors and company management is paramount for the profitability, productivity and market positioning of a business. These functions are a particularly important element for attracting long term investors and capital.
Organizational documents are key to the legitimacy of a business and its growth. Primary here are corporate formation and operational documents which provide a clear articulation of business activities.
The business structure utilized depends on the type of entity a founder chooses to run and the jurisdiction they’re in. A corporation is codified by way of a Certificate of Incorporation (also known as an Articles of Incorporation), along with associated bylaws that outline operating procedures.
These documents form a corporation’s basic charter governing management, operations, and equity holders’ rights.
Today it’s not uncommon to see founders ignore proper corporate governance practices in their haste for a quick business launch and market presence. And as is often the case in a rapidly growing industry sector, this oversight can run afoul of stringent and rapidly evolving regulatory requirements and requests for transparency.
Moreover, early investors and stakeholders often overlook these governance shortfalls in their quest for a quick investment return.
One example of this involves cases where a founder may offer a verbal or handshake promise of equity or stock options to employees or advisors without any sort of documentation. The same with corporate restructuring or even a vendor arrangement that occurs without an agreement to reference back to.
All of this underscores the importance of facilitating and adopting proper documentation practices. As a business owner, you can avoid headaches by implementing strong corporate governance practices right out of the gate. This involves bringing order to your bylaws, operational documents, and agreements, ensuring that your business is consistently operating within established parameters and approval protocol.
Shawn Owen is the CEO of Equa an enterprise on the cutting edge of document simplification where from creation to execution, agreements are smartened into living adaptable core components of an organization. He had this to offer about the launch of the business:
“I think there were a lot of different elements that probably led up to this idea culminating. It involved some big ideas that I’ve had for a long time along with a lot of different experiences which led me to my own theories around how businesses should operate and function.”
Owen says that the ultimate spark for deciding that this was an idea that needed to happen on the heels of the pain he had experienced running a previous business.
“I had many moments of deep reflection where I began asking myself, ‘why is this so complicated, why is this so hard?’”
He found that the document process to be rather arduous, often involving the review of something that occurred in the past in order to identify the best, most accurate outcome for people to agree on. But at the end of the day, he says, it was all basically about the efficient execution of agreements and recordkeeping.
Asked about the value proposition of Equa as a solution to this, Owen added:
“Broadly speaking, we’re using technology that’s specifically focused on delivering a quality business user experience around documents and agreements, all with the aim of providing a single source of truth for the records.”
“With all of the technology that we have in the world that we live in, I kept thinking, ‘shouldn’t there be a better way of keeping records without all of this unneeded overhead and complexity?’ When things start to become too complex, you start wondering ‘why is this, this way?’ I’ve always been a big fan of simplifying things if there is an easier way”
To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global
Maintaining low operational costs amid a sea of legal documents is an ongoing challenge for today’s businesses. Manual processes are often costly, inefficient, and fraught with inaccuracies.
Given this prevailing trend, growing numbers of companies are exploring the viability of artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential solution for streamlining their document management systems.
The use of AI is not a new trend. Rather it’s already exerting a quiet presence in our lives. Whether it be personalized playlists on Spotify, book recommendations on Amazon, or the curation of Netflix movie options, AI is fueling an impressive set of advancements.
Now, AI’s algorithmic approach is seen as a revolutionary approach to document management, providing new ways for storing, archiving, processing, and extracting information. Unlike traditional data processing systems tied to a consistent set of logic, AI systems become more intelligent as data volumes increase.
OCR (optical character recognition) is a key element in AI’s promise. Allowing for text recognition, it is able to “read” document information, correctly classify it, and automate workflows based on that classification. This signals a new normal for managing large numbers of scanned documents with human-level accuracy. This information can be efficiently read, contextually understood, and extracted.
By way of example, an AI-powered document management system could sort through invoices and other key information. Organizations will also be able to access data tied to how documents relate to one another (i.e. shipping order and invoice), providing deep levels of analysis that have since been impossible.
Securing The Future
Data security is a top-of-mind concern for today’s business leaders. AI-driven document management systems can boost security and protect customer data by offering permissioned access protocols that help mitigate the unauthorized viewing or alteration of documents. It can protect documents by safeguarding the files in conjunction with whitelists, blacklists, and firewalls.
AI technologies allow for post-scanning character recognition, virtually mitigating the need for human intervention. All this can occur in fractions of a second, resulting in significant cost savings and enhanced efficiency for an organization.
AI thought leader and expert Mariya Yao, in her book Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders noted:
“While brilliant minds worry about achieving marginal improvements in competitive benchmarks, the nitty-gritty issues of productizing and operationalizing AI for real-world use cases are often ignored. Who cares if you can solve a problem with 99 percent accuracy if no one needs that problem solved? What’s the utility of a tool whose purpose is so arcane that no one is sure what problem it was trying to solve in the first place?”
Equa is committed to these sorts of real-world applications for the business world — With the advent of AI, the future of document management systems hold immense promise, with early adopters first in line to reap the rewards.
Concludes Equa founder and CEO Shawn Owen:
“AI is how we get to frictionless agreements. By knowing the information of all parties involved, AI can instantly answer all of the needed information in any given situation to form agreements that are near ready to sign at any time.”
To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global
Cloud storage continues to emerge as the go-to repository for document and data storage. Yet, questions remain about the security and privacy aspects of these sites.
Media attention abounds about hacked databases, data compromises and other intrusions by nefarious internet actors. This has created a torrent of concerns about the secure nature of Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and other prominent cloud-based applications.
Here at Equa, privacy and security considerations are of the highest importance as we enable businesses to become highly skilled in the navigation of compliance and governance documents.
The Equa data rooms are designed to expedite the advancement and completion of necessary business activities. Along with the excitement growing around the use of permission-based controls, Equa has a system in place to manage user access while monitoring who has viewed a document.
Driven by blockchain technology, Equa’s secure platform offers clients the ability to create data vaults for their documents, including capitalization tables, management, shareholder rights documents, and voting and reporting.
Asked about Equa’s response to the rapidly growing importance of cloud security, Chuck Williams, Lead Developer for Equa had this to share:
Williams though believes that the most secure thing on the planet currently is the bitcoin blockchain that Equa is employing. “The blockchain has been up and running 99.9% of the time over the past ten years. That gives it the most uptime of any network in human history.”
Equa, he says, because of the setup of its protocol, should give clients comfort in the event of some sort of security issue. Williams concludes:
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