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.”

Owen’s concludes:

“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

Data rooms are cloud applications that facilitate the secure storage and sharing of confidential information, including business documents. These virtual constellations are now the norm and are rapidly replacing the need for actual physical documentation.

Properly administered, these systems represent an additional layer of security for business documents. They can also reduce friction when it comes to the movement of documents contributing to the speed and execution of a transaction.

Essentially, a data room acts as a hub for all sorts of engagements that require a robust and secure environment for storage, management, and sharing of business information. These systems then become globally accessible through an internet connection.

Companies facing various forms of due diligence and asset management requests find data room solutions of immense value. They are particularly useful in the facilitation of collaborations and working relationships between business stakeholders.

Traditionally employed in the financial world, data room use cases have experienced a major growth trajectory over the past decade. Mergers and acquisitions and joint venture investments are two realms where virtual data has grown in popularity. Operating agreements, patents, and compliance records are other areas where these digital systems are seeing growing adoption.

In the future, data room solutions will increasingly make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to boost such features as automatic document translations and query management. Other features that are making an advancement include notation systems, advanced permissions, and multi-factor authentication.

Then there’s the emergence of Blockchain that promises to upend the world of traditional archiving, with secure data rooms validated with the timestamping phase of a transaction.

Below is a list of common questions and answers about the Equa data room and why Equa represents such a promising new normal for businesses and enterprises.

How are documents transferred into the Equa data room?

The client success team will work with you every step of the way to ensure an easy and secure upload of your files to the Equa data room. Through this manual process, we collect everything our clients need to set up a corporate data room successfully. We conduct a thorough gap analysis of your documents before migrating them into our system.

As we begin to digitize the individual and unique clauses of operating documents, vendor documents, employment documents, cap tables, — anything tied to governance and compliance activities within your organization, we will turn all of those documents into digital forms that will be updatable and changeable as you progress through your business cycles. Our aim is to ensure a smooth and safe transmittal of this information.

Who manages a data room, Equa or the client?

The aim is for both Equa and you, the client, to have full administrative control over the contents of a data room. What that means is, while Equa could produce documents that could land in your data room, you as a client will also have your own documents that you’ll want to upload and manage.

What makes the Equa data room so valuable?

Keeping track of myriad business documents is an immense, time-consuming hassle for most organizations. A compliance review can be an absolute nightmare as well, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a really good lawyer who’s exquisitely well organized with files and can retrieve them on a moments notice. The value of a data room is in this retrievability, along with the accessibility and authoritativeness of having the most recent, up to date independently verifiable source of a document.

How easily can we retrieve documents?

With Equa, not only are your documents retrievable on a moment’s notice, but you also have the ability to amend them very quickly. And it’s very cost-effective compared to other options.

How do we engage with the Equa platform once our documents have been downloaded?

Our intuitive dashboard comes with simple and easy-to-understand workflows to ensure a world-class user experience. This, in turn, helps to boost the overall efficiency of your document storage and retrieval processes.

What if we want to make changes to a document?

The ability to make changes or amendments to any governing document is essential to ensuring the most up to date, accurate repository. Equa provides a seamless platform for ensuring a single source of truth for all your documents.

How does this update and access process actually occur?

Once uploaded, we’ll produce the original documents which will allow those designated to digitally signed these documents. We will also create hashed versions of these for the blockchain with those links of information stored within our system so you can see the who and when of any amendments to the document.

Who controls access to these documents?

Once you make changes to, say, a Capitalization Table or other operational document, we’re going to back that up on a blockchain, creating a public record that’s independently verifiable by each individual who had access to the original document via a private key. Here at Equa, we’ll help you manage and control access to those documents, along with providing auditable records of all of who accessed them and when they were accessed.

And who can be given access?

That’s for you to determine. It could include two corporate administrators, a president and a vice-president, the corporate lawyer or employees who have been issued stocks in an organization. Each person is going to have different levels of access to the data room, or different data rooms specific to their needs. Those different levels of access will provide them with different pieces of information that are appropriate for their levels of exposure.

Is there a particular protocol that ensures this access?

Essentially what we’re talking about here is data storage with private key encryption and basic log in protection which allows each person access at the appropriate levels. Audit trails are then going to tag along as people with the right credentials are able to access certain documents.

What about our paper documents?

Paper versions do ultimately get filed with some jurisdictional or government agency. The good news is that digital options to file those paper versions have been developed. Those are the types of partnerships we’re looking to build through Equa over time.

What is the ultimate value proposition that Equa delivers?

For both you as a business and your community of stakeholders, your cost and productivity value exponentially increase in terms of greater efficiencies around agreements. Decisions can be made more quickly with the rapid processing and dissemination of information. It’s like rocket fuel for businesses that want to move more quickly while staying compliant.