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Let’s start with a few questions: Is your company qualified to do business in more than one jurisdiction? Is your business structure complex? For example, does it have subsidiary companies or is it conducting business under multiple legal names? Is your business publicly held? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, your legal department should be using automated tools to manage the growing intricacies of corporate compliance and governance. Many corporate legal departments have been making do with generic solutions such as Access databases or Excel spreadsheets and the tireless work of their attentive paralegals. As compliance and governance obligations multiply, however, the effectiveness of these homegrown approaches rapidly diminishes. The consequences of an oversight such as a missed deadline can range from minor internal inconveniences to fines that carry a significant cost, not to mention the bad press that can generate residual liabilities. The good news is that many compliance and governance tasks can be automated and incorporated into a comprehensive software package. Most of these tasks are routine yet essential and require adherence to process, policy, compliance details and deadlines. Some examples:

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