Bringing Your Compliance A-Game: Why All Multinationals Should Undertake A Yearly CoSec Health Check

Author:Ms Priscila Westerhof-Fittipaldi
Profession:TMF Group
 
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While year-end sees many companies rushing to meet their reporting deadlines, it's also an opportune time for them to reassess their global corporate secretarial program, and undertake a health check.

Regardless of the size or status of a multinational company (MNC), a robust global corporate secretarial program has always been key for effective entity management, compliance, governance, and risk mitigation.

However, the importance of such a program is increasing for international companies as they are faced with an ever-growing list of compliance requirements. From Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) to Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Ultimate Beneficial Owner registration (UBO) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). International companies must adhere to - and satisfy - a myriad of rules.

The trend across the world is to control what kind of information is being shared by companies, not just from a financial point of view, but also a UBO perspective. There are many new regulations and new reports that MNCs must present to local or central authorities, and even those that have been operating in a market for decades can be caught out.

In this rapidly evolving regulatory environment, it's important to know that your international compliance program is up to scratch. Good practice is to review the status of all your entities at least once a year. The end of the year being an appropriate time, as companies typically have sufficient information to run health checks.

While it sounds like an easy thing to do, in reality of course, it can be difficult and can require in-country support to complete properly. With increasing financial and reputational risks from non-compliance, frequent entity status checks are a must for international businesses.

Here are some key signs that can indicate your entity is not in good standing from a compliance perspective.

  1. Company accounts are being filed incorrectly or late

    We all know that human errors happen, and unexpected circumstances can lead to deadlines being missed. But if incorrect filings are occurring frequently, or your paperwork is chronically late, your existing process may be...

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