Our report highlights the widespread adoption of remote working, videoconferencing and e-signature technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. We note from our report that regulatory authorities around the world have now accepted that these innovative forms of corporate reporting are equally as valid as traditional practices. This presents an opportunity for organizations to think carefully about what they wish to achieve from each board or shareholders’ meeting and how transparent they wish to be in their reporting.
Many organizations are experiencing increased scrutiny from stakeholders on a number of fronts – such as leadership, good governance, profitability – as we approach 2021. While digital transformation provides a number of opportunities to increase resilience, we believe that transforming the legal and corporate secretarial functions should not be viewed primarily from a cost reduction perspective. As our report shows, there is a great opportunity to reimagine how the organization treats corporate reporting deadlines as part of achieving its wider strategic goals.
It should be noted from the Global Corporate and Commercial Law COVID-19 deadline (pdf) report that a number of jurisdictions did not extend annual general meeting and annual accounts filing deadlines, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore organizations risk being in breach of the law if they don't manage to comply in time. In these cases, organizations will find the report useful as it provides unambiguous guidance on a country-by-country basis in over 65 jurisdictions.