In our first month at Orchestra we have had the pleasure of working with over 80 companies who are now at various stages of their Orchestra experience.
It has been a real eye opener to see the different ways companies have traditionally been handling company compliance and stakeholder management. It’s fair to say we have seen the full range from excellent formula-driven spreadsheets through to absolutely nothing.
As founders and investors in multiple businesses, we fully understand that company compliance and stakeholder management very rarely will be at the top of your priority list. More often than not it will feel like a task that can be done ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately, we are already seeing clients uncover massive issues in their historical shareholder data. The cost in terms of time, and potentially money spent with lawyers and accountants to fix these issues, will be significant for these companies.
For these reasons, we wanted to share the three biggest mistakes we have seen to date made by Companies not keeping on top of Company compliance, share registers and stakeholder engagement.
“My Share Register is not correct, I need to fix/update it before we load it on Orchestra”
This is a statement we hear all too often. The unfortunate truth is that more often than not, when we receive the amended data, it’s still inaccurate. These companies have struggled to go through historical records to reverse-engineer what is missing or incorrect.
Our job at Orchestra is to take whatever state you have and complete an audit on this data. We can compare it to the Companies Office and work with you to fill in any blanks well before we invite any investors or other stakeholders to view it on Orchestra.
Regardless of whether you use Orchestra or not, every day you leave your share register incorrect, or don’t meet your other compliance requirements including documentation and communications, you are just adding to the pain you will need to resolve in the future.
And lastly, if you are in this boat, there is no need to worry. You are in the majority of companies who are not 100% on top of these jobs in their businesses.
Another common message we hear is that companies want to wait for a big event before sorting out their register or compliance issues. This could be anything from waiting for a capital raise to close, through to acquiring a competitor.
I fully understand the temptation to solve your compliance issues once you get past a big junction in your business but we have already seen multiple companies run into problems when they go to complete the big action and realise there are calculation or disclosure issues with their data. This can add a lot of cost or embarrassment in trying to unpick historical issues.
Plus you are missing out on so many amazing features that Orchestra can help with prior to and during these big events:
Having an additional set of eyes audit your info prior to any large transaction
Using Orchestra as a way to show investors how they will be dealt with in a formal manner once they join your company
Using the document vault as a mini DD room for prospective stakeholders
Using Orchestra when you need to issue or transfer shares – a function that can save you lots of time and hassle if you are already set up on the platform
For most companies bringing private investors into your business is not just about cash – it’s also about accessing unique skills and experience and having a bunch of advocates pushing your brand in the real world.
Yet for a lot of businesses that take private investment, very little is given back in return to investors due to lack of time, or not knowing what to share. The issue over time is that investors’ focus moves on to other things in life and the opportunity is lost.
If nothing else, allowing investors to access their shareholdings, and hopefully some other information such as key documents and updates about your company will maintain engagement, creating a flow of benefits for your company, including making subsequent investment easier should you need this.
We encourage you at any stage to reach out with any questions you might have about company compliance or stakeholder management. We are all on this journey together and would love to talk to you about your company's needs.