Developing a clear and comprehensive view of a company
15 Apr 2014 2:00 pm by Claire Barker
The Government has a long-term economic plan for Britain – and success in international markets is right at the heart of it. Britain is firmly and clearly open for business once again. Exports to high-growth markets like China, India and Brazil are at all-time highs and we are the number one destination for foreign investment in Europe.
Exporting comes with risk for businesses. Objective number one is to ensure payment, but not far behind is ensuring compliance with the various regulations and sanctions that exist within the international business environment. Due diligence on partners, agents, distributors etc is very important and can help to avoid costly mistakes.
Technology can provide effective ways to ensure that a business is compliant with various regulations and also to offer reassurance over other issues such as a partner company's credit worthiness, media profile or background on directors.
Whilst it is tempting to rely on free web searches for this kind of information, the effectiveness of this approach is questionable. One free online portal for company information claimed that there were, for example, 7552 John Smiths that are registered as directors of UK companies. However using Nexis' trusted information from ICC, the actual number is 1165.
This discrepancy highlights the value of access to properly indexed information from trusted sources, when businesses are looking to operate on a global basis. Relevant information for exporters includes:
- sanctions lists – to ensure that exports do not breach international regulations on sanctions;
- international company data – to enable exporters to better understand the businesses that they are planning to work with;
- media profile – to understand a company's history and any relevant historical issues that they have encountered;
- ID verification – to understand more about the individuals involved in any deal;
- fraud checks – to check individuals against pre-defined fraud indicators.
Where large volumes of currency are involved, companies also need to be compliant with Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Bribery & Corruption legislation.
By combining data from a number of trusted sources it is possible to develop a clear and comprehensive view of a company and make a solid judgement on risk. And, of course, technology can bring these sources together for a more efficient process.