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Requirements Related to Global Documentation


Global Documentation (GD) is the process in which domestic, as well as international compliance related to documentation, is followed. The type of documentation is required for data processes. Whenever documents are collected and processed, such information is stored. This information may or may not be used for compliance provisions. Documentation is required for information purposes and also serves as ease of doing multilateral business across different countries. This procedure offers an added line of protection to the requirement of businesses. Through global documentation, a business can receive services such as preparation of documentation, assistance in legal compliance concerning the documentation, and representing a business before an authority through the documentation.

Ways of Global Documentation

The two methods of global documentation are:  

  • Online Documentation- When it comes to the aspect of global documentation, online documentation is more advantageous. One of the advantages that online documentation provides is the ease of accessibility throughout the world. Documents which are used for business can be accessed anywhere at any time. By using online documentation systems, the productivity of the business would improve. There would not be unnecessary time waste in making paper documents for the business. The online documentation provides a way for easy access and collaboration with other documentation. Some online document systems are required to have a proper protocol for protection. Documents in these systems can be protected by internal controls such as the use of password protection and other features.
  • Offline/Physical Documentation- Offline documentation is a traditional method of documentation. It is used in institutions where there is less access to technology. Apart from a particular document, being in paper form, there is no other advantage in this form of documentation. In countries where institutions do not have online methods, this form of documentation will be followed. A particular disadvantage is that the business has to have proper technology for the use and access to documentation systems. This method of documentation is slow. Apart from this, collecting documents would create confusion if the wrong document is printed or provided.  However, having physical documentation would also reduce the burden for a business or an organisation to use print outs. The original file, when produced, would reduce the time of the company and their clients.

Advantages of Online Documentation

However, in light of the above factors, having a system of online documentation would bring the following benefits:

  • Increases the productivity of the business- Businesses can concentrate on their business priorities.
  • Reduces time- Using online documents lessen the need to deal with physical documentation. Apart from this, unnecessary time is not wasted.
  • Improves the ease of access- Online documents can be accessed from any part of the world. Online documents can be accessed anywhere. They can be configured to be open in multiple devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Online documentation would provide a system of document management. Multiple documents can be managed and monitored through the document management system. This provides a more user-friendly approach to an individual rather than using physical documentation.

Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) – Another added advantage of using an online documentation system for Global Documentation is the use of digitisation. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) makes it easier for companies to access online documentation. Artificial intelligence uses the process of automation. Automatic is a procedure through which software is installed in machinery or a unit to perform particular functions.  Artificial intelligence uses machine automation to understand specific codes provided. Through Artificial Intelligence, many law firms have a competitive advantage over traditional law firms that still operate on paper-based processes.

Global documentation is used by various international law firms when it comes to litigation management and processes such as e-discovery. International law firms use the system of legal process outsourcing. Apart from the added benefits of technology to the law firm, they would get maximum value from the service and prioritise their activities on critical segments of the law firm business.

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ContractsContract management systems are a part of the global documentation processes used by various law firms. These systems are either managed in-house through a team of IT experts or off house led by a separate IT company. Artificial intelligence in contract management can be a boon to the productivity of the law firm. For example- if a lawyer has a contract which is a hundred pages long and uploads the same on a contract management software using AI. If the lawyer wants to only refer to particular clauses, the information regarding those clauses can be inputted in the software. In a matter of seconds, the AI goes through the hundred-page document to retrieve the necessary information requested by the lawyer. This would take a junior level lawyer up to a day to search all the relevant terms which are required. AI helps in increasing the productivity of the documents.

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Services included in Global Documentation

  • Information Collecting- This is one of the most important methods of documentation. Whether it is a local business or an international business, this is the first step for carrying out proper global documentation procedures. A business that works offline relies mostly on collecting information through online processes. This helps not only companies that work remotely, but also companies that have different departments. Information is exchanged between various departments, and through this, a company can operate effectively. There have to be systems in place to ensure that there are no information breaches related to documentation processes.
  • Data Processing- Information that is received is processed for a particular purpose. A document which contains business information is used. Once this information is utilised processing occurs, for example, information which is provided to a property firm. Once the documents are produced or uploaded, the data is processed; the payment is made for securing the property.
  • Printing- Many businesses use printing processes as a part of global documentation. This is specifically used by law firms, financial companies, tax companies and consulting businesses. Additional benefits are got through the use of printing information. To emphasise this in a dispute faced by a business, the use of printed information can challenge the validity of the dispute regarding a particular law. Various forms of companies consider this form of documentation. Similarly, in International conveyance firms, there are a lot of documents that require to be printed. This will include information such as the proprietorship register, property register, sale deed, mortgage and contract of sale of the property.
  • Storage management– Information is present in electronic form and paper form. Storage Management is the process through which information is stored electronically or in paper form. Before the influx of cloud-based technologies and artificial intelligence (AI), storage management was through paper form and by the use of disk drives such as hard disks. With the development of technology and digitisation, storage management is possible through app-based and cloud-based technologies.  The advantage of storage management is that it allows information accessible from anywhere in the world. When a business implements a storage management system across their organisation, there is a requirement of proper measures such as data protection. This would be the inclusion of firewalls, virus protection software and other conditions. Through this form of management, data can be monitored and administered regularly. It is a way of securing information and data processes.
  • Electronic DataDigital methods would always serve a boon for business. Having data in electronic form would allow the business to concentrate on their main priorities.  Some businesses use the process of Electronic Data Management System (EDMS). Through this process, a business can efficiently store, monitor and manage data. Through the EDM, interface management of documentation is done through a single software. This process is similar to that off content management systems.  Global documentation can be done by the process of the Electronic Data Management System. Through this process, the integration of various formats of documentation software is possible. Not only will the documents be available in offline accessible formats such as (word/ excel) but also available as an online format.  The advantage of using this system provides the ease of access to documents. Sometimes the workflow processes of a company depend on separate departments of the company. By using this system of EDMS, different departments can integrate and coordinate for completing priorities regularly. A classic example of the use of software and Electronic data is the use of Basecamp. Documents can be uploaded periodically. Apart from this, the software allows monitoring and compliance.
  • Archiving- Archiving is a process of global documentation, through which information and data which is not used by the organisation would be archived. Archiving is different from the term deleting. Deleting a document is permanently removing the document from the storage of the system.  On the other hand, archiving is the process in which information is secured, which is no longer required by the business. Archiving information can be done in both digital and paper. Archiving documents has the following benefits:
  • Archiving data helps in storing information.
  • Archiving data also provides information and accessibility to only permitted users.
  • Ease of access to records and the information is provided in an organised way.
  • Archiving data helps organisations and businesses to achieve security needs during auditing.
  • Archiving data also saves space in the system.
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Apart from this, the main reason for archiving data is not to lose any valuable information. Documents are vulnerable to losses such as destruction, software issues and informational losses. If such a situation occurs, then such records cannot be retrieved. Therefore archiving information is required for a business.

Sectors which use Global Documentation

  • Financial Planning- Whether you are a business or individual financial planning is crucial. Financial Planning consultants provide consulting and guidance when it comes to making your day to day finance. They also offer advice on post-retirement investment.  Even for the needs of a business, there are management consultants that provide financial planning services. For a company or individual, the planning consultants would need documentation to carry out financial planning.  Some of the documents that are used in financial planning are balance sheet of a business, memorandum and articles of the business. For an individual, documents such as salary statements, bank accounts and tax returns would be required. Global documentation would be present as a part of financial planning. However, the information present with financial consultants should be secure. There can be no space for data breaches in a financial planning business.
  • Litigation Management- When it comes to the area of litigation, there are both offline and online documentation processes. However, in many countries, there is more presence of offline documentation. These documents are present in physical form for court management and other procedures. If there are international arbitrations or settlements between two courts of different countries, the documentation process would be global. Therefore global documentation has its presence in the court systems also.
  • Taxation Law- Accounting firms around the world use the process of global documentation to liaise with the needs of cross border accounting and consulting.  An international accounting firm would assist in preparing the core documentation related to the business in another country. Through this method, there can be a constituent practice when it comes to reporting norms.
  • Transfer Pricing- Transfer pricing is the process in which the prices of goods and services present between related entities are settled. To be in line with the principles enumerated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are certain practices which have to be followed for transfer pricing. While reviewing transfer pricing documentation, an accounting firm has to be familiar with the tax methods which are adopted across the world. In transfer pricing, global documentation is an important concept.
  • E-Discovery Management- E-discovery process also utilises Global Documentation. In this process, data which is present in documents is searched, sorted and categorised according to the requirements. E-discovery process is used as evidence in civil and criminal cases. E-discovery also requires the process of global documentation due to the importance of online and offline information.
  • Outsourcing Industries- Outsourcing industries such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) use global documentation. Countries outsource their work to countries where the cost of labour is cheap, and the work can be carried out smoothly. Documentation and information are exchanged between the outsourcing provider and the company that has outsourced the work. Therefore there is a requirement of the outsourcing provider to use global documentation while carrying out various processes.
  • Conveyance Management- The conveyance industry has benefitted from the documentation. There are conveyance firms in the USA and UK that outsource their work to other countries. The process is based on access and adaptability. The onshore office would ensure that scanning systems work so there is synchronisation between the onshore and offshore offices. The overseas offices would carry out the work on property documents and title deeds.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M & A) – The M & A sector also rely on documentation work. A complex merger and acquisition transaction would have due diligence requirements such as legal and financial due diligence. During data exchange, a lot of information would be transferred between the buying company and the selling company. Data rooms are required for storing such data that is transferred between the buyer and the seller. Therefore Global documentation is even needed for a Merger and Acquisition Process.
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Problems of Global Documentation

  • Excessive uses of Physical Document- Some countries ignore the need of online requirements for documentation.
  • Information Threats and Data Breaches- Due to vast use age of global documentation, there would be more information breaches and cyber security threats. Therefore there is a requirement of having proper security protection measures.


Global documentation is a process in which information is stored at a domestic level and international level. It can be done through online and offline/ physical methods. As there are more benefits to use online methods, it would be appropriate for a business to continue using online methods related to global documentation. Online documentation is affected by digitisation and AI. These improvements would make the process of documentation simple in comparison to physical documentation processes.  Documentation processes have been used in various sectors. This has brought about a progressive change in society. However, there are certain disadvantages by using the method of global documentation, such as information breaches and threat. If a business has streamlined a proper mechanism for cybersecurity, then these can be avoided.

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