By Brett Burney
If you are a corporate paralegal,
either in-house or at a firm, welcome to an application that can change
your professional life.
Corporate Focus from Two Step Software enables you to digitally keep
track of three underpinning pillars associated with your corporate
entities such as governance, ownership information and minute books.
If you are not already using Corporate
Focus, then I would bet money you have a profusion of three-ring binders
in your office housing corporate minutes and other governing documents.
If you really are good, you might use Microsoft Word or Excel to keep
track of ownership or stock records in a pretty digital table.
And while you might be a master of the
three-ring binder or a wiz at Excel formulas, those skills become
trivial when the managing partner or client calls up and immediately
demands an ownership report or a copy of last month’s minutes. If you
can’t find and deliver, your system is worthless.
That is where Corporate Focus shines. I
found it to be a refreshingly intuitive application that fixates on a
single pursuit, rather than trying to bloat itself with a ton of bells
and whistles. Corporate Focus is a relational database that allows you
to enter information about a corporation; then edit, view and twist that
information all around to retrieve whatever golden nugget you need.
The concept is best explained with an
example: Every month you need to prepare stockholder and board consents
for your client, but you need to make sure all the officers and
directors are correct, along with any other changes that might have
taken place in the past month. As long as you enter that information
once in Corporate Focus, you easily can merge the information from
various areas in the application and quickly print out the consent
Any record in Corporate Focus can have
a document attached to it. This is a fantastic feature because any time
you enter information into Corporate Focus, you can attach supporting
documentation. Imagine never having to scrounge around for a document
One of the most impressive components
of Corporate Focus is its uncomplicated ability to produce reports,
summary sheets and organizational charts. There are more than 100
templates available, and you can customize any of them to your liking. I
mentioned the intuitive interface before, but I truly am impressed with
its ease of use. It’s clean and the buttons are accurately descriptive.
Because of all this, Corporate Focus has a very short learning curve.
Most customers of Corporate Focus pay a
fee for Two Step to host their databases in a completely secure
location. If you prefer to burden yourself with the headaches of hosting
your own information, then you need a dedicated server and a database
manager for the project.
Either way, you definitely want to make
sure your databases are securely accessible from the Internet — not only
for your own attorneys, but also for clients who want to root around
their information. As you can imagine, having Corporate Focus available
for your clients could give your firm a distinct advantage over other
Many firms and corporations have a
document management system where they already might store a lot of this
information. And while Corporate Focus isn’t intended to replace a
document management system, it certainly makes a lot more sense to link
documents to their related bits of information directly from the
Two Step Software Inc. •
(800) 223-8900 •
Price: Minimum configuration
starting at less than $500 per month •
Windows 2000/2003; MS SQL Server
2000/2005; Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher.
Pros: Clean, intuitive interface.
It’s a great replacement for a stack of papers. It’s accessible over
the Internet, has excellent reporting capabilities, and documents can be
linked to any record.
You must rely on an Internet
connection. It takes time to initially input all of the information.
I absolutely recommend this
product for corporate attorneys and paralegals.