Four must-have boardroom tools for company secretaries

The role of the company secretary (CoSec) varies from business to business, but one common objective in the role is to provide unprecedented levels of support to the board of directors and committee members. Having a set of reliable and useful tools available can assist CoSecs to deliver the highest quality service.

In this post, we explore:

  • The must have boardroom tools
  • How these tools benefit CoSecs
  • How these tools really make a difference.

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What are the must-have tools every company secretary must have in their armoury?

1. Resource library to effectively store board documentation

A well-managed resource library ensures documents, papers, files and reports are effective managed and easily retrievable, when requested. In most cases, the physical space needed to store and archive documents, papers and past meeting papers is never adequate, and, often, companies will store archived material in specialised storage facilities which will incur additional costs to the business.

With board portal software, archiving paper associated cost is a thing of the past. With quality board portals, companies are provided with unlimited data storage capacity allowing company secretaries to store information securely, such as:

  • Current and draft meeting papers
  • Archived meeting papers
  • Directors onboarding documentation
  • Current and draft meeting minutes
  • Archived meeting minutes.

2. Document and user rights management

As a CoSec you ensure that only the authorised individuals have access to certain information. With conventional paper meeting packs, the management of this can be difficult, but with board portal software, CoSecs can ensure information is segregated, ensuring board members only have access to the information they are authorised to view. Instead of manually printing, segmenting and distributing different versions of paper meeting packs, CoSecs can manage and distribute at the click of a button.

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3. Instant updates and timely notifications

It’s the day before a board meeting, and the finance director has just emailed a new set of company accounts which must be included in the board meeting taking place tomorrow. This scenario can often cause the company secretarial team a lot of headaches, and is often left with two options:

  • The new finance papers are emailed to every board member and the onus is on them to print copies of the accounts for the board meeting tomorrow. This will not always be possible as many board members would be travelling to the board meeting
  • The company secretarial team work through the night to print copies and distribute to board members before the meeting starts. This method means board members will not have time to review the new finance paper before the meeting and make their notes.

With board portal software, there is a third option; the new finance paper can be pushed to all director’s devices, and they will be notified that a new paper is available for them to review and annotate in preparation for the board meeting tomorrow. Allowing the meeting to run as planned and coming to a resolution will not be halted because board members have had time to review the papers.

4. Cloud storage with a difference

Uploading files to cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, is an effective method to store documents and files that can be accessed by everyone. However, this method can present major security concerns due to the document access management and encryption that these platforms lack. With board portal software, current and archived meeting papers can be stored safely with the reassurance that only authorised users with login credentials can access these files. Board portals offer additional security features such as:

  • Restrict documents being printed, unlike other cloud storage systems
  • Restrict documents being emailed outside platform, unlike other cloud storage systems
  • Restrict papers being stored on user’s personal devices, unlike other cloud storage systems.

By utilising these four must-have tools, company secretarial teams are empowered and can effectively deliver exceptional levels of service to boards and committees.