What impact do electronic board papers have on governance?

Good governance is a challenge for many organisations. Keeping track of the many different actions required for legislative reasons can be very difficult in a traditional non-digital environment.

Without a data trail, it can be hard to monitor if good governance procedures are being followed. Even with some modern digital document sharing tools, such as Dropbox, it can be hard to keep track of what has been downloaded and circulated, making reporting more complex.

Adopting electronic board papers through a digital board portal offers a solution to the lack of insight. Electronic board papers can mitigate the issues and improve governance and board management by:

Creating an easy to follow audit trail

Electronic board papers enable meeting organisers to track and report on a variety of aspects of the meeting management process. They track and report on logins, attendance, resolutions and actions allowing a clear audit trail to be produced. This gives insight into the meeting management and can ensure that good governance procedures are followed.

Keeping individuals up to date

With a board portal any document revisions and amendments will be automatically synced and reflected across all versions, ensuring all users with access have the most up to date information.  These features allow decisions to be made on the latest and correct information. This is a lengthy and difficult process with paper, as revisions have to be re-printed and re-distributed, sometimes with little time for directors to review.

Improving visibility for meeting organisers

Meeting organisers have complete meeting management visibility, from start to finish, allowing them to adhere to the correct governance policies and procedures. This is especially helpful when there is a team of meeting administrators working on a meeting; they can all see each other’s meetings progress and what tasks have been or need to be completed.

Assigning secure user permissions

As well as improving visibility, electronic board papers also provide substantial security benefits at a user level. From a meeting organiser’s perspective, the ability to assign user access rights makes it easy to determine exact user permissions and limitations. This, of course, is impossible in paper processes where documents can easily be shared and copied with unauthorised individuals.

Reducing risk and enhancing security

On top of enabling user permissions and access rights, board portals offer increased security across the meeting process. All information is encrypted and provides a secure way to distribute papers to board members. Additionally, in the case of a lost or stolen device, sensitive documents and information can be remotely wiped to stop unwanted access to unauthorised persons. Board portals create a digital audit trail and also provide digital shredding so audits and documents can be stored in line with policies and then safely destroyed when required.

It is clear that electronic board papers have had and will continue to have a positive impact on good governance, enabling administrators to have control over every aspect of the meeting in a secure environment.