Ask the Expert April 2013
Q: We are considering moving to a board portal service, will this mean more or less work for the company secretarial team when it comes to the preparation of board materials?
A: With an online board portal, you can reduce your board material preparation time from days to hours, therefore gaining efficiency immediately. With a board portal, you can upload your existing documents directly into the portal. We recommend you get the right tools which do not require large learning curves to master, these should allow you to link all supporting documents to the agenda and thus be able to generate a complete board book within minutes.
The key benefit of moving to a board portal service is in assembly time; you will no longer have to print out large numbers of documents or manually assemble them into board books. Along with assembly, there is the need to adjust to last minute changes in materials.
For example, a replacement of a document in a paper environment would require going through every assembled book individually. With a board portal, you can replace the original document with the updated version and it will automatically update all books at one time.
Another part of board book preparation is separating out board and committee books to ensure you mail out the correct versions to the right directors. With a portal, a flexible permission module allows for individual or group access, so you can still separate out access by board and committees to ensure only the appropriate members see their materials. A board portal provides a centralised location to manage all past, current and future meetings.
A board portal also allows for frequent in-between communications to eliminate additional work that has been typically held for face-to-face meetings such as unanimous written consents.
In the paper-based world, you would also have to collect all those books and manually shred them to eliminate any discoverability. With a board portal, you gain a greater sense of control over discoverability as you maintain only a single copy of documents and therefore can enforce your company retention policies.
Erin Ruck, BoardVantage
firstname.lastname@example.org tel. +852 2293 2698 www.boardvantage.com