Board meetings are arguably the “deciding hours” of any corporation’s fate. That is because board members gather once in a while, usually for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or to discuss a matter of grave importance.
It is obvious that anything discussed, agreed upon, or approved in the board meetings must be officially and accurately recorded in a form of board meeting minutes. Why? Because the company will disperse this information to the stakeholder, investors, and most importantly, board meeting minutes are vital to defending board members’ decisions against any legal proceedings.
As businesses are going digital, companies are looking forward to managing their board meetings electronically. That is why board portal software, aka board of directors software, has been continuously gaining immense popularity among all business sectors.
Leveraging virtual boardroom software helps businesses in reducing costs of meetings, makes the distribution process easier, and simply improves the overall process. If you haven’t heard about the board portal, here is a brief introduction for you.
What is board management software?
Board management software, also known as a virtual boardroom, is a secure online space that allows board members to collaborate and communicate with each other.
More precisely, board members can access the company files, host board meetings, set meetings agendas, review, edit, or modify any document on the virtual boardroom (depending on their access level).
Top 5 practices for board meeting minutes
Generally, it is the secretary with a role to organize the board meetings and record board meeting minutes. It is needless to say that as a secretary, you need to:
- Spend enough time planning things
- Take notes of important points
- Prepare board meeting resolution and then circulate it timely
Here are some important tips that can help you do things smoothly.
1. Making preparations for the board meeting
First of all, it is important to understand that every business organization has a different structure and thus a different way of doing things. Therefore, it is highly possible that the board meeting minutes are taken differently. In such a situation, here is what as a board secretary you should do:
- Discuss the expected or current templates that you may use with the board president.
- Have a thorough look at any previous meeting minutes to get an idea.
2. Preparing meeting agenda
Once you get a comprehensive idea of how to proceed with recording meeting minutes, the next thing is to prepare the board meeting agenda. Making a clear and timely distributed meeting agenda is vital. Make sure you add every important topic for discussion according to the priorities.
It is also equally essential to distribute the meeting agenda to all participants timely. It helps them to “digest” what is going to happen in the board meeting so that all meeting participants can prepare accordingly.
|Generally, the board members can request to make changes in the meeting agenda once the meeting is called to order.|
3. Getting a complete record of board meeting
The board secretary’s job is to record (take notes) every critical point raised, discussed, or agreed upon during the meeting. As a board secretary, make sure you memorialize every motion during the meeting. Most importantly, do not forget to include the names of those who favored the motion.
Yes, the board secretary is expected to record the meetings, but it is the secretary’s responsibility to inform every board member that they are being recorded.
One of the best ways to save time is noting the starting time of the meeting and keeping track of when a specific action was taken. This will help the board secretary to find the important topics later easily rather than going through the whole recording again.
|Remember, the description of all motions must be a part of board meeting minutes.|
4. Officially recording and refining board meeting minutes
Once the meeting is over, the board secretary should gather all the notes, type them, and edit them. At this stage, here are some crucial points to consider:
- Double-check everything for any spellings, industry jargon, acronyms, etc. The purpose is to ensure that everything is easily understandable.
- Use the past tense while preparing board meeting minutes.
- Remember that bullet points are better than paragraphs as they help the readers to skim through quickly.
- Enter all the necessary details about motions, who approved or seconded them, and the time when voting took place.
- Keep the board meeting minutes concise. It is not necessary to add every minute detail in meeting minutes.
- Make sure that inflammatory remarks and personal observations are not a part of the meeting minutes.
5. Arranging board meeting minutes approval and dispersion
Once the board secretary compiles the minutes of the meeting, the board president must review and approve them with complete feedback. It is better to get the minutes reviewed early while the meeting’s proceedings are still fresh in the president’s mind.
After the approval of minutes from the board president, the secretary needs to circulate them to all board members. Keep these things in mind:
- If there are any omissions or errors in the meeting minutes, have them corrected quickly and send new copies to all board members.
- Board meeting minutes are sensitive or confidential documents; no need to make them public.
However, it is important to note that past board meeting minutes must be readily accessible for shareholders and board members.
Board meeting minutes are not only the “crux” of board proceedings, but it is an important document that helps stakeholders and investors to stay updated about higher-level company decisions. Board meeting software can help boards conduct meetings electronically to minimize board meeting costs and improve the process