Knowing the Basics of Board Meeting Preparation for Company Secretaries
Company secretaries are increasingly becoming more vital for businesses to run and operate efficiently. While they oversee and implement corporate governance policies, they are also tasked with the board meeting preparation.
Doing this job is such a big deal. During these meetings, the board directors and members are reviewing the performance of the company. At the same time, board meetings are venues for the officials to approve plans of action.
Indeed, board meetings help companies to formulate the appropriate corporate strategy so the business will continue to prosper. It can also serve as the proper time to raise any particular concern about the organization so it can be resolved immediately.
With this, we can only conclude that board meetings should be given much importance because communication is the foundation of every business. This only proves that corporate secretaries should be reliable when it comes to board meeting preparation.
Securing the Venue for the Board Meeting
As part of the board meeting preparation, the corporate secretary should first make sure that a venue is available for the meeting. Company secretaries should also be able to set up a digital meeting space. This is to allow officials to attend the meeting and give their input even though they cannot be physically present.
As the meeting date gets nearer, the company secretaries should reconfirm the availability of the meeting space. At the same, they need to double-check if all the attendees were notified already.
Equipment and Paraphernalia of the Presenters
Apart from the venue itself, company secretaries should ensure that necessary equipment and paraphernalia are prepared for the meeting.
Usually, the presenters need visual aids, whiteboard, projector, and audio equipment, among others. Ask the presenters before the meeting for whatever they need so you can prepare them right away.
It might be also helpful to have basic office supplies like pens, papers, and paper clips for those people who like taking notes.
Preparing the Agendas to be Tackled During Board Meeting
-It is the duty of the company secretaries to ensure the smooth flow of discussion during the board meeting to avoid wasting time. After all, time is money. This is the most important part of board meeting preparation.
Corporate secretaries should prepare the board meeting agendas beforehand so the officials can prioritize the items that should be addressed first.
Consulting the Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer
To develop the agenda for the upcoming board meeting, corporate secretaries should meet with the board chair and chief executive officer to iron out the details. The top officials usually prepare a summary overview outlining the important board topics that should be discussed.
Reviewing and Approving the Minutes
Corporate secretaries are responsible for jotting down the minutes of every meeting. After preparing the minutes, company secretaries give them to the board chair for proofreading. It will be approved during the next board meeting.
Documenting the meeting through minutes is a legal requirement. They can be subpoenaed by the court for official reference should legal action be taken against the firm.
There would be a reading of the minutes of the previous meeting so the board can verify the content of the document. Doing so is helpful because the board can pinpoint what are the concerns that were addressed already, and which are the ones still open for discussion.
Reviewing the Company Performance
Company secretaries should be able to prepare the recent key developments in the firm for the presentation to the board. This can provide everyone an idea of where the company stands and where it can go further.
Among the performance indicators are annual revenues and income, market share, expenditures, customer satisfaction, expansions, and product research and development, among others.
Presenting such reports is helpful when business officials are making decisions.
Opening Discussion for Future Corporate Strategies
Board meetings, as mentioned, are the venue to set the company direction. After taking into account the past performance, the board officials should come up with the strategies to guide the company as it goes into the future.
The board members, for example, can brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating new management structure and style to improve the overall productivity of the company. They will have to point out which are the best ways to do this, or if it is even worthy of doing in the first place.
The board should be able to come up with short-term and long-term goals for them to keep moving forward.
Finalizing the Board Meeting Preparation
As part of board meeting preparation, corporate secretaries should be able to gather all the needed reports to be put into the board books. After doing so, they should notify the board directors that they can review the board books prior to the meeting. They should have a copy within seven days of the meeting date.
Still, it might come in handy to still have extra copies of the board books during the meeting for reference.
Meanwhile, corporate secretaries should also set up a final meeting with the board chair and chief executive officer to go over the agendas one last time. This is to allow them to include additional agendas, and even remove some, if necessary.
The company secretaries should also finalize the list of the board members who will be attending, along with the absentees and guests, if any.
Sample Agenda During a Meeting
The following is usually the flow of agendas during a board meeting.
- call to order
- checking of attendance
- review and approval of minutes from the previous meeting
- review and approval of the treasurer’s report
- committee reports
- standing committee reports
- special committee reports
- discussion of carried over agendas from previous meetings
- discussion of new agendas
- tackling other reports, announcements, reminders, and other important matters
- guest presentation
After Completing the Board Meeting Preparation
After the preparations, the job of the corporate secretaries is not yet done. During the meeting, the corporate secretaries, as mentioned, should be taking down the minutes of the meetings. They should also be overseeing the flow of the discussion so no one will veer away from the outlined agendas.
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