Whether your organization is a public company, a startup, or a non-profit, if you’re still relying on paper to distribute board packs, you’re not just wasting time, money, and effort, you’re also compromising the principles of good governance. Good governance is about transparency, equal access to information, and accountability, which are challenging to achieve when you still rely on paper. Electronic pack distribution gives you more control over the security of your organization’s documents and allows you to save time managing document distribution.
While going paperless is an important goal, how you achieve it is equally important, as not all electronic solutions are up to this particular task. Board portal software is purpose-built to meet the unique demands of distributing large quantities of confidential documents and it should be on the top of your list of paperless options.
Board packs are thick, much to the chagrin of directors who typically read through them on their flight to the annual general meeting. Organizations realize significant cost savings when they stop copying thousands of pages of reports, minutes, numbers, and schedules for the AGM, in addition to couriering them to every director, wherever they are in the world. When you use board software, you can move beyond a number of the costs and inconveniences, not to mention security issues, that stem from paper distribution.
Paper reports get misplaced all the time; when you’re a member of a board, it’s not just a hassle replacing the information, it also compromises your organization’s security. Unfortunately, email is equally compromised, as is well known now, because providers do not encrypt stored emails. That means anyone who can access the server where your emails are stored can read them plain as day, including attached documents.
Many directors have extraordinarily busy schedules and they often travel for their careers; administrators have nightmares over getting updated financial reports to directors on business trips halfway across the world immediately before the AGM. When they don’t get documents before the meeting, they’re frustrated that everyone else is working with more recent information than they are. Administrators working with paper also have to contend with special requests for extra documents, which can lead to inequitable dissemination of materials. If you’re using a board portal like Aprio, administrators can make documents specially requested by a single director available to everyone who might benefit from the information. All they have to do is attach the document to the relevant event (i.e. the meeting) and all invitees will be able to see it, unless further privacy is required (such as excluding executives from executive reviews or directors with a conflict of interest).
Several other features that come with Aprio can improve your organization’s accountability, too, including electronic expenses tracking and activity logs. The portal allows the admin to see which users have accessed documents, which has been shown to encourage directors to read documents earlier and arrivebetter prepared for meetings. Admin can also follow their expense claims electronically as they accumulate and make sure that they are all valid expenses. Put simply, board portals promote good governance across the board by making meetings more efficient, more affordable, more transparent, and more accountable. Start finding your paperless solution today.