Traditionally speaking, board meetings are far from efficient. From the time-consuming processes involved with organisation to the logistical challenges of meeting management, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Thankfully, advances in technology have made board portals possible.
These platforms help to fill the gap between where board efficiency is and where it should be. Boardtrac Plus is the only portal developed and built in line with best practice corporate board governance in Australia, here are five ways it can improve efficiency in your board meetings.
1. Easily assemble your meeting agenda
A board portal makes it far easier to put together a meeting agenda. With easy drag and drop functionality, it takes almost no time at all to set the agenda, even if you’re starting from scratch. Once you’ve set the agenda for your first meeting you can save it as a template and easily pull it up for future board meetings. Templates are easy to edit, so all you’ll need to do is make slight tweaks to keep it relevant to each meeting.
2. Simple distribution of key documents
With easy document sharing functions, printing and copying hundreds of pages of documents and manually posting them out to board members seems hopelessly archaic. Distributing board documents through the platform saves board administrators time and effort, as well as reducing organisational spend on paper, ink and postage.
This distribution method is perhaps most useful in situations where there are last minute updates to the board materials. Rather than scrambling to distribute these amended documents, you only need to add the updated versions to your board portal to allow instant access from all approved members.
Boardtrac Plus also allows for this step to be automated. Once the agenda has been set, the platform can automatically pull and attach the relevant documents for distribution. Due to the granular permissions (more on this shortly), security is retained and conflicts of interest are eliminated by distributing documents only to intended members.
3. Provides granular permissions for different documents and different users
Not all information should be accessible to all board directors. Granular permissions mean that unapproved parties will not be able to access particular documents. You can set permissions for each board member or group thereof, and control who has access to what. As each board member accesses documents through their own portal, and permissions are granted digitally by the administration, there will be no need to pick and choose who gets a physical copy of what.
As well as setting up permissions for approved access, Boardtrac Plus can share key documentation with board members that aren’t part of the organisation. While most organisations have digital infrastructure where documents pertaining to internal operations are kept, these should only be accessible to staff, therefore directors from outside the company will not have access. By sharing these documents through the board portal, you won’t be required to allow external directors access to internal infrastructure.
4. Allows voting without having to convene a meeting
Sometimes directors are geographically dispersed, and this makes it difficult to convene for a vote when action is needed on a potential issue. Allowing board members to vote remotely via the portal means that, again, time, effort and the cost of travelling are reduced, but most importantly, this feature allows boards to come to timely decisions over how the company is run.
Voting typically takes two forms – to pass a motion, or to indicate interest. A motion will require a circular resolution, and votes can be set up and counted through the board portal. Directors will receive an alert that the vote is open, cast their vote from wherever they are, and wait until the next step (either motion passing or, if a unanimous decision is not met, until the voting window closes). Granular permissions can be set up here to keep directors’ individual votes private.
To indicate interest, the board portal can also request a show of hands from the board members. This could be about when to hold the next meeting, yet it can also be used within a meeting for directors to privately express interest in the topic at hand. Having voting in one environment removes the need for extensive email chains and keeps a board operating efficiently.
5. Hosts all your important documents
Boardtrac Plus allows you to create a document library – a cache of all your important governance materials, policies, procedures, guidelines and instructions. These documents stay accessible (to those with the relevant permissions) and can be accessed any time a director requires it. Permissions can always be tweaked, and when a board member requests access to a certain document then it can be provided when appropriate. Ultimately, this puts every director on the same page, reducing roadblocks and increasing efficiency.