How Do Board Portals Help with Corporate Governance?

by Sangeeta Mukherjee on August 1, 2016 and last updated on September 4, 2016

Board portals are being increasingly used by organizations today as part of their futuristic business practices. Can they also help you with corporate governance? What does to access instant board packs, more efficient processes, and clearer levels of accountability and reporting mean for your business?

Does any reluctance to embrace board portals arise from resistance to change, or are there other factors that prevent organizations from changing their work processes given the potential benefits that can be unlocked?

Establishing strong corporate governance is not optional for large organisations any more. Rather, in recent times, robust corporate governance policies and processes have become the strong foundation on which all companies establish clear accountabilities and drive effective, smart objectives and processes throughout their organisations. Without strong corporate governance, companies can find themselves in a precarious position and unable to meet the vision and mission they set for themselves.
As technology becomes a larger part of overall business processes, many companies are exploring how they can use various tools available to enhance their corporate governance mechanism. In this context, board portals have evolved as one such tool that can help with corporate governance, making boards collectively more effective, board members more accountable and assist businesses in everything from setting objectives to measuring results.

Here’s a look at five ways board portals can do this.

  1. Instant Board Packs

    Old school businesses are usually heavily reliant on couriers delivering physical board packs to board members, needing them to reach their intended destination both on time and in one piece. Today almost all businesses have crossed geographical boundaries, making boardroom members located all over the world. Therefore, today, the old school method of couriering business packs has not only become inefficient but also next to obsolete.

    Leveraging board portals mean:

    • Board members can receive their board packs instantly, wherever they are
    • Businesses can reduce courier costs as well as the risk of confidential data either going missing or getting into wrong hands
    • Businesses can reduce costs related to getting and gathering board members to physical meetings if they conduct them online
    • More productive board members if they are able to attend board meetings remotely without the hassle of physical presence
    • A more flexible approach to board meetings and business operations in general
  2. Efficiency Gains

    If used correctly, board portals can result into tremendous efficiency gains. By allowing easy collaboration of documents, as well as ensuring your team members only access the documents and areas of your board portal that they need to, board portals not only improve on efficiency but also restrict potential security breaches. Does your financial controller really need to see and know everything about what is happening in your human resources department? Does the human resources department need to know what your IT team is working on?

    Not only your departments but your personal assistants also benefit from efficiency gains. Agendas can be collaborated and sent out digitally. Board members can be notified, invited and their responses logged digitally. Board meeting minutes can be taken, saved and archived digitally. Wave goodbye to insecure, space consuming filing of paper notes, and keep them all stored in your board portal.
    Moving to paperless board meetings brings huge efficiency gains, and we haven’t even touched on the positive environmental impact!

  3. Accountability

    Ease of collaboration is undoubtedly a huge benefit of using board portals. However, an equally important benefit is that board portals provide an additional layer of accountability pertaining to board members and internal teams.

    For board members, all the documents are accessed and updated in the board portal are timestamped and noted with who made the necessary edits, while the more efficient nature of your platform means you can provide clearer objectives and agenda items. This helps the entire team to understand which objective are met and which are not. Additionally, you now have a digital audit trail which gives you strong understanding about what is happening internally in your organisation.

    This will then percolate through the different business, particularly if, you need to share different documents within your board portal with a variety of internal stakeholders. Teams do not have to sift through a board pack or a long list of objectives to identify those relevant to them; they would have already been delivered.

  4. Risk Management

    In addition to the benefit of reducing the risk of a courier losing a board pack or business critical and confidential documents getting compromised, the digital meeting portal can wipe any data from remote devices. This negates any risks attached to a laptop or another device being lost or stolen. Data can be wiped remotely or automatically if password guessing or a number of unsuccessful logins are detected.

    From another perspective, most board portal packages also have a wider all-encompassing risk management software built into them. This not only helps board members in managing the risks they face on a day-to-day basis but also helps risk managers and directors in creating awareness about risk issues across internal teams and departments.

  5. Adherence to Regulations

    While a board portal itself will not help a business adhere to all the industry regulations and standards that need to be complied with, it will definitely help in putting together a variety of best practices that can help you meet the relevant policies and guidelines. While in terms of securing confidential information and data, using board portals is undoubtedly advantageous, being able to improve business process efficiencies, providing clearer accountability and a better understanding of risk issues could bring a wide range of benefits to your organization.

    Try a board portal today. It may be an initial culture shock and require strong change management processes across your boardroom and organization, but it is likely to provide significant benefits and efficiencies in the long term.

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