The Critical Role of the Board Portal in Corporate Governance

by Alexandrea Roman on October 31, 2013 and last updated on September 4, 2018

Oversight is a big problem that corporate boards have to face all the time. With so many risks coming from different directions (e.g. reputational risk, financial risk, security risk, etc.), boards may miss something crucial no matter how diligent they are. It’s a dangerous possibility that can lead to a lot of problems not just for the board in question, but also for the company itself.

Another major gap is information inconsistency. When it comes to boardroom activities, there are many instances in which inconsistency can happen. Even something as seemingly simple as directors not receiving the latest updates on pre-board meeting files at the same time is already a source of inconsistency. When equipped with outdated information, members of the corporate board are unable to make well-informed choices for the company they represent.

But if your board is empowered with tools that encourage collaboration between members and allow timely access to crucial information, then your directors will have the ability to develop smarter strategies and analyses, whether they’re electing new board members, designing a succession plan for the CEO, or entering into a merger with another company. More importantly, they’re always updated on the latest changes, and this minimizes the risk of overlooking something critical.

One such tool is the board portal. It streamlines the whole board meeting process from scheduling meetings to archiving files, and it also records every step and action taken. This increase in transparency not only helps directors keep track of any development, but it also helps a company comply with today’s strict government regulations.

Here’s how the board portal improves corporate governance:

  • Because the board portal automates the sending out of the invitations, all corporate secretaries need to do is schedule a meeting, identify the participants, and add them to the list of invitees. The board portal ensures that only authorized participants will receive invitations and notifications.
  • Corporate secretaries can create the agenda and build the rest of the board pack on the board portal, then send the board pack to participants electronically. Whether in storage or in transmission, the files in the board pack are protected by encryption to keep hackers at bay.
  • Meeting participants can be given different levels of access to the files on the board portal. Thus, the VP for Human Resources may be given access to all files related to recruitment, but not to files on finances. The same logic applies in reverse for the VP of Finance. This ensures that confidential data remains on a need-to-know basis to keep privacy intact.
  • Directors can collaborate on the same documents at the same time wherever they are. They don’t have to travel to one place just to get to talk to one another about an upcoming decision or strategy. This added flexibility and mobility given to directors allow them to have more time to work with one another, and therefore, to focus more on what the company needs.
  • All documents that go through the board portal are version-controlled, making it quick to determine who has access to which kind of data, and who made revisions in any given file. Directors can be held accountable for their actions because of this audit trail.
  • Documents are archived and made accessible to those authorized. Directors who need to review discussions in previous meetings or refer back to past decisions can easily get the files they need. Meeting minutes are also included in these documents. When directors are well-informed, they make better decisions.
  • Lost devices are protected from unauthorized access. Remote wipe is performed on devices in which password-guessing is detected. Even when a device is purposefully stolen for the information it contains, the auto-purge feature ensures that confidential data will not leak out.

These are just a few of the ways the board portal can help your company with corporate governance. If you want to explore all the capabilities of the board portal, we invite you to try out Convene, a paperless remote board meeting solution that runs on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. It makes your board’s tasks easier and leaves your directors with more time to focus on what matters most: asking the hard questions, making the right decisions, and practicing responsible corporate governance.

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About Alexandrea Roman

Alexandrea is a social media specialist and blogger for Convene.

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