For many decades the main tools that boards used were paper, writing utensils, and their minds. Today, board management is more complex than ever before, and it requires more sophisticated tools than in the past. Boards are more heavily scrutinised at this time, requiring them to be more accountable and transparent in everything they do.
Many of the tools that board directors need are the same ones that boards have used for decades. The difference is that they’re just now being replaced by digital tools. To keep pace with the expectations for boards, digital tools are the best choice to make board work more efficient, effective, and cost-effective. The more that boards can rely on digital tools, the more time they can spend on urgent matters, risk management, strategising, and providing proper oversight which should take priority over routine board matters.
The fast pace of business also requires boards to have board management tools that work in real-time. Boards often deal with time-sensitive matters. Board management software enables a digital workflow that makes it possible for immediate communication and collaboration even when board directors and executives are geographically distant. Board governance tools allow boards to pursue urgent matters in the most timely manner possible, even without meeting face-to-face.
The main benefit to BoardEffect board management software is that it combines the most important board governance tools under one highly secure platform. This allows board directors to conduct all essential board business with one login. Continue on to learn more about the benefits of the tools and features of a BoardEffect board management system that allows boards to perform their best every time they enter the portal.
Related text: The Board Portal Buyer’s Guide
Many Board Governance Tools Under One Secure Platform
The reality is that it won’t take much time to find digital tools and apps that will minimally suffice for some of the tasks and processes that board directors need to use every day. Many board directors make the mistake of grabbing whatever tool they can find solely because it performs a function they need. It’s important to consider that board business isn’t just any business. It’s the foundation for all other operations. For that reason, and many more, it’s vital for board directors to choose secure board governance tools that were designed with the needs of board directors in mind.
BoardEffect’s board portal is a good starting place to organise all of the necessary board management tools in one place, beginning with meeting management.
Meeting Management Tools
A board meeting agenda is largely a fluid document. A new agenda typically gets started shortly after a board meeting ends. It’s the obvious place to begin listing the items that the board didn’t get to at the meeting and other issues that continue to need follow up. The secretary and board chair can continue building the agenda online until the start of the next meeting. As a benefit to other board directors and meeting participants, authorised users will be notified electronically when updates have been made to the agenda and they can log in to view them in real-time.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages to the BoardEffect system is the ease and time-savings of building board books. Board books may consist of several pages or hundreds of pages depending on the organisation and how much business their boards need to address. With BoardEffect, secretaries or board administrators can create board books completely online. This tool eliminates the days and hours that were formerly required for someone to stand by the copy machine to print, collate, and assemble dozens of board books. The exorbitant cost for materials and distribution, as well as labor hours, are a thing of the past.
An online calendar makes it possible for board directors to stay current of their board commitments and get electronic reminders and notices of upcoming events.
If board directors have a question about the budget, it’s simply a matter of entering the board portal, logging in with their credentials, and doing a simple online search for the budget document. It’s just as simple and fast to download it and print it if necessary.
The meeting management software by BoardEffect is just as easy for board committees and ad hoc groups to set up and manage their meetings the same way.
Your meeting minutes are an important part of documenting the board’s work. The meeting minutes tool provides a basic outline that prefills much of the routine information that normally appears on meeting minutes such as the date, time, location, etc. The headings can easily be pulled in from the agenda, so all the secretary has to do it to fill in the notes from the meeting. By the end of the meeting, the minutes are nearly done. The secretary can easily finish them up by dropping and dragging sections around to reorder them, clean up the details, and route them to the proper individuals for e-signatures for the final approvals.
Cloud storage is becoming the norm for a board’s important documents. Once again, not all cloud storage is created equally. BoardEffect’s cloud storage is highly secure and continually monitored for cybersecurity risks. It’s the perfect solution for storing your founding documents, job descriptions, board policies, orientation process, and other documents online. The document storage system makes it easy to archive documents easily while maintaining the ability to access them as needed. The built-in search engine allows board directors to pull up documents within seconds. As an added benefit, cloud storage is unlimited.
Secure Communications and File-Sharing
Your board directors should never be tempted to communicate sensitive board business or send confidential files using non-secure email accounts. BoardEffect’s platform uses state-of-the-art security which means users can send messages and share files in multiple formats to other users with the greatest confidentiality. Board directors have the ability to make notes or annotations on documents and share them with others with or without markups. Your designated board administrator has the ability to set up granular user permissions to add an extra layer of security to your board’s work.
The board management system also provides a secure environment for many of the board’s regular processes like board director recruitment, and succession planning.
Electronic Survey Tool
Boards will find many uses for the survey tool. Board self-evaluations have become a standard annual process for boards to demonstrate accountability and transparency and the built-in survey tool makes it quick and easy for boards to perform this task completely on their own if they wish. The survey tool is also useful for boards or committees needing to gauge the board’s temperature on a particular issue or to garner candid feedback. The results can be quickly be evaluated by pulling up a variety of graphs and charts.
Modern governance requires boards to have the right tools at the right time so they can make the best possible decisions for the organisation. There’s no need to search high and low for the right tools when you can get them all under one roof with BoardEffect.