Productive board meetings are crucial part of every organisation's success. They provide a unique chance to debate the business strategy, reach decisions about the company's future and develop suitable strategies and policies. Innovative ideas can be discussed freely, conflicting views challenged, and tensions gradually resolved.
However, in the heat of debate, the task of documenting the decision-making process could easily be forgotten. Taking minutes of meetings is not only administrative good practice: skilfully taken minutes can be a powerful tool for enhancing communication and effective decision-making within the board and beyond. Are the minutes of your company's meetings in capable hands?
The role of minutes
As per the Guidance note on minute taking by ICSA: The Governance Institute, the purpose of minutes is to 'provide an accurate, impartial and balanced internal record of the business transacted at the meeting'. For every organisation to function effectively, a record should be kept of what has been agreed, by whom, and what actions follow the decisions made.
Furthermore, s. 248 of the Companies Act 2006 states that 'Every company must cause minutes of all proceedings at meetings of its directors to be recorded'. Such records must be kept for at least 10 years, and they are 'evidence of the proceedings at the meeting, unless the contrary is proved'.
The task of taking minutes could either be delegated in-house, or entrusted to professional company secretarial service providers (on an on-going or ad hoc basis). There are many reasons why your organisation may choose to call in the professionals, and this is where our dedicated Specialist Corporate Governance team can assist.
What are the advantages of Jordans board support service?
Working in partnership with different organisations, we are exposed to a variety of boardroom practices and minute taking styles, and utilise this knowledge to the advantage of our clients. As a team, we pride ourselves in the collective wealth of experience that comes from providing board support to many different businesses over the years. What you can expect from our minute-takers is a strong eye for detail, great writing style and broad general knowledge that comes from attending different types of meetings (board, committee, etc.) in a range of industry sectors.
Whilst some may believe that only a person working in-house for a given organisation has enough understanding of the business to take accurate minutes, there are certain benefits of engaging an independent minute-taker. Being an 'outsider' means having no personal interest in the decisions taken by the directors, which in turn facilitates objective and neutral reporting. The benefit of neutrality is seen most clearly when contentious issues are discussed at the meeting. A minute-taker who is an impartial observer and not intimately connected with the business in question can bring a fresh perspective to the minute-taking style.
Even the most efficient businesses sometimes need 'an extra pair of hands' during busy times. Engaging professional support on such occasions can boost your organisation's capacity.
Our support ranges from attendance at meetings and taking full minutes, to any additional services required, such as: the circulation of meeting papers, advising on good meeting conduct, reviewing matters reserved to boards and committees' terms of reference, and preparing and circulating action points arising from meetings. Every organisation is different, and any unique requirements are taken into consideration.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.