BOARDROOM BEST PRACTICES

The Company Secretary: Improve Minutes Taking with Meeting Minutes Software

UK board meetings are required by law to have minutes taken. Board meeting minutes are a legal document in the UK, in the sense that directors will rely on them to show that they have fulfilled all their responsibilities. The use of board meeting minutes software like that of Diligent Minutes integrated minute-taking and action management for Diligent Boards, assures this process. The Company Secretary can take advantage of this secure and reliable resource to assure that minute taking is legally and formally correct.

Board Meeting Minutes Software Secures Records

For the UK Company Secretary, taking meeting minutes is an important responsibility, one of the key aspects of that person’s work. Fortunately, using makes it easy to fulfill this responsibility. There are important legal responsibilities linked to taking board meeting minutes in the UK, and directors can be held criminally liable for non-compliance. So getting it right is critical, and, as we’ll see, using board meeting software like that of Diligent Minutes, helps directors to make certain of meeting compliance requirements.

Meeting minutes must be kept for 10 years in a form that can provide a hard copy print. They must present an accurate record of board discussions and decisions, and, most importantly, of votes taken, as the UK ICSA points out in a recent report. The use of board meeting software assures that minutes are derived from a complete recording of the meeting.  Board meeting minutes software obviates the need to determine any kind of subjective selection from the board discussions. All of the issues and interchange can be automatically set in the form of minutes using the software. Board meeting software assures that, from the point of view of UK law, the board meeting minutes will be the single source of truth, and will be a complete, self-standing record, along with reports and papers. They provide valid evidence of the meeting and as a record of those matters discussed/noted, concerns raised, decisions made and, where considered helpful, the rationale for those decisions, and demonstrate the directors acting in accordance with their duties under the Companies Act of 2006. Using board meeting minutes software also enables companies to determine for themselves the format and approach to taking minutes – the internal rules for running board meetings are not prescribed. 

Automatically assign actions to directors using Diligent’s meeting minutes module. Read more here.

Board Meeting Software Provides Security

In the UK, the company secretary is almost always responsible for taking the minutes – although there is no rule mandating this practice. But the Company Secretary, who also has a broad range of responsibilities, can simplify and automate many of the tasks involved in taking the minutes. With board meeting minutes software, the Company Secretary doesn’t have to worry about getting the names of all meeting participants spelled correctly, indicating their roles, and in highlighting the main topics of the meeting – the board meeting software automates all these procedures, which are required as this report from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) shows.

As the ICSA report notes: “Minutes need to be written in such a way that someone who was not present at the meeting can follow the decisions that were made.” With the board discussion recorded on the meeting minutes software, and then with the exposition derived from it using the easy to use structure provided by the software, a clear account of proceedings is facilitated. With these facilitations comes the highest level of security, which board meeting software provides, thanks to the professionals behind it. The most sensitive corporate information must be discussed at board meetings, and, at no time, should any of that data be placed at risk – certainly not in the minutes taking process.

Meeting Software and Security

With board meeting minutes software, all data is encrypted using the highest possible grade. This includes the recording of the discussion and the minutes themselves. All of the minutes are stored in a database that is protected from threats and constantly updated to assure that vulnerabilities are taken care of. Encryption is constantly revised in order to follow industry best practices, which evolve as threats do. If sensitive information does fall into the wrong hands, encryption offers another layer of protection. Here, data is encoded in such a way that only authorised parties can access it. If board security involves a cloud solution, don’t forget to look at the physical location where the data is housed. This, too, needs to be secure and run by vetted and cleared employees.

From a governance standpoint, secure board meeting software controls access to information, so that the right people (and only the right people) may access the right information at the right times, with no exceptions. Among customers and users, permissions to access data must be fine-tuned to a user and document level. Safeguards must prevent unauthorised sharing. 

Discover how Diligent’s Minutes module can make your minutes work harder for the board.

Request a demo of Diligent Minutes today and see how you can keep all your board-related information safe.

Diligent Minutes, integrated minute-taking and action management for Diligent Boards

Diligent Boards provides optimum efficiency and security for managing boardroom communications. Company Secretaries globally use Diligent Boards to take meeting minutes quickly and assign action items easily, all with the trusted security of Diligent Boards.

Key benefits

Diligent Minutes is a minute-taking and action item management solution built directly into the Diligent Boards. Minute-taking is mandatory in board meetings but the process is usually manual, insecure or both. With Diligent Minutes, meeting dates, attendees and meeting topics are added automatically to the minutes document. Action items can be added with just a few clicks and assigned and monitored during or after the meeting. Minutes, when completed, can be pulled right into your next Diligent Boards meeting book for discussion and approval.

  • Meeting Administrators can create meeting minutes from scratch or start from an existing book and have attendees, dates and meeting topics added automatically to the minutes’ template.
  • Add and assign action items quickly, view actions as a list to edit or monitor and send action notifications to directors and assignees via email.
  • Minutes can be exported to Microsoft Word or imported back into Diligent Boards for secure discussion and approval.
  • Directors will never miss a meeting action item because administrators can use Diligent Minutes to send prompts and notifications of assigned actions.

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