As fall heads into full swing, board meetings are on the agenda once again and many directors, executives, and administrators alike are asking themselves how they can improve their organization’s board meetings this fall. Classic tips for more efficient board meetings include staying on schedule, focusing on big issues, providing directors with thorough briefings, and handling minutes quickly and effectively.
Technology can help your organization meet these objectives and start on the path toward more efficient meetings. Board portals are powerful tools for running better meetings by securely and conveniently distributing briefings and reports to directors, but also providing directors with more tools to work outside of meetings and access information like by-laws and legislation. Board portals are affordable, secure, and an important tool boards can use to make meetings run smoothly. Below you will find four keys to more efficient board meetings and how technology solutions can help make them happen. For more information, you can visit Aprio to learn more and discover what this software can do for your company.
#1 Clarify Your Objective
Board meetings, just like any other type of business meeting, can sometimes feel like they’re happening for no good reason. Board meetings need clear objectives which then determine what materials need to be prepared for the meeting, who is invited to the meeting, and when it needs to take place. Board portals make scheduling meetings and inviting attendees simple for administrators and also given them the power to ensure board materials are available to the people who need them, and only the people who need them.
#2 Information in Advance
Executive briefings should be thorough and to-the-point, and cover everything. There should never be any surprises in the board meeting; directors should have a clear view of the issue at hand before they take their seat around the table. This is a challenge for executives to provide informative briefings that present all the available options, not just information that supports their goals. Board portals can also help avoid surprises in the board room, as they allow you to instantly upload last-minute updates when you need to.
#3 Collaboration and Discussion
Your directors are always prepared for their meetings; they’ve read the financial reports, they’ve read the briefings, and they’ve formed an opinion. But with so many demands on their time, they could always be better prepared. Collaboration tools that open up documents to discussion between meetings, such as Aprio’s annotation tools adapted from Adobe, let directors either prepare notes on files directly in the portal for personal use or for discussion with everyone else. Collaboration encourages directors to prepare earlier and discussion between meetings helps them solidify their understanding of the issues at hand.
#4 More Work Outside Meetings
One of the cardinal rules of effective board meetings is staying on time, but too often you lose too much time right at the beginning, when you need to go over minutes and approve them, including any amendments. With a board portal like Aprio, directors can review and approve minutes before the meeting, including any amendments that need to be made, allowing you to focus on current issues during the meeting itself. Directors can use electronic signatures, which are legal and binding.
Annotation tools can also be used to discuss reports and briefings between meetings, and give directors a chance to ask questions for clarification beforehand. An efficient board meeting is one that stays on schedule, focuses on discussing problems and deciding on a way forward, and highlights resolutions. Board portals can help you focus on your agenda and make it easier for directors to do their homework.