Organisations are increasingly using portals to manage their board papers.
There’s no doubt that they have tangible benefits:
- Enable you to compile and distribute packs faster and more easily
- Easier and highly-secure delivery
- Online or offline access makes it easy for board members to read papers
- Making last-minute changes or adding papers is straightforward
- Packs created quickly and easily in both paper and e-version – directors get them in the format they prefer
But can they also deliver the added bonus of increased governance?
Can a portal improve your corporate governance?
It’s obvious that good governance is no longer a ‘nice to have’. Increasing regulation – particularly in sectors like financial services, but also across the corporate, charity and public sectors – means that strong business ethics are essential. And it’s been shown that good governance is more central than ever to your corporate reputation.
It’s also clear that there are many technologies that can improve your governance. Automated workflow solutions, for instance, have recognised benefits in terms of regulatory compliance.
Can a portal be counted among these technologies?
We believe so – and here are 6 reasons why:
A portal means safer, more secure delivery of your board papers. Rather than relying on a courier to deliver hard copy papers (maybe leaving them in a porch or behind a recycling bin!) – they arrive via highly-secure online hosting system. Ensuring you pick a solution with the highest levels of security is obviously crucial here – if you’re considering one, make sure it measures up.
It saves you time via more efficient processes. Production is made easier. Last-minute papers are slotted in more easily, and late updates are incorporated with no drama. Reams of paper are saved – not to mention the hours slashed from your team’s board pack production cycle. This means your organisation is running more efficiently – an essential building block of good corporate governance.
A portal can be more cost-effective – reducing paper, production and delivery costs, not to mention the hidden cost of all the time taken to produce paper packs. Good governance around budget management is therefore a given.
Board packs can contain highly-sensitive, confidential corporate information. Making sure only the right people see this information is vital. This can be tricky with a hard copy pack, where all members have access to all the papers. Portals can allow access on a ‘need to know’ basis – restricting information to those who need to see it. Giving organisations the ability to choose who sees what helps to achieve compliance around confidentiality.
In a similar vein, compliant archiving and record-keeping is critical to good governance. A portal makes this stress-free: papers are automatically archived and can be easily searched and found where needed. No need for bulky hard copy storage – everything is kept online in easily searchable records.
It helps with accountability. Individuals are increasingly being held accountable for the way an organisation performs ethically. While this is a particular focus for UK financial services – read more here on the FCA’s drive for individual accountability – it’s a growing theme across sectors.
The clear record keeping you get with a portal gives you clear information on who is responsible for what. See at a glance the actions agreed and the people responsible. This clarity of responsibility will help you meet your governance obligations around accountability.
So there we have it. A portal can not only save you time and money, and deliver more professional board packs. It can also improve your chances of meeting regulatory compliance requirements, and following best practice when it comes to governance. Is it time you looked into the benefits?You can read more about the benefits of portals – from a director’s point of view – here. Download our free whitepaper Board portals - what’s in it for directors? to find out how board members – as well as those producing packs – can benefit from this approach.