For companies that have yet to upgrade, board portal software is a password-protected website or app designed for directors. Through the portal, they receive their annual binders, make notes, discuss materials with their colleagues, keep track of organization-related expenses, and even vote in between meetings. They solve the costs and inconveniences of paper binders and delivery by courier, while also providing a user experience that makes it easier to use annotations, archives, and track expenses than email ever could.
Portals can be distinguished from email and other free file-sharing services by their purpose-built user experience. Designed for directors, they make it easy to sort and distribute AGM and board meeting materials, access archives, create quick indexes of links to pertinent legislation and annotate materials. They should be intuitive and easy to use with confidence so that directors know they are working with up-to-date materials. There’s more to learn purpose-built board portals at Aprio.net, so don’t hesitate to take a look.
Another point on which they differ from email is security and privacy, as it’s always a better idea to keep documents secured behind password access. Portals such as Aprio Boardroom send instant email notifications to directors when a document has been uploaded, but the notification comes in the form of a link to the portal.
Many organizations also look for advanced privacy settings, i.e. the ability to create subgroups with unique access to certain materials. That gives administrators the ability to keep materials out of the hands of members with a conflict of interest on a particular matter or keep CEO evaluation documents invisible to the CEO.
Companies like Aprio believe that good governance should not be the sole province of those organizations with the biggest budgets. It’s possible to find a portal that’s designed for Fortune 500 companies, but accessible to non-profits and government organizations. In addition to affordability, better customer service and training strategies can help your organization adopt new technology. Too many vendors train one organization representative who is then responsible for passing along the knowledge to her colleagues. One-on-one training is a far better strategy for making sure directors emerge from the adoption process confident and familiar with using the platform.
Work from Anywhere
If possible, find an app that minimizes the hardware changes directors will have to make, i.e. something that’s compatible with all major mobile operating systems including Apple, Android, and Windows. Apps should come with a unique, tablet-oriented user interface, including annotation tools that make it easy to write notes and highlight key sections of a document with a tablet, while in transit. Because so many directors work while flying, the app should allow users to work within the portal without access to WiFi or data, automatically updating once a connection has been re-established.
Board software should make communication easier, and do so by streamlining scheduling and invitations, expenses and education tracking, access to archived minutes, and survey tools. A portal simultaneously simplifies distribution and organization, cutting down on wasted time spent searching for relevant information both before and during meetings. Streamline your AGM and board meeting preparation process and invest in better software for your organization’s board of directors.