When an organization introduces board meeting software, it’s usually because of a number of common problems in the boardroom: a struggle with engagement and preparedness, lost hours spent searching for archived information or the most up-to-date version of an evolving document (like financial reports), and wading through unruly email chains to communicate. A well-designed board portal can offer solutions to these efficiency issues as well as provide a more secure way to distribute books. Security is many organizations’ top concern in the digital age and email is too easily compromised to send key documents as attachments.
The switch to a portal not only makes your process more secure, but it also makes reading packages, scheduling events, communicating with other members, and conducting votes and surveys easier. One of the key features of a portal like Aprio Boardroom is that it is permission based, meaning that administrators can make certain documents available based entirely on groups and subgroups. It’s flexible to your organization’s process and reduces unnecessary or redundant reading and hours spent “flipping through” digital or paper pages looking for the right information.
For administrators, it works like this: working in an admin view that’s invisible to directors, you distribute events (such as a general meeting or committee meeting) to groups and subgroups, and the corresponding agenda materials to these events. Within Aprio Boardroom, administrators have access to features including: :
- Voting: an electronic signature is legally binding according to the Business Corporations Act, and that means that you can conduct meetings and hold votes entirely through the portal
- Notes: for directors’ personal and private use or to be shared with colleagues for collaborative work
- Permissions: for the administrator to determine who has access to the material, allowing them to exclude members with a conflict of interest
- Activity Logs: these allow administrators to see which directors have accessed the material and when, which generally has a positive impact on preparedness.
Generally, board meeting software vendors offer fairly similar technology and differ mainly on customer service; whereas some companies can offer a comprehensive training plan, others have limited resources. Avoid vendors who want to train a single representative in your company who then undertakes training other directors, as this can be a significant hurdle to adopting new technology. By contrast, superior vendors provide one-on-one training to improve adoption results, in addition to providing extra training materials like online webinars that explain new features as they’re rolled out.
Training is one of the most important obstacles to effectively introducing new technology and it’s a frequently cited pain point for many organizations. Many directors resist new technology even if the old solution isn’t working, simply because it’s familiar. Recognizing this difficulty, Aprio.net has made training and learning resources more readily available, including round-the-clock, live customer support. Directors work from anywhere, anytime, and given how much time they spend traveling because of their various roles, positions, and responsibilities, they need to be able to get help regarding technical issues reliably, whatever time zone they’re in. When you upgrade your file sharing platform, find a board portal that offers white-glove service so you always have help on hand.