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September 11, 2022
Top 5 Benefits of Paperless Board Meetings
Written by: Ida Morris
With the recent push of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and ESG investing, the need is growing for companies to embrace sustainability. One place that company boards of directors can start revolutionizing is the adoption of a paperless system, specifically with paperless board books. Assembling a board book and documents related to board meeting materials are an integral part of corporate governance worldwide. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries. In addition, the paper and pulp industry is the fourth largest contributor to greenhouse gas in the world. One way that companies and corporations can combat the need for paper is to adopt an electronic board portal and paperless board books with Govenda.
Making Time and Money Count with Paperless Board Books
Boards of directors spend endless hours and countless funds on board books, meeting minutes, contracts, agreements, and other corporate documents. According to the EPA, a paperless office can save approximately $80 per employee on an annual basis. Therefore, if a company of 400 employees turns to a paperless initiative, that business can save close to $32,000 per year. “In the height of the Digital Era, we’re not lacking the means to eliminate paper from the workplace, but we are lacking the mindset,” says Inc. Magazine. “Companies need to reinforce the benefits if they’re going to create a culture that relies on digital for communication.” The idea for a paperless business should start at the top with the board of directors adopting an electronic board portal for paperless board books.
Paperless Board Books and Meeting Minutes
When a company adopts a paperless board book software, like Govenda, board administrators have the ability to create their meeting minutes in a paperless, intuitive platform. Paperless board books allow corporate secretaries to create agendas or import existing agendas into the electronic board portal. Directors can then approve meeting minutes with e-signature capabilities.
E-signature capabilities are another benefit of paperless board books. Instead of scheduling special meetings that require certain approval for major or routine decisions, paperless board books allow directors to electronically sign off on all decisions. This enables the ability for more decisions using Unanimous Written Consent. Directors, administrators, and executive leadership can also have the peace of mind that their most sensitive documents are securely housed in their electronic board portal.
Unanimous Written Consent
Companies can make their boards of directors accessible, collaborative and profitable with paperless board books. Paperless board books allow for boards of directors to implement unanimous written consent for its directors. During board meetings, directors often discuss and vote on important decisions affecting the companies they govern.
Oftentimes, directors need to make decisions outside of regular meeting hours. Printing and shipping documents are time-consuming and cumbersome. Signing a unanimous written consent agreement allows for decisions to be made outside of regular board meetings. Unanimous written consent requires the signature of all directors and sometimes shareholders. Unanimous written consent guidelines are even easier when a board adopts an electronic board portal for paperless board books.
Safe, Secure, and Simple
Paper documents can often be hard to keep track of, may fall into the wrong hands, or susceptible to damage. Electronic board portals and paperless board books are entirely secure. Storing documents in a cloud-based platform is safer than keeping sensitive information and documents in an office. Digital documents are often encrypted and protected by numerous stringent layers of security and redundantly managed firewalls. Access to these documents is also restricted with the help of paperless board books in an electronic board portal. Electronic board portal administrators have the ability to set strict security settings for all of the paperless board book users. Furthermore, digital files are not at risk for damage from a fire or a simple accident like a spilled cup of coffee.
When paperless board books are stored in the cloud, they are not susceptible to being mixed up in filing cabinets, meetings, or accidentally left in the cab a director took to the airport. Even if a device is lost, stolen, or compromised electronic board portals that house paperless board books can be remotely wiped to keep that sensitive paperless information secure.
Destroying drafts of paper meeting minutes is also a concern of corporate secretaries after a board of directors meeting. Corporate secretaries take their utmost care to record the meetings, decisions, and business. When a meeting concludes, it is imperative that the minutes are compiled, approved by directors, and all drafts are promptly destroyed. With paperless board books, all meeting minute drafts are not only securely housed in the cloud-based platform, they are easily electronically purged for the safety and security of the board and company.
Easy Tips for a Paperless Board Meetings Transition:
1) Have a Plan for Disposing of Documents
A considerable effort will have to go into scanning paper documents into digital files and disposing of paper documents. Electronic board portals like Govenda make it easy to organize all documents in a common document library with drag-and-drop technology to easily create paperless board books.
2) Give Board Directors the “Why”
In order to keep boards of directors on track with the decision to move to a paperless board book, understanding, and logic is imperative for the transition.
3) Implement a Strict Protocol
Directors should generate reports in digital formats and place in their secure paperless board book which can be reviewed on a web browser, phone app, or on a tablet. Directors can also encourage the use of apps and do away with the requirement that printed documents must be physically signed.
4) Get Software and Proper Training
While boards of directors are preparing to move to paperless board books, the right electronic board portal is imperative. Conduct research, schedule demonstrations, and make the best decision for your board of directors. Once a decision is reached, easy training and implementation should take place to ensure 100% paperless board book adoption.
5) Enjoy the Benefits
Once the steps to creating a paperless board book are complete, less effort is needed to ensure the company and board of directors stay paperless. Your board of directors will become more streamlined, secure, and cost-effective.
Implementing a paperless board book and an electronic board portal does not happen overnight. Strategic planning is a necessary element to moving a company into a paperless environment. Moving to a paperless board book and overall paperless initiative certainly carries cost savings for boards of directors and companies alike. With the ease of paperless board books, electronic board portals, and board meeting apps, companies only need to make the decision to move to a technology-driven alternative and the discipline to see it through.
Are you looking to streamline your board of directors with an electronic board portal and paperless board book? Let’s start a conversation today!
Tag(s): Board Portal Tools
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