Paperless Board Meetings Are a Director’s Dream

Anyone who sits on a board of directors is likely familiar with this scenario: it’s 5:30 in the morning, your airport-bound taxi is honking in the rain, and you’re scrambling to sort out a three-pound stack of paper to prepare for your organization’s annual general meeting. It only arrived by courier yesterday and the meeting is later that day, meaning if you’re lucky you can get through it all on the flight. It’s not anyone’s fault that it took so long – the package was sent to an out-of-date address and it took the courier three days to find you.

Now that it’s safely in your hands, you will likely be all too familiar with the next three stages you have to go through before you can brave the downpour and sneak into your taxi.

  1. The Waste – The first thing everyone about to travel does is start to tear away the non-essentials in order to fit it all in their carry-on bag. The binder goes in the garbage, and so does the smaller folder that holds all the annual financial reports, statements, and crucial meeting materials. Then, a quick scan of the papers unearths all of the unnecessary pages that can be safely left in the recycling. In all the rush, it’s a wonder more directors don’t lose sensitive materials in their blue bin.
  1. The Email Circus – Inevitably, the paper documents you get aren’t even the reports you’re going to need for the meeting. You’re reaching that one hour-to-go mark when the CFO starts an email chain with updated figures, and then the finance and audit committee jumps in. The only thing you can do is download the most recent numbers and hope they don’t change too much before you land.
  1. Make Room – You’ve trimmed the book down as much you could, and now it’s time to somehow squeeze it in between your laptop, tablet, a magazine, and your lunch, then somehow haul it all to security.

Anyone familiar with this routine is likely to join in the clamour for board meeting software. Digital platforms like the Aprio board management software make it possible to access all of the documents you need for your annual general meeting on a laptop or tablet, online or offline. Going paperless over a single, secure board portal means that directors get all of their information from a centralized location. They can rest easy knowing that they have the most up-to-date versions of financial reports. Some board portals, such as Aprio, allow directors to work offline without having to download documents to the device itself. That means they can work securely through the platform even while they’re traveling by air, with the added ability to remotely erase their device in case it’s lost or stolen.

Board portals like Aprio enable organizations to save time and costs, and become more environmentally responsible as they reduce paper and fuel waste. Every director interested in good governance should be looking for the security, convenience, and organization offered by board portal software.