Take Board Work Wherever You Go

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dewfwerfSitting on the board of a not-for-profit organization is an important career step, but as you take on more responsibilities in your dynamic work life, you start to find that you need to maximize every second of the day. Since board work typically only makes up a small part of your everyday obligations, sometimes it can get shuffled to the bottom of your To-Do list, until a meeting looms large and you find yourself scrambling to review hundreds of pages of documents, including minutes, financial reports, and legislation.

A common experience for many non-executive directors is a last-minute review of the board book on the plane ride to the meeting, rapidly scrolling through emails on the taxi ride to the airport downloading the documents. But in the chaos, you miss an update, or it turns out you were left out of the email chain when new financial documents were sent, and you show up at the meeting with out-of-date numbers. Not only does it deprive the meeting of a well-informed discussion from all parties, it also causes a delay and burns valuable time when one director needs to quickly apprise themselves of data they should have had days earlier.

Directors need the freedom to take board work wherever they go and they need it to be up-to-date, which is why more organizations are adopting board software that lets them work online or offline, manages version updates, and lets administrators securely distribute information electronically. Solutions such as board software from Aprio simplify the administrator’s job by allowing them to instantly upload documents in any format as PDFs, quickly copying links to resources like legislation and bylaws into agenda documents. A good portal also allows administrators to track expense claims as directors make them and check to make sure everyone has reviewed documents and training materials ahead of the meeting. It all adds up to a more efficient review process for directors, smoother meetings that run on time, and better discussions in the boardroom. The philosophy behind portals such as Aprio is bringing more transparency and accountability to the management of board meetings.

As a director, you gain the ability to work online or offline without having to download documents directly to your device, a practice that is not only cumbersome and time consuming but also a security risk. Many of the documents you have to read contain highly sensitive information and a leak could threaten the organization or spark an investigation from federal regulators. Email has very little protection against cybercrime and emails can easily be intercepted, while storing documents directly onto your device makes them vulnerable to physical theft. That’s why board software companies like Aprio typically offer a remote purge option; if a director loses his or her tablet, smartphone, or laptop, the company can erase the contents, wherever it is.

If you’re sick of trawling through email chains for updated documents or showing up to meetings where either you or your colleagues are working with out-of-date information, start the conversation about board software.

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