The New Roles and Opportunities for Corporate Secretaries | MinuteBox Cloud Entity Management

The New Roles and Opportunities for Corporate Secretaries

The role of a corporate secretary has traditionally been an administrative position that handles clerical duties that are accountable to executive leadership. Over the last few years, the responsibilities of a corporate secretary have expanded into a more strategic and advisory position for leadership.

While the responsibilities of a corporate secretary have evolved, the means that those professionals have to complete their duties often remain regressed. As a legal business entity, your institution must help corporate secretaries overcome the limitations placed on their jobs.

What are the duties of a corporate secretary?

In most organizations, a corporate secretary’s duties and responsibilities include any or all of the following examples:

  • Documenting minutes of board and executive meetings

  • Implementing compliance protocols under relevant ideas

  • Reporting share transfers, issuances, dividends, and transactions

  • Managing entity and subsidiary corporate data

  • Liaising with auditors, bankers, lawyers, and tax authorities

  • Administering corporate governance policies across the organization

Within each of those broad duties are a subset of tasks and requirements that must be completed to fulfill a corporate secretary’s responsibilities. They require resources and solutions that allow diligent recordkeeping so that each responsibility is effectively implemented.

Biggest emerging corporate secretary responsibilities

As the roles and responsibilities of corporate secretaries evolve, the function of the position has shifted from primarily an administrative role into a more strategic position. Here are some of the main ways that corporate secretaries support the legal, managerial, and operational functions of the business entity.

Serving as a prime compliance manager for the business

All business entities require compliance programs to operate within the boundaries of jurisdictional laws. Compliance programs refer to internal policies and procedures that protect corporate entities from non-compliance penalties.

The corporate secretary remains up-to-date on changing compliance regulations, standards and laws, which undergo regular amendments across various jurisdictions. As compliance laws change over time, the corporate secretary must amend internal by-laws to remain in compliance with the letters of the new laws.

Functioning as a corporate advisor to the board of directors

The corporate secretary is intricately familiar with the inner dealings of a business entity. Due to their deep involvement with the corporation, they can offer unique perspectives and insights to corporate board members, along with new and existing shareholders.

In their advisory role, the corporate secretary can share updates about internal risk management, compliance, and corporate governance policies. The corporate secretary may even assist with training new board members and shareholders on each of these internal protocols as they join the organization.

Organizing meetings with various key stakeholders

A more traditional responsibility of corporate secretaries is meeting management amongst the chief stakeholders of the corporate entity. The corporate secretaries are often tasked with updating and managing organizational charts for the purpose of contacting leaders responsible for implementing corporate governance in their departments.

What has evolved is the methods used to arrange meetings amongst stakeholders. Advancements in modern technology allow corporate secretaries to schedule more virtual meetings, creating a more efficient workflow when important issues must be discussed.

Documenting meeting notes and minute book records

While minute book management is not a new responsibility for corporate secretaries, the volume and method of maintaining those records has changed in recent years. Large global business entities have multiple subsidiaries under the corporate umbrella operating in various jurisdictions. Corporate secretaries compile and manage minute book records of all entities and subsidiaries to maintain global compliance.

Advancements in legal entity management technology help corporate secretaries streamline minute book management. They can use these solutions to accelerate the necessary minute book management workflows and dedicate more time to their strategic advisory roles for the organization. Having a single source of truth for all minute book data also simplifies reporting and approvals of entity and subsidiary filings.

What are the limitations placed upon corporate secretaries?

Corporate secretaries have several duties and responsibilities to help the business entity function effectively and remain in compliance. However, many corporate secretaries struggle to manage all their responsibilities due to significant limitations that inhibit their workflows.

What are those limitations? Here are three of the most common that business entities would be wise to address to support their corporate secretaries.

Outdated workflows and antiquated processes

Advancements in legal entity management technology have helped many corporate secretaries streamline their administrative responsibilities. But corporations that fail to invest in these solutions significantly inhibit their corporate secretaries, potentially creating gaps in their time management that could hinder corporate performance.

Due to their increasing responsibilities, corporate secretaries can easily become overwhelmed with feelings of stress and performance anxiety. They recognize the need to prioritize strategic duties, but they also understand that administrative work must be completed to maintain compliance with the laws.

Entity management software simplifies the lives of corporate secretaries by automating many of their administrative tasks. Entity management software offers a more time-efficient way to manage minute book data, and it allows for more transparent communication with corporate stakeholders regarding legal entity matters.

Lack of effective tools and working resources

Many corporate workflows and processes have been modernized with advancements in technology. Businesses are often willing and able to invest in new technological solutions to support sales, marketing, or product development needs that help support the growth of the corporate entity.

Unfortunately, some businesses remain stuck in the past regarding their legal matters. Advancements in legal entity management technology enable corporate secretaries and entire legal departments to fulfill their responsibilities to the business in more efficient ways.

When companies look at legal technology investments as a cost rather than an opportunity, they handicap what their corporate secretaries can accomplish. This limits their abilities to rightfully service corporate interests, which can diminish overall growth and performance.

Some corporations have one legal department that is also responsible for compliance matters. In other instances, those two responsibilities are split up between different departments.

When multiple stakeholders are involved in the compliance process, there can be disconnects between the various teams. These disconnects can lead to misunderstandings regarding who is responsible for what tasks. There can also be duplications of important compliance work, creating a highly inefficient process.

The benefit of using entity management software is that the platform maintains a diligent account of who makes updates to compliance protocols. Corporate secretaries can monitor what work has been completed, and by whom within the organization to ensure compliance is maintained without any confusion or misappropriation between different departments.

Join MinuteBox to help your corporate secretaries thrive

Corporate secretaries are essential members of your corporate leadership team. Why treat them as second-class members of the organization when you can empower them to thrive and help your corporation remain safely in compliance with the laws?
Leading business entities choose MinuteBox as their entity management solution to help empower their corporate secretaries. MinuteBox is the only legal entity management solution built by legal professionals for legal professionals with dual security certifications.

Help your corporate secretaries become masters of their fields. Join the MinuteBox revolution today and turn your corporate secretaries into performance champions!