The number of times a board meets each year varies and is dependent on each individual board’s goals. Some boards will only meet once – at their annual general meeting (AGM) – and others will meet multiple times. Regardless of how many times a board meets, one task is universal throughout all board rooms. During each meeting, board meeting minutes are recorded.
Board meeting minutes are an official record of what occurs during the meeting. The role of minute-taker is of utmost importance, and typically the Company Secretary does most of the writing and recording of the minutes. However, it is up to the remaining board members to review the minutes and make sure that the record accurately depicts their intentions.
Why are Board Meeting Minutes Important?
It is vital for a board to understand the importance of meeting minutes. Meeting minutes are the historical record of a board’s plans – short and long-term. Furthermore, meeting minutes assist in interactions with the IRS. The IRS or auditors have the power to challenge the record and compare it with tax returns. Having accurate records are necessary, especially since meeting minutes may be used as evidence, in court.
Planning and Preparing for Meetings
To avoid playing catch-up during a meeting, the minute-taker can benefit tremendously from using a template for following along in the meeting. It’s essential for company secretaries to budget enough time to prepare and plan for the meeting. Several meeting minutes can be pre-filled, such as location, meeting type, date, time and attendance (if the minute-taker or the Board Chair has a list of those who said they were coming and those who said they couldn’t attend). It is also important to record the start time of the meeting and the name of the person who is acting as minute-taker and recording and transcribing the minutes.
Taking the Board Meeting Minutes
Minute-takers must know what types of information should be reflected on the record. In essence, meeting minutes drive the needed actions of the board members and they detail the board’s expectations of who needs to take action; what they need to do; and when they will complete their tasks.