Towards a paperless board

A board portal allows directors to securely access documents and collaborate with other members electronically.

Published Sun, Nov 2, 2014 · 09:50 PM

WITH increasing business complexity and regulatory scrutiny, the amount of board work and the number of board meetings have also increased.

A great deal of board work now takes place between meetings. The US National Association of Corporate Directors' (NACD's) Public Company Governance Survey 2013-2014 found that directors spend almost as much time (71.3 hours per month) reviewing reports and other materials as they do (81 hours per month) attending board and committee meetings on average a month.

Along with the increased work, the volume of board papers has increased. The Thomson Reuters 2013 Board Governance survey showed that the average board book is 179 pages thick. Taken together, it would appear that board members spend an average of just 16 seconds reviewing each page of the board pack. Is that effective in making an informed decision? Indeed, NACD cautioned that: "Thrown into the weeds and forced to prioritise materials, directors are more likely to become overwhelmed and miss critical risks."

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