Board meeting software (also known as board portal software) is a specialised online application built for the specific purpose of improving an organisation’s governance and board meetings. This improvement is typically achieved through the software streamlining the administrative tasks a board of directors and their support staff must undertake. Board meeting software can also be used to improve many other types of meetings at the board and executive level, including committee meetings, advisory board meetings, executive team meetings, subcommittee meetings and board task force meetings.
What are the benefits of board meeting software?
Your board meeting software will be used by several individuals in a variety of roles: the board secretary, chairperson, treasurer, and, likely, an administrative assistant or support staff. Each will use it for different tasks such as creating and sharing board packs, recording, and storing meeting minutes, assigning action items, and developing reports. Choosing a board meeting software that is right for your organisation and the needs of your directors will take some research but there are plenty of choices.
The key benefit you will obtain from board meeting software is to make routine board tasks easier. This frees your board members up to focus on their most important job, engaging in robust strategic discussion and high quality decision making that contribute to a positive future for your organisation.
A good board meeting software should assist you in:
Distributing board information in a timely and effective manner, and
Improving communication between board members.
Board meeting software provides document storage, communication tools, meeting improvement features, and a secure web portal. Your software should make it simple and easy for the appropriate person to manage board related tasks according to their assigned role. Learn more about Better Boards’ Our Cat Herder Portal. Our philosophy is to simplify and streamline your board administration. We offer a 45-day free trial to try our board portal
Choosing the right board meeting software
Four elements that are important to consider when choosing board meeting software are ease of use, transparency, security, and price. The wrong board meeting software can potentially make it harder to perform even the most routine tasks. However, if you do careful research and evaluation, you will certainly find board portal providers that have taken the time to craft easy to use software that will make your job more enjoyable and productive.
Ease of use
Issues can arise when software is poorly designed or more complex than it needs to be. What the software industry calls “heavy” board meeting software can add problems to your work instead of making your life easier. You should look for board management software that will make your directors’ job easier and won’t require much IT support. This will usually become obvious when you use a product during a demo. For example, when exploring potential board portal software, look for a platform that doesn’t take too many steps to assign an action item to a board member. Ease-of-use is highly variable among vendors.
The sales process can involve presentations, pitches and demos before you make a final decision. As a savvy buyer you can opt to purchase a free trial before making a final commitment. Your board members probably know what they need or don’t need and their feedback and concerns should be considered when choosing a vendor to work with.
The vendor should be more interested in learning about your needs than getting as high a price tag on a sale as possible Where possible, opt to reach out to a provider that will give you an exploratory call or demo to complement the trial. These options will provide more transparency and a clear sense of what the platform offers.
Another consideration your organisation should take into account is the security your board meeting software can provide. Securely storing the data you collect is priceless compared to the dollars you may be saving by not having a portal. The biggest benefit of purchasing board management software is the security in communication you’ll receive. You can eliminate direct messaging threads and digitally send documents and notes to all board directors quickly.
Board meeting software is encrypted and restricts access to confidential materials to ensure only the intended users can view it. Our Cat Herder software controls who has access to what and when by using role-based permissions and fine grained permissions. Fine grained permissions allow you to control access for browsing, using, or publishing within the system, while role-based permissions let you control what access people get according to their roles and privileges.
The price of board meeting software can range from a few hundred dollars a year to more than thirty thousand dollars per year. With so many advances in the tools available to rapidly develop quality software, a good board portal solution shouldn’t cost you the earth. Look for providers who are completely upfront about the price of their software. Pricing should be clearly displayed on their website. Unfortunately, some providers of board meeting software are not transparent on pricing and may hide the price of their software behind several layers of sales pitches.
There are as many price points and pricing models available to choose from as there are board meeting software providers. Most vendors have adopted recurring billing and no longer use the pay once software pricing model. This type of purchase structure is good for both the customer and the provider. However, as a buyer, you should make sure the vendor clearly demonstrates ongoing value for your organisation.
What does board meeting software do?
Board meeting software can make routine board tasks easier by freeing up your board to focus on governance tasks. The software streamlines administrative work your board directors or support staff will undertake.
What features do the best board meeting software programs have?
Board meeting software should not only manage communication and data but also enhance your board's governance. Board management software should also have an action tracker feature so that you can assign and follow up on board member tasks easily. Our Cat Herder portal offers these and more features such as creating agendas and minutes using simple templates, setting up meetings and recording attendance, and distributing documents with one click of a button. Your documents can also be customised to your brand.
What are the advantages of having board meeting management software?
The biggest advantage is that your board meetings will be more efficient. Board members will be able to focus on their responsibilities rather than on the specifics of storing and managing files and documents. They will be better able to identify issues and plan for improvements by having easy access to materials they need to govern the organisation. This can have the added advantage of improving their motivation to get more done and increasing engagement with during meetings, helping people share ideas and build stronger working relationships.
Will board management software allow me to create discussion groups?
Yes, many board portals allow you to select group members and create discussions. For example, the Our Cat Herder portal software lets you to set up as many discussions as you like and keep them in one place instead of having to keep track of multiple email threads. Discussions can also be organised into groups such as Human Resources or Finance Committee to help you manage multiple projects. Files can then be uploaded and shared between group members.
Can board meeting software help with board decisions?
Yes, some board management software can assist board members in making decisions between meetings. Directors can propose items they wish to put to a vote and share it with others on the platform. Our Cat Herder allows you to invite board members to vote on a proposal you create. It gives you the option to limit who can participate or set some members as viewers only. This feature can help you ensure transparency and manage cases where individuals must abstain due to a conflict of interest.
Are you in the market for Board Meeting Software?
Be sure to add Our Cat Herder to your list for consideration. Our software is backed by Better Boards – we help you to Master the Art of the Boardroom. We offer:
- Upfront, transparent & cost-effective pricing.
- A 45 day free trial.
- Easy-to-use (our users tell us it is “enjoyable to use”) features