Board tools comparison: Aprio vs email and PDF | Aprio
January 4, 2023
Dee Sicklesteel

Comparing the Aprio board portal with email and PDF

Sound familiar? You’re searching through the hundreds of emails in your inbox for a board document without remembering what the file is called and when the most recent version was sent. While email is a “free” tool, it can also be a time sink and inefficient way for directors to spend time on board activities.

In fact, it’s estimated that directors lose 40% of their time searching for records. And then consider how long it takes (and how much device storage is required) to download a 500-page PDF for a single board meeting! 

When 70% of organizations today would fail within three weeks if their records were destroyed, the case for digital boards is strong. Board portal software offers significant benefits such as quick file access, easy meeting prep and data security.  And as organizations evolve, they often require better solutions for their board than relying on email search and lengthy PDF documents. 

Is your board spending too much valuable time searching through emails and PDF documents or worrying about the security of their files? It may be an excellent time to start exploring how a board portal could enhance the efficiency of your board and help reduce frustration from directors. 

Comparing Aprio’s board portal to email and PDF

Benefits Aprio Email/PDF
Board information all in one place

Aprio features convenient one-stop access to all board materials and tools – from agendas, meeting minutes, bylaw information and more. 

Yes No
Speedy access to information

Upload individual reports, use quick links from the board agenda to improve search speed.  Much faster compared to searching through endless emails and downloading extensive PDF reports! Plus get version control at its finest. 

Yes No
Support for directors anytime

Personalized, practical training for directors and administrators at anytime.  Plus live 24/7 help whenever you need it. Connect with our support team who are masters of the system and experienced board administrators themselves.

Yes No
Work from anywhere

Aprio equips board members to meet anytime, anywhere – on mobile or desktop. Review board materials on-the-go, on and offline including in airplane mode – and sync up once you’ve connected to wifi.

Yes No

Aprio automatically saves as you work on the web. There’s no risk of losing work in progress or accidentally deleting important emails.

Yes No
Industry-leading security

Compared to emails and PDFs that offfer minimal to no security at all, Aprio offers multiple layers of security. Choose where you store and protect your data and get the ability to remotely clear data from a director’s lost or stolen tablet or computer. View the full details of Aprio’s security in our IT audit.

Yes No

Why are emails and PDFs insufficient for board management?

The majority of modern boards are moving towards board portals and away from email – despite its ability to save board operations money. While email may be comfortable for board communication and document sharing, it poses many potential drawbacks and risks. 

Problems with email for board communication and management can include: 

1. Security risks

Email hacking is a common occurrence these days. Don’t ever send anything over email that you wouldn’t want the world to see. Information like metrics, acquisition data, hiring, and personal details should never be discussed or sent via email. 

In addition, IP theft, loss of customer privacy and loss of privacy could be consequences. Don’t forget that when a director uses a private email account for board purposes, your organization’s information is stored on servers that are not under your control. Information about your organization could be stored in various places with no way to know where it would go from there.

When boards switch to board software communication, they’ll have the assurance of dedicated security and highly monitored data encryption protecting their private information. 

2. Information overflow 

On average, board members receive hundreds of emails each day, making email inefficient and slow. It is easy for board documents to get lost in endless inboxes sent via email. When updates are needed to reports or agendas, board administrators are flooded with emails, which makes it difficult to determine when the most recent draft was sent and what the most current information is.

With centralized communication through a board portal, these issues can be avoided. As a bonus, board members will automatically access the latest version of documents whenever they are updated. As a result, there will be less confusion and less stress while preparing for meetings.

3. Hindered decision-making 

The benefits of board software can’t be matched by email. Companies using Aprio have access to reports about the effectiveness of their boards, in addition to receiving a practical and secure communication tool. 

Committee members can use the board portal to vote and discuss outside of meeting times, allowing more time to discuss important topics during meetings. On top of that, board members can use the web or iPad app to engage, which takes the headaches from preparing for meetings.

4. Email is inefficient

Long email threads and constant back-and-forth emails can be a major time sink. While modern communication channels like chats won’t replace email entirely, they can help encourage more conversations. 

Aprio offers tools like chat and note-taking so board meetings will be simpler to plan and carry out and there will be more time for strategic discussions and collaborative work.

Modern boards are making the switch from email to Aprio

Modern boards need to enhance meeting efficiency, keep current documents readily available, ensure the security of their information, all while maintaining good governance. A board meeting software system can play an essential role in achieving these goals, but the decision to purchase one is motivated by understanding what problems it can solve.

With board portal software that’s cloud-based and purpose-built, boards are better engaged, and administrative burden is diminished. Directors securely log in with a board portal like Aprio and are greeted with a dashboard that includes information about upcoming meetings, contacts, documents, and agendas/minutes directly related to their role. Board portals help directors perform their roles efficiently by aligning and empowering the way they already work.

Take Meridian Credit Union, who needed a better way to search for answers, simplify accessing and sharing of  files, preparing for meetings – all while ensuring data security. See why they made the switch from email and PDFs to Aprio – view the case study.

 “We discovered the most streamlined way to operate our board with Aprio and put it in place. Board members are coming to meetings better equipped, and it’s resulting in better conversations.”

 – Kate MacLeod, Meridian Credit Union, Governance Specialist

Consider the better alternative to email and PDF for board management

It may be “free” to send emails to boards, but they come with significant security, efficiency, and communication risks. There’s a better way to manage your board. 

Get back that time you’re wasting searching through your inbox. See how Aprio’s board portal software is easy to use and will improve your boardroom experience. It takes just 30 minutes to see Aprio in action.

Curious? Find out more.

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