Board portal software comparison checklist | Aprio
November 8, 2022
Dee Sicklesteel

Board portal software comparison checklist: how to select the right-fit software

With the help of board governance software, boards can focus more time on organizational priorities instead of board meeting preparation and keeping members up to date. Board portal software is not one-size-fits-all. Different types of organizations will choose different options, so it is logical to compare the features and benefits of the most appropriate software. 

Discover how to pick the best-fit board management solution for your company. See our board portal software comparison checklist to help. 

Why do you need to make a board portal comparison?

Comparing the features of different board portals will help you decide what is best for you. Board collaboration tools are essential for effectively managing board meetings, and you’ll use them a lot – so it’s important to do a deep comparison.

Taking the time to compare board portals is crucial for the following reasons:

  1. The software vendor’s websites may all sound similar – looking under the hood is essential.
  2. Take time to get a demo and talk to salespeople – does the vendor serve your peers and organizations like yours, do they uniquely understand your needs? 
  3. Call the support center – see who answers, are they the people you would want to support your directors and board members?

To start, determine what features you need to improve the workflow and processes of your board meetings and board prep.

What to include in your board portal software comparison checklist

The features offered by all board portals aren’t the same, but there is a lot of overlap.  Tools should be compared thoroughly by buyers. Be sure to look closely at the pricing, the security of data, and references.

Here’s what to look for when comparing board portal features. 

Access & director collaboration

Providing timely, transparent access to board information is one of the primary functions of board portals. Assess different products for ease of use based on board members’ needs. 

When new technology is introduced into your organization, directors must adopt it quickly to ensure success. In order to achieve 100% adoption of the software you’re considering, make sure it provides direction, onboarding, and ongoing support for your directors. 

Convenience

For many directors and executives, traveling is an integral part of their daily lives. Technology that makes their board duties easier and more convenient can be used to attract and retain high-performing board members. Consider board portal software with tablet applications, on- and offline access, and remote approval support. 

Security features

Many organizations are actually compromising the security of their entire operation by conducting their activities over regular email and shared drives. Choosing secure board portal software avoids the risk of security breaches. In order to deal with and share confidential information among members of your organization, you need to make sure your software’s security is industry-leading. 

For boards, the security of documents and communication is a crucial reason to use a board portal. Choose software that makes access to information simple and secure for directors. Especially if your company operates in healthcare, finance, or government, you’ll need robust encryption and certifications from independent, third-party security auditors.

Training & adoption

Your board needs to adopt software to improve efficiency and security, but does your vendor provide the right training to set up board administrators and directors for success? For example, one-on-one training to your least tech savvy board member may be a dealbreaker, so is supporting the setup of your board portal so all key board documents are there from day one. Consider what level of support will truly be provided. 

Support & customer service

To ensure that the support you receive for a board portal is professional and valuable, call your vendor’s support line and test the level of service you can expect. 

Pricing

Many board portal vendors offer lite versions and full-featured editions. Ask which one you are seeing at the demo – if it’s the full-featured edition and you get pricing for the lite edition, be sure to ask what’s not included. Gain full transparency on the costs, including additional fees for adding administrators, committees, custom reports, ongoing training, and data storage. 

Best overall fit

The team members you interact with from the different vendors will give you a taste of the level of service they will ultimately provide. Assess how helpful and responsive they are in each interaction as you consider the best vendor suited to your needs. 

Ask your peers which products they recommend and their experience with technical support and customer service.  And shortlisted board portal vendors for references from an organization like yours – call them, see what their experience has taught them.

Consider board portal software reviews

When selecting board portal software or switching vendors, Capterra and G2 reviews can help you determine the top things to look for. 

Template for a board portal comparison

For first-time buyers and portal users considering a move, here is a template for completing your board portal comparison.

Board portal software comparison

Want to evaluate even deeper, see the full Critic’s Guide to Board Portal selection.

How a board portal comparison can help you choose the right software

Board portal software comparisons can be tricky. Take the time to compare board portal software’s prices against features, security, and customer service. Base your decision on the specific requirements of your board and your board directors. 

Aprio stands out in the industry for providing unmatched expert service (from board administrator’s who have done the job and know how to respectfully serve directors) and an easy-to-use, secure board portal that works the way a board works. 

We work with many board administrators to help assess if your organization is a fit with Aprio. Take the first step – request a demo.

Curious? Find out more.

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