Improve Governance with an Enterprise Board Portal | Aprio
see why corporate boards are switching to enterprise board portals for secure, streamlined governance

Improve board governance with an enterprise board portal

Are your board communications as secure and efficient as they could be? Relying on email, shared drives or an extranet can compromise board data security and governance. These methods often increase the risk of data breaches and can result in uneven access to information and a lack of transparency among board members.

For corporate boards aiming to operate with strong data protection and governance, there’s never been a better time to consider an enterprise board portal.

Read on to learn more about why more boards are adopting board portal solutions, the essential features to look for and security considerations.

You can also skip ahead to these specific sections:

Why are more corporate boards using enterprise board portals?

An enterprise board portal simplifies the way corporations manage board activities, making everything from scheduling director meetings to sharing documents faster, easier and more secure.

This cloud-based software makes it easy for board members to access board materials, stay connected to other directors and committees, even if they’re traveling or on mobile. Board management software makes the work of being on a board more convenient with features like easy access to board calendars, latest board updates, simple notes annotation on board documents for personal use or sharing, plus features like chat, online voting and expense reporting. Ultimately, an enterprise board portal saves directors time preparing for meetings so they come better prepared for well-informed decisions.

Enterprise board portals also reduce time-consuming tasks for corporate secretaries such as scheduling board meetings. Plus, they provide foolproof distribution of board material updates with only the latest version accessible, eliminating director confusion resulting from other sharing tools. Some also include handy features like a meeting minutes builder and expense reporting to help cut down on the administrative workload of governance teams.

Finally, security and compliance are critical components of why more boards are switching from email to board software. Advanced security features like multi-factor authentication and granular user help keep sensitive company information secure. An automated audit trail of all board activities and decisions can also ensure a company is adhering to its compliance and regulatory standards.

Essential features of an effective enterprise board portal

Essential features of an effective enterprise board portal

Ideal enterprise board portals combine convenience for directors, time savings for board administrators, and industry-leading security. Here are some of the key features to look for:

1. User-friendly interface & navigation

The best enterprise board portals are intuitive and straightforward, allowing board members of all tech skill levels to navigate them easily without a steep learning curve.

As you attend a board portal demo, ask yourself: How easy is the software to use? Does the technology work the way your board works? Is your first impression “I get this,” and will it be easy for board members to understand because the software is user-friendly and intuitive?

Compared to other enterprise board portals, Aprio is simple and straightforward to learn for admins, executives, and board members—even the less tech-savvy ones. Customer reviews of Aprio’s board portal indicate how easy it is for board members to log in and get started from day one.

“Excellent portal. The ease of use of Aprio is unparalleled. I have used a couple of other management software applications in the past, and Aprio stands out as the most user-friendly. We feel confident knowing that our materials are secure, yet easily accessible to our directors.”G2 User Review

2. Convenient access on the go for directors

Board members often need to work from various locations—be it the office, home, or on the go. Look for an enterprise board portal that offers mobile apps that are compatible with the board’s devices. Additionally, if your board tends to meet virtually or does hybrid meetings, look for software that enables board members to join your virtual meetings on the platform you’re already using – be it Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. Join your virtual meeting from any device with one click – no matter what video conferencing tool you use.

With Aprio, get an intuitive and consistent user experience on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone – whether you use Android, Apple or Microsoft. Directors can start taking notes in board meeting docs on Aprio is also designed to make remote board meetings a breeze, saving time and hassle.

3. Board member communication and collaboration tools

Enterprise board portals should include features like chat, annotations, online voting, and surveys to facilitate effective decision-making and board efficiency. These tools help board members manage their tasks more effectively, whether they are in the boardroom or working remotely.

Aprio provides all the collaboration tools to help your board communicate and make faster decisions, including board voting, chat, annotations, and electronic signatures. All our features are available to every customer as part of your subscription. Request a quote if you’d like to learn more about our pricing options.

4. Dashboard with calendar view

An organized dashboard with a calendar view is helpful for board members to stay on top of their meeting schedules, action items and any important status updates.

Aprio’s dashboard makes it easy for board members to see upcoming board and committee meetings, their assigned action items and tasks, important news updates as well as items they were last working on – as soon as they log in.

5. Easy agenda creation and board package preparation

Enterprise board portals should also simplify the process of creating, updating, and sharing board meeting agendas, minutes and board packages. Look for software that makes it fast and easy to draft board agendas, attach any files and share the board package securely with board members.

In Aprio, we offer multiple ways to create a meeting agenda including uploading files from a file directory, using a pre-saved template or starting from scratch. Our agenda builder helps you easily customize your agenda by adding topics and subtopics and uploading board documents to each section as needed. Once your agenda is ready to send out the board, Aprio securely shares and store your board package in the portal.

“Aprio is the board portal I recommend for every board. There are many aspects of the software I appreciate but, in particular, the ability to create a board package from beginning to end in a few minutes is the greatest gift to my very busy and time-sensitive schedule. I love the agenda generator and the ability to create skeleton minutes in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take.” – Claudia Ferris, Governance Consultant

6. Comprehensive audit trails and board reports

For governance teams needing to compile compliance reports, look for an enterprise board portal that automates the tracking of all board activities. A good portal makes it easy to keep records of attendance, votes, portal activity (like logins and document access), and even board-related expenses.

Compared to other enterprise board portals, Aprio offers more board reporting options. Choose from 9 different reports to make it efficient to gather information for reporting by providing an automated audit trail of all board and compliance activities.

For example, in Aprio you can get:

  • Automatic archiving of meeting minutes, motions and board evaluations
  • Easy access to self-serve reports like attendance tracking and login activity
  • An accurate audit trail of key compliance actions and dates

7. Robust security

Not all board portals offer the same level of security, so you’ll need to carefully evaluate their security claims.

As you evaluate enterprise board portals available, ask about encrypted data storage, multi-factor authentication, and remote wiping capabilities to protect sensitive information. See the next section for a deep dive into security considerations.

security considerations for enterprise board portals

Security protocols for enterprise board portals

Boards of directors handle some of a company’s most confidential material. While email may be comfortable for board communication and document sharing, it poses many potential risks and drawbacks.

Not only is it time-consuming to search through endless email threads to locate the right files or information, but email hacks and cybersecurity risks are rising concerns for most boards. That’s why cybersecurity risks are one of the top reasons boards choose to adopt board portal technology and move away from email.

Safeguarding the confidentiality of your board documents and communication should be critically assessed. You’ll want to select board portal software that keeps board materials safe while also keeping accessing information simple for directors.

Questions you’ll want to ask enterprise board portal vendors on their security measurements include:

  • How do you guarantee secure storage of documents and board communication?
  • Is there a choice of location for data hosting and processes in emergencies?
  • Are you able to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices?

See related: Cybersecurity and board portal protection: an audit for IT

Here’s where Aprio stands: we’re backed by a range of certifications and compliance standards including ISO 27001 certification, AT 101 SOC 2 Type 2, SOC 3, HIPAA, and SSAE 16/ ISAE 3402. You can choose to store your data on our secure servers in Canada, the US, or internationally—each meeting independent, third-party security certification requirements.

We offer a range of advanced security features to keep your board information safe and secure, even in the case of lost or stolen devices. We also equip your team with the ability for accessibility control and granular user access, monitor director activity, and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices.

Aprio board portal features

Learn more about Aprio’s enterprise board portal

Aprio helps corporations and publicly-traded companies run their boards efficiently, protect their data and make good governance convenient for directors. Customers tell us they choose Aprio’s board portal for corporations because it’s the easiest-to-use, secure board portal that’s backed by expert customer service.

“Easy to use portal with prompt Customer Support! It is a very easy-to-use site with great features. The integration process ran smoothly and I was surprised how little effort our team had to put in. Our directors enjoy the site too and never receive any requests for assistance- very user-friendly. The response time from their support team is excellent, and when dealing with time-sensitive issues, this is truly important.” – Avenir Financial

Whether you’re looking to make a switch in your enterprise board portal or are considering adopting a portal for the first time, assess the fit with Aprio. Get in touch with our sales team. We’d love to learn more about your business and how we can help support your goals.

See the Aprio difference.

We’re happy to help assess your needs and the fit with Aprio. Take the first step.

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