Evaluating Board Portal Software: 5 Must-Ask Questions
September 30, 2020
Aimee Happ

Evaluating board portal software: 5 must-ask questions

When you’re evaluating board portal software, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You’re trying to compare pricing while evaluating the quality of support that different providers offer. You’re also trying to make sure that you have a solution that is both secure and easy for your directors to use. There’s a lot to consider, and there are probably hundreds of questions running through your mind as you attempt to organize your thoughts.

This is where we can help. We’ve put together this list of the top five must-ask questions that you can use while evaluating different board portal software options out there. Take a look!

Question 1: how secure is the software?

Cybersecurity and risk are among the top concerns of boards. It’s therefore imperative that your chosen board portal software conforms to the highest security standards in the industry.

To protect your board from accidental or intentional cybersecurity risk, make sure it provides layers of advanced security and gives you the power to control document access and guarantee compliance. If one of your directors loses their device, make sure your board portal allows you to remotely lock and erase its board data. 

Finally, make sure your board portal provider can guarantee that their servers adhere to independent, third-party requirements for security certifications

Question 2: what kind of training will we get?

You might well be bracing yourself for a steep learning curve once you adopt your new board portal. However, you should keep in mind that the best modern board management software is intuitive and easy to use from day one.

However, it’s still a good idea to make sure that your board members are 100% comfortable using the system and are aware of all the time-saving features available. Look for a board portal provider that offers both administrator and director training.

It’s also very helpful if your board portal provider includes initial, ongoing, and refresher training in your annual subscription cost, with 24/7 availability. That way, when you add new board members or unforeseen challenges arise, your board members can be quickly taken care of and have their problems solved.

Finally, some board portal providers also offer customer webinars where you’ll be able to preview new features, learn about more complex functionality, discuss governance best practices, and collaborate with your peers. Check to see what options exist. 

Board portal software evaluation

Question 3: who answers the phone when we call for support?

Sometimes, the unexpected occurs, and you run into a time-sensitive issue while preparing for a board meeting. Or, you’ve forgotten your password and can’t figure out how to reset it. When you call in for support, the most frustrating thing that can happen is being routed to a call centre, where the agent who’s supposed to be helping you can’t even answer your questions about the software.

Call in to various board portal software support lines and test the support you’ll receive for yourself. Some board portal providers use call centres abroad, while others use tight-knit software pros who’re former board administrators themselves. Decide which option better suits your board’s needs. 

Question 4: will the fee structure change as we grow?

After receiving your board portal demo and quote, make sure you factor in how that price could change over time. Some providers charge extra for adding administrators and committees, using more data storage, having both mobile and desktop versions, or accessing extra features. 

Make sure you understand the big picture of the board portal cost over time and ensure that the software features you saw in the demo are the same that you’ll be able to use after you buy. The last thing you want are unforeseen fees a few months after your initial investment.

Question 5: can someone vouch for the software?

Board portal providers will always tell you that they’re the best. It’s their job, after all, but don’t just take their word for it. Ask to be connected with other customers who use the software and see what they have to say. The best board portal providers will be only too happy to provide you with a list of current customers that you can talk to.

Board portal evaluation

Consider Aprio in your board portal software evaluation

As you work through your board portal evaluation, consider Aprio. With Aprio, you don’t have to trade off pricing with support quality, or ease of use with security. We’ve considered how to protect board members from cybersecurity risk as they work, balancing convenient, mobile access to board meeting materials with the most robust technical methods to continuously protect your data. We also offer unlimited training and 24/7 support from board experts who are deeply familiar with your board’s needs and can proactively advise you on how to best use the technology. With Aprio, every customer has access to the software’s complete functionality needed to save both costs and time. 

But don’t just take our word for it. We’re happy to share testimonials of customers in your particular industry. Get in touch if you’d like to be connected with an Aprio customer, or read some third-party reviews of our board portal.

“Aprio provided training that is exceedingly practical for directors and administrators—focusing on the different actions each of us needs to perform—often in just 30 minutes. Compared to other portals, Aprio offered the biggest bang for the buck providing the same extensive security of more expensive portals as well as providing training and unlimited support at no extra cost.”

– Amy Nelson, Point West Credit Union

If you’d like to see a free demo of how Aprio board portal software works, please contact us for a free demo. Otherwise, you’re invited to learn more about the top 10 things you should assess when evaluating different board portal software options.

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