Board administrators usually don’t need to be convinced they need a board portal. The time-saving tools for setting up board meetings alone give the technology instant appeal. Convincing busy executives, however, to make the software purchase can take some smart persuasion.
Building a business case can be a simple exercise that helps you frame your own thinking as well as convince others of your recommendation. The document doesn’t need to be long, and the process of writing it will help give you confidence that you’ve made the right choice. Here are the five key elements:
In this section, state what you want to purchase. If there are other purchases for your board being considered internally, you can point out exactly what is in and out of scope for this recommendation. For example:
Here, you’ll want to highlight the most pressing organizational problems being solved by the purchase. You might be purchasing a board portal to:
Costs should include up-front as well as ongoing expenses associated with the software. You should express pricing as an annual cost and include any explanations on pricing, such as billing schedule or price per user. Also include:
You want to highlight the benefits that you can measure, as well as the intangible outcomes that benefit the organization but are difficult to quantify.
|Benefits of a board portal
|More efficient preparation of meeting materials and communication between meetings
|Less staff and director hours for prep
Less staff hours for between-meeting director assistance
|Reduced security risks from downloaded corporate documents and email exchanges
|No data leaks via board
|More focused, efficient board meetings
|Agenda items covered within target meeting length
|Improved transparency and accountability
|Same-time distribution of, and access to, all board materials
|Increased board member engagement
|Improved meeting attendance and director preparation (logged access to board documents in advance of meetings)
Intangible: board directors feel more respected and efficient (assess in board evaluation survey)
|Improved recruitment for new board members
|Intangible – monitor anecdotally by committee
If you’re using email and file sharing tools already, you won’t have the paper cost of traditional board books for all your board members. You will, however, still have costs for administrative and technical support, as well as any printed booklets for board members who get frustrated trying to find what they need and ask for paper. You should also account for time spent by admin and IT on:
A board portal can reduce administrative time spent on supporting board members as well as the need for IT support. (All director and administrative questions on the board portal should be answered by software support teams.)
Here’s an example of the type of calculator you might use – we’ve filled in approximate Aprio board portal impact as an example:
|Total current expense $
|Approximate % savings with Aprio
|Annual savings $
|(Admin time: hours per year) x ($ per hour)
|(IT time: hrs per year) x ($ per hour)
|Hard costs: $ for paper, courier, etc., per year
Your total amount saved per year can then be compared to the cost of the software to determine ROI over five years. Subtract software costs from the estimated annual savings:
|Estimated annual savings
|ROI: Savings minus costs
Presenting this business case to your executive demonstrates that you’ve done your homework and chosen software that’s a business advantage for the organization, which justifies the investment.
We would be glad to help you build a business case for using the Aprio board portal. Whether you are considering a switch from another tool or making the transition from in-house processes, we can share our impact with hundreds of other customers.
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