The COVID-19 global pandemic has created unique challenges for boards of directors all over the world as they contend with a constantly shifting health situation and the resulting economic fallout. Coming out the other side and moving towards recovery means relying on advice and support from trustworthy sources.
We’ve created a list of COVID-19 board resources that are guiding Aprio customers and other boards as they navigate this tense and stressful time.
Here are five COVID-19 resources for boards of directors to help you manage through the pandemic:
Specializing in corporate governance, the GPC’s assistance page has COVID-19 related webcasts and articles about online AGMs, shifting priorities, and governance and HR agility.
The ICD has compiled resources, including a series of webinars, to help boards and directors govern effectively, covering topics such as risk management, the return to work, privacy challenges, and CEO succession during COVID-19.
The global network of tax and consulting firms has created a series of articles and webinars with insight into how boards can navigate COVID-19. They offer advice about supply chain resilience; the importance of audit committees; and the relationship between the pandemic, the crash of oil prices, and more.
The international business law firm has published governance considerations for boards of directors during the pandemic, emphasizing how the board’s oversight role is as important as ever. Check out this resource for information on employer obligations, data security plans and rent relief programs from the Canadian government.
This article from the global consulting firm explores how boards can and should step up to guide their organizations toward the next normal – something they can do by ensuring that management adopts a scalable crisis operating model and strengthening decision-making by sharing crisis-management experience.
After consulting these COVID-19 board resources, consider making a checklist of the practical steps you can take to manage your board and ensure information security:
Because of the speed at which everything changes during this pandemic, it’s likely your board is going to meet more frequently to manage evolving situations. If you haven’t already held a special COVID-19 meeting to discuss how it’s affecting your organization, and how you can mitigate any negative impacts, it’s time to do that. If your organization is experiencing a financial crisis, you may need to meet as often as weekly. Set up frequent virtual board meetings to provide oversight and strategic direction.
Consider using board portal software to house all documents, agendas, and background information in one easily accessible place. While directors might normally have several weeks to review their board packets, emergency meetings will require them to get up to speed faster. Any communications sent from a board portal will reach members at the same time, ensuring everyone has the same access to the vital information they need to make time-sensitive decisions. Board members can log in and review from anywhere, which is especially important when meetings are happening online.
Make sure you’re taking notes during meetings and that you are thoughtful about where to store sensitive information. As boards, by necessity, consider multiple scenarios for business downsizing, layoffs, and financial plans, ensure that there is technology in place to keep this data secure and remind board members to avoid unprotected email as a means of discussion. Confidential communications that happen inside a board portal like Aprio are protected with safeguards against data leaks and the ability to wipe data off lost devices.
Boards are dealing with high stakes as they try to keep organizations deeply affected by COVID-19 afloat. Even in a crisis, an audit trail is essential, especially in industries that are highly regulated. A board portal solution provides an automatic archive and audit trail, with meeting minutes, motions, and reports logged in a library for anyone with the right privileges to access.
To help boards provide calm oversight and support well-reasoned organizational decisions, Aprio is offering our board management software for free until July 31, 2020 for new customers looking to best manage board communication and support remote board meetings. For our current customers, we’re also offering discounts on secondary portals and additional user licenses. Learn more today!
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