Board portal software: what is a board portal – simple guide
Manager explaining what is a board portal
January 23, 2020
Dee Sicklesteel

What is board portal software?

In case you haven’t already used board portal software, it’s like a web application that executives and directors log into to perform their role for an organization’s board of directors. 

Board meeting software offers directors confidential access to board materials, both past and present, and provides tools to prepare for board of director meetings, including note taking and historical information access. Directors leading committees are also provided with the tools to communicate efficiently with other board members and keep an audit trail of activity for governance reporting.

For board administrators and corporate secretaries, board of directors meeting software makes it easier to prepare for and conduct board meetings. Board portal software also keeps board information fully secure as it improves information flow to and among busy board members, even as they travel.

Top ranked benefits of a board portal

  • Instant, same-time delivery of sensitive updates and document revisions to board members at any time, regardless of location.
  • Centralized access to meeting materials, communications, policies, bylaws, and archives within a highly reliable, secure portal.
  • Secure online note taking and collaboration for directors, with the option of a clean swipe of all communication once the board makes a decision.
  • Increased efficiency to produce and distribute board books and other documents.
  • Increased efficiency to schedule and reschedule meetings.
  • Increased security, including protection for confidential documents, and built-in safeguards to prevent accidental email transmissions.

What is board portal software

How to choose the right board portal software?

Boards are wise to evaluate what is board portal software and select the board of directors meeting software right for their unique organization needs. Not all board portals are equal. They differ on completeness of features, security, and pricing, as well as on support and training.

To conduct a smart board portal feature comparison, it’s helpful to use a simple checklist. On each of these topics, talk with board members about their needs, frustrations with the current way your board operates and communicates, and then seek a best-fit solution.

1. Board administration & management

Explore how a board portal eases the process for administrators to prepare for board meetings and provide updates to directors when dates or documents change. Consider the routine effort you take today and enquire about what you can automate.

2. Director access & collaboration

A principle function of board portals is to provide timely, transparent access to board information. Learn about how different products and user interfaces make information access easy. Evaluate what will be intuitive for your board considering your day-in-the-life board activities.

3. Mobility & engagement convenience

Travel is a routine part of daily life for many directors and executives. For both recruiting high-contributing board members, and for keeping them engaged, technology matters. Explore the conveniences you can offer mobile directors from tablet apps and how you can use on and offline access and support for directors working remotely. Take note of the devices your board members use to probe on board portal capabilities for iPad, Android tablets, and Microsoft Surfaces.

4. Security

Safeguarding the confidentiality of board documents and communications is a key driver of the shift toward board portals. Consider both the security of board information in a portal and making access secure but simple for directors. Data location is another factor to consider. Some board portal providers give customers a choice of where their data is located, which affects national policies applied on how data is protected and may be accessed.

5. Getting started & adoption ease

Software has no impact on efficiency or security unless it’s adopted by your whole board. Understand the help and support different vendors offer to implement your board information and schedules online, and the programs they offer to provide ongoing training and support throughout your time as a customer.

6. Technology innovation

How can you ensure that the tool you select today will evolve along with governance best practices and the needs of your organization? Ask about future product updates and how your voice as a customer in product development can have an impact.

7. Reputation & service

Next to product ease and reliability, service is the biggest deciding factor on whether customers are happy with a software vendor or quickly move on. Talk with peers and references that have used the board of directors portal you are considering. Ask about their experience with implementation and their first board meeting, and how new feature requests and product issues are resolved over time.

8. Support

Because board portal software is used by some of the most influential and time-starved people in your organization, it is paramount that help is highly professional and useful. Consider calling a vendor’s support line to test the support you’ll receive. Role play being a director and being a board administrator.

9. Affordability

While functionality of some board of directors meeting software may be comparable, there is variation in pricing. In particular, some vendors have different product editions, some with “lite” features and some with full features. Other vendors charge extra for additional committees and administrators, training, or for amounts of data storage. Ensure you ask about starter fees and all possible add-ons.

10. Best overall fit

Going through a software assessment process, you get to experience a vendor’s people, marketing, their responsiveness, and their helpfulness. You get to know their technology, their pricing, and some of their familiarity with your needs and industry. Give balanced consideration to all 10 factors and you will gain a sense of the board portal software that is your best fit. 

Now that you’ve learned what is board portal software, want to get started with your evaluation? Let us help. Get a tour of the Aprio board portal – we’ll be straight with you about whether or not we’re your best fit. 

Health board asking what is board portal software

Why companies need board portal software for board management

From boards of health organizations through to public companies, credit unions, education institutions, and publicly-funded societies, board-led organizations are striving to operate with high impact and strong corporate governance. 

Boards look to board meeting software to protect the security of board materials, best engage directors by making communication convenient, and reduce the time spent by governance specialists preparing for board meetings. 

Emailing or sharing board documents with free editions of software like Dropbox or Google Drive poses real security risks. More sophisticated file-sharing solutions like SharePoint often frustrate directors who struggle to find the right materials within unfamiliar folder names and labelling conventions. 

And for organizational efficiency, corporate secretaries and administrators are seeking automation tools to schedule board meetings and perform their work in less time as governance demands grow.

How Aprio’s board portal software can help

Discover why hundreds of admins and board members love Aprio board portal software. We top the charts for positive customer reviews by providing ease of use, advanced security, complete features, and standout time savings tools like our automated agenda builder and comprehensive reports! We also provide premium features without the premium pricing, all delivered with unmatched service. 

Whether your organization is large or small, we can help make good governance simple and affordable for all. 

Make sure to include Aprio in your comparison of the best board portal software available. We’re friendly and can answer any questions you have on what is board portal software.

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