The Company Secretarial role is changing – but are you changing with it?

As a growing company (whether you’re a publicly listed company or not), you are probably already well aware of the additional pressures that are being placed on your management team to keep your critical stakeholders updated, your business compliant to tax regulations and your team focussed on your long-term growth strategy. And when it comes to company secretarial functions within your business, it’s simply not good enough to have someone who “can just do the job”, but rather, and especially in the case of public companies, the onus is on the directors to make sure, as far as is reasonably possible, that the secretary has “the requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the functions of secretary of the company”.

Sound easy enough? Sometimes it isn’t.

A company secretarial function is not someone who ticks a box and does the jobs that you may not have time to do. It’s a critical part of your business success – and working with someone who understands the relevance of providing critical business services that support long-term growth behaviours makes that task easier.

But there’s a new type of company secretary rising from the sidelines. And at the right time too. In this Grant Thornton study, they challenge the traditional role of the company secretary and question whether it, in its current form, is fit for the future.

Let’s look at today
In studies, an unsurprising 80% of businesses surveyed found that the traditional role of the company secretary has say the role has “increased in responsibilities and breadth” with increased responsibility in the role largely being attributed to regulation and associated compliance. But what was more worrying in their findings that 38% of businesses felt that they did not have the right skill in place to support the governance role. Scarily, 31% of company secretaries currently in place within these organisations had no formal qualifications for the role, at all.

So what does that say about business’ attitude towards the company secretarial function as a whole? That even with more than 80% of their roles being taken up by administrative tasks that support the board (board packs, compliance, board recruitment, board induction or training), the businesses within this survey still don’t appear to see the importance of equipping and selecting the right skill for the job – whether in-house, or externally.

But things are changing. We know that. But so too is the role of, and the demands placed upon, the company secretary. In fact, of those surveyed, 80% of the respondents believed that the role of the company secretary within their own organisation has changed – quite often, significantly. And the main cause? Regulatory Compliance.

So, we then ask, how can you afford not to have the right information, in the right format, getting it to the right people, at the right time?

And with change, comes demand. That’s why companies work with us.
We know that every business is different and has its own unique set of requirements, responsibilities and expectations. That’s why we never assume anything, but work closely with you to support your vision. Our corporate governance team provides a comprehensive service that keeps your business on track and compliant with UK legislation and industry regulations, giving you the freedom to focus on running your business.

We are industry-people, and we’ve run our own businesses too. We understand the challenges you’re up against, and we relate to the commitments you have made – which is why choosing to work with us as your governance partner can only set you up for success.

If you want to understand more about how we work, and why we’re the best fit for you, get in touch today.

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