Private companies are no longer legally obliged to appoint a Company Secretary, but many continue to do so. The same applies to Charitable Companies, unless the governing document specifically requires they appoint a Company Secretary.
Within a charity, the Company Secretary is responsible for ensuring that the Charity complies with company law (as relevant) and any Charity Commission requirements and for maintaining the standards of corporate governance.
Their role covers a wide variety of functions and these depend, in part, on the company for which they work. Typical tasks include:
- Organising, preparing agendas for and taking minutes of board meetings and annual general meetings (AGMs);
- Maintaining statutory books, including registers of members, directors and secretaries;
- Dealing with correspondence, collating information and writing reports, ensuring decisions made are communicated to members or shareholders;
- Contributing to meeting discussions as and when required, and advising members of the legal, governance, accounting and tax implications of proposed policies;
- Monitoring changes in relevant legislation and the regulatory environment and taking appropriate action;
- Liaising with external regulators and advisers, such as lawyers and auditors;Taking responsibility for the health and safety of employees and managing matters related to insurance and property;
- Developing and overseeing the systems that ensure the company complies with all applicable codes, in addition to its legal and statutory requirements.
Often the role is undertaken by a Director of the Charity, alongside their main role. On occasion, the demands of the role can become difficult to balance. Imagine you are already busy in your day to day role when you realise:
- A Trustee has changed their address, so you need to log on to the Charity Commission’s website to do the update…now where is that password..?
- The AGM is due and catering has not been arranged… who will make the arrangements?
- You’re trying to co-ordinate five busy Board members to schedule dates for the quarterly Board and Committee meetings for the next time period and no one seems to be free on the same date…
- You need to finalise the papers for the Board meeting next week and the Chairman still needs to review them…
- The Board papers are ready, but who was it that requested paper copies and who wanted them electronically..?
Sound familiar? Too much to do and feeling overwhelmed by the above tasks or similar?
Virtual Angels have experience in the Charity sector and with company secretarial tasks, so can help you manage your Company Secretary obligations. We can be your external internal support service taking all of these tasks out of your hands, leaving you free to concentrate on your main role. If you are interested in how we can help, contact us on 0118 800930 or firstname.lastname@example.org