It is not uncommon for company secretaries to believe that their role is beyond the administrative duties assigned to them because of all the misconceptions attached to its role.
This is a list of 6 misconceptions about the company secretary that must quickly be adjusted or be completely eliminated to facilitate better, stronger working relationships among all stakeholders within the company.
Misconception #1: There is a stereotypical view of its role
Discussion on company incorporation and other business-related operations tends to focus on the role of the shareholders, auditors, and the board of directors. It is not surprising to note that little attention is paid to the company secretary as it is deemed as having a less-significant role and one that has the least liability.
However, according to the 2014 report by the Henley Business School entitled The Company Secretary: Building Trust Through Governance, there is little reason to downplay its role in the success of any business as it is one of the key triumvirates in a company, together with the CEO and the chairman.
The report findings indicate the unique and important function of the company secretary in trust-building within the board which can ultimately lead to long-term improved governance of all aspects of the business operations.
Misconception #2: The position is associated with limited self-value
The company secretary should not be synonymous to a ‘glorified PA’ or another mandatory position that is a waste of start-up money. Because of this prevalent notion, it is no wonder that individuals assigned to it often feel underappreciated or inadequately utilised.
On the contrary, its role is crucial for upholding a harmonious relationship among all board members – something that requires a good measure of confidence, social awareness, and diplomatic skills.
Misconception #3: It is expected to have a passive voice
This is mainly rooted to the level of support that the company secretary receives from the chairman, both directly and publicly.
What usually happens is that the company secretary relies on subtle, implicit means of communication because it is what is expected from him or her.
However, it is not enough that the company secretary is physical present during board meetings.
He or she must be provided the freedom to voice out any opinion on the matter at hand or at certain circumstances – not just merely act on things that have already been decided by the board – because his or her judgment can also help in steering things in the right direction.
Misconception #4: It cannot provide relevant, high-quality information
This is an incorrect view by some business owners who believe that the company secretary is only appointed to satisfy one of the legal prerequisites of company incorporation.
The truth is its role is not limited to working on mundane administrative duties but also for strict compliance to regulatory requirements – something that requires ability to provide relevant, high-quality information.
An individual without the proper training and experience cannot do so and this could lead to unexpected business errors with legal consequences.
Misconception #5: It fails to see the wider holistic picture
When the company secretary obtains little or no support to its proactive nature in the completion of essential business tasks or in the successful implementation of company processes, this will result to having a limited view of the long-term implications of his or her role.
But if all stakeholders within the company allow the company secretary to take a proactive – rather than reactive – role in the day-to-day operations, this kind of misconception won’t hold any truth at all.
In fact, the company secretary will gain more confidence and initiative in doing tasks or carrying out responsibilities that can have broader, more positive, long-term business implications.
Misconception #6: There is little trust to its role
This is a result of having a stereotypical view of the role (as previously stated) which can be a mutual feeling, once the company secretary perceives it that way.
Therefore, it is essential to build trust and dependency on the role and to the person itself – not just for simply proving the misconception wrong – but to fully enable the company secretary to take pride on what he or she contributes to the company.
Getting Help from Corporate Services Singapore
Due diligence and careful scrutiny of skills set is a must during the selection process of a company secretary.
As for all your corporate secretarial needs, choose Corporate Services Singapore as your professional provider so that you can commit all your time and effort in staying on top of your business and growing your company towards success.