The role of the Company Secretary is critical in bridging the gap between regulatory authorities and the organisation. As such, keeping track of multiple client requirements, ensuring compliance with statutory regulations and meeting stringent submission deadlines places significant responsibility on the Company Secretarial team.
Performing multiple tasks simultaneously is the norm. A regular day might include managing multiple client accounts and responding quickly to their requests, often for standard documents or information. Along with keeping on top of different submission deadlines, and making sure client billing is timely/accurate/easy to collate becomes quite a juggling act.
As Agnes Lim, head of leading company secretarial practice Quadrant Biz Solutions, says, “Company secretarial work is a dynamic environment, with constant change which can present challenges for company secretaries, especially when a team is managing multiple clients. These challenges have become more pressing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and also due to sudden changes in statutory rules.”
As an example, in mid-April this year, the Securities Commission issued a guideline for companies to be able to conduct their Annual General Meeting in a virtual environment. “This initiative is a first for corporate Malaysia and follows the push for businesses to switch to digital in light of the new operating environment. It will certainly allow corporate business to be conducted in spite of the pandemic, but it presents a raft of new challenges for company secretarial teams to address and new skills to acquire.”
Moving up the Value Chain
In a bid to help company secretarial firms address such challenges, technology solutions firm OMESTI has developed CorCentra, a digital business process management tool. With CorCentra, repetitive manual tasks are automated with digital tracking, leaving more time to focus on compliance matters, adoption of regulatory changes and implementation of decisions made by Directors.
With CorCentra, company secretaries are able to manage projects and communication with ease. As Agnes, explains, “Now everything is automated, we don’t have to worry about losing track or missing a deadline. It also helps us minimise the potential of any oversight that would result in liability for non-compliance.”
The Project Management feature within CorCentra allows users to build tasklists and assign them to individual staff, each with due dates. These assigned tasks can be viewed in a list, split into pending and completed. The system also tracks the total time taken to complete each task, which simplifies the accounting process when it comes to periodic billing.
Users can set up a one-stop database for all client and company information, with clients billed through an integrated billing and invoicing function. This generates useful analytics for management and ensures seamless communication between managers, staff, and clients.
Authorised persons are able to comment on tasks, share files, and view the status of tasks, and all relevant users are notified of new actions. This, in turn, promotes a culture of transparency which is integral for building trust and confidence in the company secretarial firm.
Technology As Enabler
Company secretarial business goes well beyond task management and compliance with statutory regulations. Company secretaries, like all professionals, need to move up the value chain. By leveraging on existing compliance knowledge and competencies, they can build their advisory skills and play a supporting role to the Board of Directors as governance professionals.
The adoption of technology tools such as CorCentra can therefore help transform the role of the company secretary from mere administrator and coordinator to a more strategic advisory role.
Let Quadrant Biz Solutions provide you with the best advisory service for the most suitable, efficient, and effective approach to incorporating your company so that you can focus on running and expanding your business.