Running a company isn’t just about practising your craft and serving customers — it comes with a mountain of paperwork and administration. Without paying enough attention to it, your company will be unable to function how you want it to, and you may even land in legal trouble.
Because of the gravity of company administration, hiring a company secretary who would handle a company’s legal duties used to be a statutory requirement.
Since 2008, this has no longer been the case, but hiring a company secretary is still important. Specifically, hiring an outsourced company secretary. Allow us to explain.
What are company secretarial services?
Company secretarial services concern the management of the administrative and legal compliance aspects of a company.
Either carried out by an individual or a team in a professional firm — usually an accounting firm — the service will ensure that the company complies with all the relevant rules and regulations as stipulated in the Companies Act.
Specifically, this includes filing annual confirmation statements, preparing and submitting financial statements, and adhering to tax obligations.
Whether a company makes a serious change, such as an adjustment to its structure or articles of association, or simply appointing a new director, the secretary will oversee these processes and notify the authorities as necessary.
A secretary will also play a key role in upholding and promoting good corporate governance practices within the organisation, ensuring transparency, accountability and fairness are at the heart of the company.
The role of company secretaries goes even further as they are also responsible for board and shareholder communication. So you can expect a secretary to take the lead by organising board meetings, preparing agendas, taking minutes and ensuring that decisions agreed in meetings are carried out.
They also handle the distribution of material and information to shareholders, organise annual general meetings and manage voting processes. In other words, company secretaries are at the heart of communication with key stakeholders.
Advantages of hiring a company secretary
The daily functions of a company secretary that we’ve discussed can be done by someone you hire in-house, or by an outsourced firm.
Regardless of which route you choose to follow, having a dedicated secretary will always be an advantage to your company over not having one for a number of reasons:
- They are experts at what they do. Corporate governance is a specialist area that company secretaries have to spend a lot of time training to do independently. In an area where you cannot afford to make mistakes, having an expert by your side is critical.
- They will save you time. Some company directors try to handle their corporate governance themselves, but this can either distract them from running their business or result in them being overworked and stressed. Hire a secretary, and you’ll notice the improvement to your working life.
- They are independent. Any company secretary, in-house or outsourced, worth their salt will act as an independent party to ensure they work in the company’s best interest.
- They ensure data protection. An integral part of being a company secretary is understanding how to keep sensitive information secure and private. Busy directors who don’t have a company secretary can sometimes struggle to keep all sensitive information protected.
Why you should outsource your company secretarial role
Regardless of the fact that a hired company secretary is better than none, outsourcing the function to a professional outside your company will likely be the better option for your firm, because of:
- Scalability. A firm offering secretarial services will be able to scale up and down depending on the level of service you need.
- Better value for money. When you outsource your secretarial role, you only pay for the service — not a salary.
- Even more time savings. There’s no need to create and post job applications, or interview and train a new employee.
Hopefully we have demonstrated why company secretary services are so important. If you would like to learn about our company secretarial services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we’ll take the time to answer all your questions.