The job description of a secretary has undergone enormous change in recent years, especially in the wake of globalisation and the digitalisation of markets. Today, the secretary is often referred to as an office manager.
With a diverse and responsible range of tasks, company secretarial work takes on a central function in the organisation and communication of a company. The secretary’s office is thus one of the indispensable key functions of a successful company.
Read this article and find out why good secretarial work is important for your business.
The Importance of a Company Secretary
For private companies, a professional company secretary can be very useful and cost-effective. The reason is that not only can directors focus on what they do best, but the company secretary also ensures that the company actively complies with strict legal requirements.
Why company secretary is important?
The company secretary:
- Acts as an advisor to the board of directors and provides the information needed to develop plans and strategies.
- Is the organiser as he/she registers the allotment of shares, prepares and distributes share certificates, makes all arrangements for preparing various reports such as the statutory report, director’s report and annual report, etc.
- Acts as the company’s agent, conclude contracts and represents the company on its behalf.
- Acts as a coordinator and conducts correspondence with all the shareholders of the company.
- Presides over various meetings, such as annual general meetings, extraordinary general meetings, board meetings, etc. He/she also prepares notices, agendas and minutes of meetings.
- Acts as the custodian, keeping all the books of account required by the Companies Act.
- Is the chief administrative officer, carrying out all the administrative tasks of the company and reporting to the board of directors.
What are the duties of a company secretary?
A secretary is responsible for the optimal office management of a company. The tasks of a secretary have changed a lot in recent years. In the beginning, the tasks were administrative.
General office work, writing and correspondence were part of the scope of work. Over time, however, more and more tasks of accounting were added. In the meantime, the work spectrum of a secretary covers a wide range of tasks.
Typical tasks of a secretary
- Telephone support externally and internally (outbound, inbound);
- Organising and coordinating appointments;
- Processing and managing incoming and outgoing mail;
- Correspondence by post, e-mail and other electronic means of communication;
- Proficient command of office programmes (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.);
- Various writing tasks (in addition to general correspondence, also file notes, reports, etc.);
- Filing and records management, database maintenance;
- Reception and services for visitors and guests;
- Organisation and management of office supplies;
- Procurement and evaluation of information;
- Preparation and creation of reports and presentations;
- The organisation, preparation and support of meetings and events;
- Taking minutes at conferences and events;
- Organisation and accounting of business trips (hotel, flight and other bookings);
- Preparatory work for bookkeeping and payroll accounting.
- The list can be extended by numerous activities depending on the company and industry.
Why you should outsource your company secretarial duties?
Office management is a challenge for companies of all sizes that should not be underestimated. Therefore, businesses from small entrepreneurs to corporations are thinking about outsourcing secretarial work and telephone customer service.
However, the consideration is somewhat more pressing for slightly smaller companies, because large companies usually have enough resources to set up or run their offices in-house with permanent staff.
But what happens if an assistant is absent, for example, because he or she is on holiday, sick for a longer period or taking parental leave? In such cases, it is usually not worthwhile for a company to hire a replacement for the secretarial tasks.
In this case, outsourcing the secretarial tasks is an option, provided that competent service is used. This saves you the search for a suitable person and the relatively long recruitment process.
A service provider will not only do the job competently but also at more favourable conditions than if you were to burden yourself with additional personnel costs by hiring a new person.
Outsourcing is also a very good solution for start-ups, small businesses and individuals who want to save themselves the effort of maintaining a secretariat at the beginning of their business or in general.
Benefits of taking outsource company secretarial services
Small companies regularly outsource various types of work because they do not have enough employees to do it, while large companies use outsourcing to save money. Outsourcing can offer many short- and long-term benefits:
- Fast processing in the time frame you specify.
- More office space.
- Total flexibility.
- Guaranteed availability.
- Receiving finished documents wherever is needed – in the office, at home or abroad.
- More time to focus on other aspects of the business and work with clients.
- Staff will have more time to prioritise more effectively and clearly.
- Saved time for training new employees and temporary workers.
- No PAYE costs.
- No social security costs.
- No holiday or sick leave costs.
- No pension costs.
- No office and IT costs.
- No temporary staff costs.
- Businesses can expand without the need to hire additional staff.
- There are no staff training costs.
Tasks of an external secretary
The tasks that an external secretary can perform are many and varied, and we at GM Tax Consultancy pride ourselves on also being able to offer every company a service to suit its needs.
However, standard services generally include the following;
- Preparation and filing of annual accounts;
- Prepare and submit the forms required by law due to changes in your business, e.g. appointment of a director, change of company name and adoption/change of memorandum and articles of association;
- Maintaining statutory documentation;
- Conducting due diligence and preparing statutory documents;
- Preparing documents for the annual general meeting of shareholders.
- Assisting the board of directors and its committees. These can be simple tasks such as planning, attending and taking minutes of board and committee meetings, or broader tasks such as preparing or reviewing board and committee mandates, preparing agendas for annual meetings, helping to prepare board documents, and managing and monitoring actions and issues that arise.
- Advising on general corporate governance matters.
In short, the role of the company secretary is to assist directors in ensuring compliance with company requirements. While a private company secretary doesn’t have to be qualified, it is important that the directors undertaking the role, or the person they appoint to undertake it, are competent.
Failure to do so can be costly, as professional advice will inevitably be required. An increasing number of private companies are opting to use the services of a qualified company secretary to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met in a timely and correct manner.
The GM Tax Consultancy team can provide authoritative and accurate advice on all the services needed to maintain good secretary work across a wide range of industries.
Contact our team of tax advisors in Barcelona to find out more about how outsourcing secretarial, corporate and administrative services can save you time and money by developing flexible and cost-effective solutions designed to keep your business on a solid foundation.