Corporate Health Check Time: The Benefits of a Dedicated Company Secretarial Function

by Kirsty Clark on 25 October 2019
Corporate Health Check Time: The Benefits of a Dedicated Company Secretarial Function

Why should I have a dedicated Company Secretarial function?

 

No company is exempt from the obligations imposed by the Companies Act, however, as only PLCs are required by law to have a named Company Secretary or ‘CoSec’, a tendency to delegate the responsibilities to non-specialist members of the team has emerged: a very risky practice in today’s governance climate of increasingly stringent regulations and ever higher standards.

 

Those you choose to entrust with keeping your company safe, not only protect you from incurring fines but even shield from criminal charges. (Simply failing to file a confirmation statement on time can result in prosecution and strike off!) With such high stakes, we recommend experts.

 

Company Secretaries are experienced professionals who have dedicated their career to championing effective governance. With corporate governance increasingly under the microscope, organisations of all shapes and sizes are finding that a dedicated Company Secretary, or a team if their needs are greater are adding huge value to their organisations.

 

Keep reading to see how you can reap the benefits of a specialised Company Secretarial function.

 

 

Streamline your team

Delegating the company secretarial tasks may seem like the easy route; fewer people on the team keeps things simple, right? Not always; and definitely not when something goes wrong. On the contrary, having a person or team solely focused on company compliance unlocks that top level of protection by ensuring an efficient and well-organised team with a clear focus.

 

False Economy

Money is tight, times are tough, and the cost of adding a new employee, let alone a new department, is almost as unappealing as the monetary fines at risk here. However, recruitment in some form is inevitable, therefore, you should approach this in the most resourceful way possible. Pulling people away from their main focus to carry out these tasks means future recruitment into other departments in order to alleviate strain!

Delegating the workload is not reducing it – it is simply displacing it. Remember: if it’s everybody’s job, it’s no-one’s job!

 

Longevity

We have all heard of putting a square peg into a round hole. Beware of this when using non-CoSec professionals within your team to look after the responsibilities. (Or by expecting a Company Secretary to cover a myriad of other areas). You may find this approach does not stand the test of time with the non-CoSec employee potentially feeling overwhelmed and the CoSec qualified employee potentially unfulfilled.

 

Horses for courses!

On the other hand, Company Secretaries thrive on order, organisation, attention to detail and compliance and who love the challenge of a technical based role. These are the people you want looking after the detail. Don’t believe us? We work with them every day!

 

Transferable skills

Many people will initially gain exposure to Company Secretarial work via a complementary field or be dual qualified. Some of the best Company Secretaries we speak to are from legal, financial, or administrative backgrounds and have transferable skills that in turn make them excellent candidates. It is, however, important to differentiate between those genuinely committed to building upon transferable skills and pursuing a Company Secretarial career, and those who perhaps view CoSec as a stopgap on the way to a related field; such as a law graduate ultimately seeking a training contract.

 

ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute

One of the best indicators is the ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, who offer a qualification affording chartered status, along with several other courses in related practice. None of these are a walk in the park, and those who voluntarily study display an impressive degree of commitment, skill and perseverance – all characteristics of a highly valuable employee.

 

Take a look at their website to find out more: https://www.icsa.org.uk/

 

A safe pair of hands

A designated CoSec function is the key to smooth running, stress free compliance and governance, and here at G2 we see first-hand the benefits to our clients.

 

We have all done a DIY job only to have it put right by an expert. Don’t let that happen to your company!

 

 

It would be great to hear your comments!

  • Do you think you could benefit from a specialist Company Secretary? If so, please do get in touch for a confidential discussion about your needs and how we can help.

 

Feel free to join our G2 Legal Company Secretarial Group for regular industry news / technical updates: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8246819

 

See here for our latest vacancies: https://jobs.g2cosec.com/cosec

 

Kirsty Clark

G2 Legal

Companysecretaries@g2cosec.com

0207 649 9296

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About the author

Kirsty is a 2:1 Law Graduate from Newcastle University, with prior law firm experience and focuses on Company Secretarial positions at all levels. Her remit includes both in-house and professional services roles in the Midlands and the North of England.