Why use a blank minutes template?
A blank minutes template is a good way to promote consistency in the presentation of the official record of your business meetings. By having a blank minutes template, you also have a contingency plan and can easily transfer duties to a new individual should the corporate secretary not be available for any particular meeting.
Generally there is no exact specific content or format that director meeting minutes need to be presented. However, minutes are the official record of a Board, and it is the legal document that can be used by auditors, government agencies, and the court system to reflect the activities and decisions made by the directorate. A general rule of thumb is that if it is not in the minutes, it didn’t happen. Thus, a blank minutes template is a good way to ensure that standard and/or required information for your particular business is addressed in the official records.
Minutes should not be an exact transcription of every word stated at a meeting, as this would be cumbersome and also defeat the purpose of having a succinct document. Conversely, minutes should not be so brief as to not properly describe and support the decision making process undertaken by the board. Good minutes include all decisions and votes done by the directors, and include sufficient narrative to generally outline the conversation, include major comments, and detail the final vote.
Some standard information in a blank minutes template should be the name of the organization, a standard lists of attendees (which allows the roll taker to identify who was and was not present), and if it is a legal meeting (e.g. a quorum is in place). Standard and/or required topics should be included in the template, with blanks that can be filled in with the current month’s data.
A standard discussion paragraph should have:
- An opening sentence on the topic or issue
- A block to discuss the issue
- A notation that will show who made the motion,
- A notation on who seconded the motion,
- A slot to show the final vote including any abstentions or dissenting votes.
The end of the minutes should include an end time and who recorded the minutes (such as the corporate secretary). There should be signature lines for the corporate secretary and the chairman to attest to the accuracy of the minutes.
Prior to the next meeting, a copy of the previous month’s minutes should be distributed to all directors with enough lead time for each director to properly review the narrative. The first order of business at the following Board meeting is to ask for a motion to approve the previous month’s meeting minutes. If there are any errors or descrepencies, the corrections should be noted in the current month’s minutes, and the previous month’s minutes should be amended to show both the original statement and the correction. These amended minutes should be represented at the next Board meeting to ensure corrections were made as directed.
All minutes should be held in a permanent fashion. For contingency purposes, the permanent minutes should be kept in a safe and secure location. The Board should also consider maintaining a backup copy of the minutes at a similar, but separate, safe and secured location.
Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing, and can assist with a variety of official corporate record such as recommendations on difficult meetings. We routinely work with clients to figure payroll withholding taxes. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.
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