As the compliance regulations evolve and change for credit unions, it’s important that boards of directors have the time and resources they need to learn about new regulations and to monitor compliance and risk according to them. But when they’re bogged down in minutes, chasing down reports, and just struggling to get on the same page, it can be difficult for a board to effectively monitor compliance. That’s why board portals were designed to create a better workflow at the board level.

Good governance depends on effective risk management, rigorous performance evaluation, and compliance. A board of directors cannot deliver good governance if it depends too much on the CEO, a role that it’s responsible for hiring, for technical expertise.

Board portal vendor Aprio put together a six-step guide to good governance practices and how board portal software can help you get there. The steps include centralized, digital access to board materials, simultaneous document updates, online voting, digital survey tools, archiving and available audits, and data security. Follow their blog for more news on governance best practices, a topic that’s always evolving and always critical for organizations invested in good governance to follow.

A board portal can become an organizations’ most useful tool for promoting good governance as it makes transparency easier to achieve and enables directors to better manage their time in meetings. For example, a board portal should allow directors to access materials online or offline, wherever they are. Tablets are the ideal device for using board portals and you should always ask about OS compatibility before booking a demo. Windows, Android, and iOS (Apple) are the three most commonly used tablet formats and all are compatible with Aprio software, for example. Instant updates also mean that all directors receive the same information; a common complaint among directors is that they aren’t provided the same information as their peers, especially when special requests are made.

A board portal can also make it easy to manage the distribution of information when conflicts of interest are involved, or when materials need to be shared regarding In Camera sessions. The Corporate Secretary creates groups, making materials accessible only to those who need to see the documents for a specific meeting. A director with a conflict, for example, can be excluded from seeing those documents; the Corporate Secretary can even designate the Chairperson as a sub-secretary to act as administrator for an In Camera session.

When they were initially making the move toward paperless, many organizations opted to distribute materials via email or a free file sharing service. Since then, secure and effective board portals have come down in price, while the security weaknesses of email and free file sharing have become painfully clear. Your confidential documents simply aren’t safely distributed via email or Dropbox, where they can easily be targeted by cybercriminals or even accidentally discovered on a director’s device. Invest in a board portal and make sure that your organization’s documents stay out of view of prying eyes.