Good Governance: Why Outsource Your Company Secretary?

Business meeting with outsourced company secretary


With small and medium-sized businesses adapting their business models to survive the pandemic, good governance is more important than ever. A company secretary has a vital role to play in steadying the business, however, some companies might not have this expertise in-house. The benefits of outsourcing their company secretarial function to a professional team of experts is discussed below.

Company secretaries and good governance

The global pandemic has forced businesses to change the way they operate. More than ever, good governance remains key to business and their need to be more efficient and transparent. Back in January 2020, the updated Corporate Governance Code included an increased focus on sustainability and trust in business so clearly the pressure on businesses to ensure their governance is in safe hands is proven to be of paramount importance.

Company secretaries play a vital role in any business, ensuring good governance and legal compliance. As governance professionals with a thorough knowledge of the Companies Act and other legislation they keep abreast of any changes to the law, take on vital responsibilities and ensure the company meets all its obligations and acts within the law at all times.

Outsourced company secretary versus an in-house company secretary

But should your company secretary be in-house, or would you do better to outsource your company secretarial function to an external company?

Typically, when the role is kept in-house, it is covered by a specialist or in some cases it could fall to one of the directors (usually the finance director). There are, of course, many benefits to an in-house company secretary including:

  • more in-depth knowledge of the organisation/business;
  • a closer relationship with decision-makers;
  • Readily available to take on urgent ad hoc tasks including carrying out duties not ordinarily within the remit of the company secretary.

The benefits of an outsourced company secretary

Outsourcing the company secretarial role offers most companies a  practical and cost-effective solution, and will help free up company directors’ time so they can focus on the day-to-day running of the business. Here are 4 reasons why outsourcing your corporate governance could be an alternative solution for your company.

1.     Businesses need to be trustworthy and transparent

To retain public trust in a global pandemic, it’s vital for companies to be seen to operate ethically, with trustworthy leaders and transparent policies. Against this backdrop and with Brexit looming, companies without stable and transparent governance will have been tested to the limit. Professional company secretaries can come on board to support business leaders by providing up-to-date, impartial, specialist expertise.

2.     They need help to function more efficiently

Without expert input, it’s likely that there are a number of inefficiencies holding companies back. Whether planning a corporate restructure, preparing an Annual Report or in-depth guidance on a longer-term basis is needed, hiring an external corporate governance team can help companies get the best from their business. An impartial professional can conduct a governance review and make recommendations that ensure organisation performance is linked to strategic objectives.

3.     Employing in-house is too expensive

Sometimes it’s not financially viable to employ a full-time member of staff (or a team) to deal with corporate governance or company secretarial matters. The workload may be seasonal, getting busy at certain times of year but staying relatively quiet at others – meaning that they can’t justify the expense or commitment of in-house personnel. In cases like this, the most cost-effective solution is for companies to outsource their corporate governance tasks, as the support could be reduced during quieter periods and increased when needed. This frees up money and resources to be spent on other areas of the business.

4.     Flexibility ensures more efficient functionality

In the midst of a global pandemic, corporate governance is not something you can choose to ignore if you want your company to survive and thrive. The variety of flexible services, provided by outsourced providers can support companies in all aspects of corporate governance, enabling them to function more efficiently.

Bridgehouse Company Secretaries offer a range of company secretarial services to suit businesses of all sizes and types. If you’re interested in outsourcing your company secretary role, contact us on 0845 055 8260 or email info@bhcsecretaries.co.uk to see how we can help.

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