The company secretary forms an important link between the board of directors and various other departments in the company and he also ensures good relations with the shareholders and the public. He does this by the maintenance of management information systems inside the company.
A company has to fulfil certain responsibilities which are required by law. This includes the safe-keeping of all financial records for a number of years, the management of most financial affairs and the storage of all important statements, as required by Company Law and the Registrar of Companies.
The company secretary is responsible for the creation and maintenance of information systems to be used in decision-making.
Most company secretaries are also responsible for the maintenance of the register of board members and other statutory books, payments of dividends and debenture interests, statutory returns, capital issues, control of the office and the general administration of the Companies Act.
The nature of the company secretary’s work and his responsibilities vary from company to company due to the difference in size, field of activity, company tradition and nature of each company.
The company secretary has to attend board meetings at which policy is determined. At these meetings he acts in close co-operation with the chairman of the meeting. He has to make important contributions to the discussions and he has to remind directors of the legal, financial and tax implications of their proposals. In his preparation for meetings, he may have to assemble and collate information and present this information in a logical form to enable the board of directors to make decisions. After the meetings the company secretary has to draft accurate minutes of the meeting and ensure that the board’s policies and decisions are implemented.
In many companies the company secretary also has the responsibility for accounting, staff control and public relations and handles the company’s contracts, agreements and insurances.