The growing list of complex legislative requirements puts more and more pressure on business owners to remain updated and compliant with them.
The introduction of these requirements has created a need for companies to ensure that they remain compliant. Many business owners and directors now face this challenge, as failure to comply with these obligations holds potentially severe legal consequences for the company.
As of 2014, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) stated that every organisation must appoint a corporate secretary within 6 months of its incorporation. Under its requirements, the corporate secretary appointed must be a resident of Singapore. Company directors can act as a corporate secretary only if the company has more than one director. In addition, corporate secretaries must possess the required knowledge, academic and professional qualifications.
Role of a Corporate Secretary
A corporate secretary is the chief administrator of the company. They advise the board on their roles and responsibilities and facilitate board communications, ensuring their procedures are compliant with the law.
Corporate Secretaries also help owners manage the risks of corporate non-compliance, guiding them through the challenges and easing their administrative burden.
Responsibilities of a Corporate Secretary
Corporate secretaries have an extensive job scope, ranging from conducting compliance checks to reporting and updating company information on ACRA.
Maintenance and Filing of Statutory Registers with ACRA
A corporate secretary’s core duty is the timely filing of the company’s accounts and maintaining the necessary registers.
They are responsible for filing annual returns and amendments to the company constitution or name. They are also in charge of filing signed board resolutions and maintaining minutes.
These processes are extremely tedious and time consuming, which is why companies hire Corporate Secretaries so that they can focus on running their business instead. For this reason, DashBod has partnered with EBOS and GDPS Corpserve to provide our users with free corporate secretary services.
Duties to the relevant stakeholders
Corporate secretaries have to deal with different stakeholders, including executive and non-executive company directors.
Their responsibilities include organising meetings and sending out notices, while also dealing with matters affecting stakeholder queries such as share allotments, issues and transfers.
Assessment of current compliance status
One of the roles of corporate secretaries is maintaining vital corporate documents and records.
- Conducting preparatory compliance checks and revisions of transactional work
- Reviewing and comparing company registry records to ensure consistency and full compliance with rules.
Additionally, corporate secretaries conduct remedial work to ensure compliance failings are identified and resolved during compliance reviews.
Corporate Compliance maintenance
Corporate secretaries monitor corporate governance developments and assist the board in tailoring governance practices to meet their needs and investor expectations. Hence, they are a focal point for investor communication on corporate governance issues.
Corporate secretaries also ensure that companies are compliant in the following areas:
- State corporation laws
- Stock exchange listing standards
- Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) reporting
- Company Memorandum & Articles of Association (MAA)
- Stockholder relations
As seen from the list, there are many things a corporate secretary must keep track of, which is why DashBod’s free corporate secretary services provide ACRA compliance alerts and reminders to prevent its users from facing non-compliance issues.
Managing Events and Meetings
Lastly, corporate secretaries are in charge of organizing board and general meetings and help to facilitate the company’s decision making process.
This includes drafting the minutes of directors and shareholder meetings and updating any constitutional changes, such as changes of registered offices, business objects or a financial year.
Hence, it can be seen that corporate secretaries perform a wide range of duties and would save any company hours of administrative work. On top of that, companies would be able to focus on the core of their operations while having the assurance that they will remain compliant with regulations.