Executive Assistants increasingly carry out tasks and functions related to Company Secretary roles. However, the role of Company Secretary is not as well-known as other jobs. Therefore, many of our trainers have said people have been asking what is a Company Secretary and what they do. Therefore, we must consider what a Company Secretary is and what types of company secretarial tasks an Executive Assistant could perform.

What is a Company Secretary Job?

Company Secretaries have skills in a variety of areas. They are also a senior member of management, often working at the Board level. Their primary focus is Corporate Governance. Governance relates to how the organisation is run from the top. It will cover legal, regulatory, and wider business issues at the Board level.

Company Secretaries need extensive skills and knowledge. They will need a strong understanding of Finance, as they are often involved in publishing the accounts. They need to understand corporate governance and regulations. Company Secretaries also need to understand Corporate Law and best practices for Company Secretaries.

They will be involved in Annual Board Meetings and Annual General Meetings. Ultimately, they will be involved in the key deliverables at the National or State Company Register, where you are based. One example of the company register is Companies House, which covers companies in the UK.

Why are Company Secretarial functions important to Executive Assistants?

Executive Assistants will likely encounter Company Secretarial functions if they support the senior management team. This is because you may be involved in arranging the Board meetings. The highly important Annual Board Meeting is bound to look at Company Secretarial tasks and issues.  This is because they will attend the official board meetings where official minutes are taken. They guide the management in running the company correctly, ensuring compliance, informing the management about any changes, and even ensuring the meeting minutes are compliant. These are the responsibilities of the company secretary. If you work at this level, learning more about the expectations and the procedure in an official board meeting and how the minutes should be presented is useful. Additionally, it is very useful to understand the importance of minuiting the official board meetings.

What do Executive Assistants need to learn?

Firstly, not all Executive Assistants get exposure to this area. Senior EAs generally support board-level management or C-levels. Additionally, becoming involved in the Company’s Secretarial functions is relatively new, so not EAs will get this exposure as their organisation may not have changed in this way.

However, if you are ambitious to become a Senior EA, you should aim to learn more about this area. This will help you to be confident when you encounter these areas. One of the most important things will be Minute Taking. Ideally, ensure you have the skills to take minutes and confidence that you are a good minute-taker. At the Board level, you must understand the format and function of minutes at an official board meeting. You really must have an awareness of the importance and key deliverables.

The subject is likely to be financial, and you will likely look at the main financial reports and discuss key financial terms. Therefore, an awareness of financial terms is vital for succeeding at this level. Our Finance for an Executive Assistant Course is designed to ensure that you can hold your own with this complex topic. Finally, you must understand corporate law, company secretarial deliverables, and the standard returns required at the National company register.

Company Registers

Many of our members are from Europe or North America. Here, you can see some of the key websites for Company Registers. You can find the company register at Companies House for those of you from the UK. For those of you from the European Union, E-Justice provides links to all of the member-state registers. In the US, companies are registered at State levels, so you will need to go to the individual State’s Secretary of State site. However, there are Federal sites that provide company search services. Canada is very similar to the US, with businesses registered at the Province level but also with national sites for company searches.

If you are interested in learning more about Company Secretarial functions as an Executive Assistant, please take a look at our Company Secretary for an Executive Assistant Course. It provides an overview of the subject for an EA who is keen to be able to function at the board level. The course covers a mixture of topics to prepare you for working in this area. This is a vital skill and this knowledge is very likely to be beneficial to any EA that is keen to support the CEO, CFO or other C-level. It is also very exciting that modern Executive assistants are able to get exposure to this area, which is extremely significant to the company.