Writing board minutes may seem tedious and fruitless, but these notes are critical to your organization’s success. With minutes to document each meeting, you have an audit trail for how decisions are made and which members support them.
Plus, board minutes are often required to receive grant money. And you’re able to communicate with people not present at the meeting. (Remember, keeping the public informed is a goal and requirement for most government entities.)
What Should Board Minutes Include
At the minimum, board minutes should have the meeting date and names of the individuals in attendance – members of the group who attend regularly, invited guests, and presenters.
Additionally, include the topics discussed, votes taken, which people voted, and any decisions made. This information allows stakeholders to see when a particular topic was debated and what the results were. For example, if a new fee is considered, then all the major viewpoints about that fee and how it will be enacted should be noted in the meeting minutes.
The Format for Board Minutes
There is no standard format for board minutes. However, your organization should determine a template and use it each time. (A template makes it easier to comb through your notes later.) Also, consider writing a short outline at the beginning of the minutes to highlight the major topics discussed.
We suggest selecting a designated recorder for board minutes. Multiple attendees taking notes and combining them later gets messy! It’s much easier for one person to write board minutes, and then have attendees review and approve them.
The Importance of Board Minutes
Board minutes are considered legal documents. In fact, if the minutes name who voted for a particular action, then a lawsuit filed against that action can name those that voted for the measure.
Furthermore, as decisions are made and documented in the minutes, then progress can be measured. An individual or a team is often appointed to perform a certain action, and the minutes details the names of those responsible and the timeline for action. This gives individuals and the organization accountability.
Morgan & Associates Have Experience with Government Entities
Is your organization taking board minutes consistently? Do you use a template to make minutes standardized from meeting to meeting? Do you have a designated recorder?
As a government organization, you should answer “yes” to each of these questions. If you didn’t, contact us. We’ve worked with many entities – large and small – to strengthen their accounting and financial practices. We’d love to work with you too.