Tech startups: how board management software leads to good governance

3 min read
Mar 11, 2022 12:00:00 AM

When you view the world of startups through the lens of the financial and technology media, you are usually confronted with headlines of huge cap raises, photographs of young, smiling and carefree founders, claims of going global from day one, predictions of the next unicorn, eye-watering exits, and lots of t-shirts with misspelt names.

Rarely do you read about corporate governance as an important part of the mix, unless, of course, it is the result of a bungled startup or rogue founder or director who has done the wrong thing. 

Chris Ridd tech startups board governance

So governance from day one is often overlooked but, in my view, is absolutely critical to a company’s long-term success. It actually empowers the founder and/or CEO with guidance from the board to focus on innovation, strategy, growth and execution.

A good board works in partnership with the founder(s) in creating the future. It does so by ensuring a sound framework built on high standards of integrity, transparency and accountability. Getting governance right from the outset is more important than ever and can actually be a competitive advantage in attracting capital and investors seeking comfort from founders who understand and embrace this early.

Simplifying the complex in governance

Corporate governance is not everyone’s favourite subject. Talk of operational frameworks, internal controls, delegation of authority, fiduciary duties,  compliance and risk management are not on every entrepreneur's bucket list when they jump into a startup. And it can be a mysterious and often intimidating subject matter for many. 

For me, when I joined Xero in 2011, one of the first things I did was undertake the Foundations of Directorships with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. It taught me the importance of corporate governance and provided awareness of my obligations as a company director. However, for most people in tech startups, SMEs and indeed the NFP space, AICD and equivalent industry bodies can be cost-prohibitive and much of the content can be both complex and dry.  

A new software category

BoardPro’s clever and beautifully designed software significantly reduces the administrative burden of managing and preparing for board meetings, along with all the governance processes that stem from them.

Most tech startups tend to use mainstream applications and email from Microsoft or Google to manage their board papers, agendas, minutes and governance processes. These tools do the job, but after some time you will typically find that the process becomes extremely inefficient. As boards only meet several times a year, engage sporadically, and these days are often remote, standard tools make the task of planning, recording, keeping track of and administering the board process quite frustrating. 

One thing that BoardPro has focused on is developing tips and templates that are easy to read, understand and apply — all tailored for audiences who are not familiar with corporate governance. Equally, one of the things Xero did very well for the accounting industry was to lead the shift to cloud accounting by embracing the entire industry and developing an ecosystem beyond software.

This is something we’re working to achieve with BoardPro and we’re excited to see that a network of like-minded thought-leaders, trainers and governance experts who can unlock and demystify the world of governance is starting to develop. There is a tremendous opportunity to simplify this subject matter and make it accessible and consumable for the masses. 

When you're ready here's how BoardPro can help


Start a Free Trial — run a whole board meeting cycle for free, no credit card needed. You’ll be able to create board packs in a click, and have all minutes, decisions, actions and interests in one place. Be more effective, save time, and have everyone on the same page!

Book a Demo — see BoardPro in action in this 30-minute demo, and have all your questions answered by a BoardPro specialist. You’ll get an introduction to all of BoardPro’s features — see how to set an agenda, create board packs, and take minutes. 

Attend a Free Governance Webinar — learn from our community of governance experts on subjects such as strategy, understanding board dynamics, reporting, and running effective meetings. You’ll join hundreds of others in these engaging events covering the latest governance topics.

Find a Governance Template — practical documents to make governance easy! Templates cover strategic planning, board evaluation, risk assessment, SWOT analysis, and many other essential governance and business topics to grow your organisation and adopt good governance practices. 




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