Now trending: board reporting best practices

Now trending: board reporting best practices
November 18, 2014

When things go horribly wrong at a public company, the first question asked is, Where was the board?

In our newest white paper, Board Reporting Trends and Best Practices in the Digital Age, we discuss how senior management should help the board of directors fulfill its role. You'll also hear practical advice from members of your peer group and industry experts:

  • William Kearns, Director of Financial Reporting at Alaska Air Group
  • Robert Herz, former Chairman of FASB and current Board Member of Morgan Stanley and Fannie Mae
  • Steve Rosston, Senior Advisor to Glynn Capital Management
For the board to be successful, it must understand the same critical information that's available to senior management and the process management goes through to make these key decisions. Here are some key items the board and management should keep in mind:
  • Get on the same page
    An effective oversight begins with an effective agenda. The agenda should be a partnership between senior management and the board—making sure priorities to both parties are addressed.

  • Be complete and consistent
    A great board book is the catalyst for a great discussion. There needs to be a complete and consistent methodology, objectives, and reporting against those objectives. Without the complete story and analysis, topics and discussions will be lacking.

  • Create analysis that informs
    Providing the board with face financial statements isn't the whole story—it matters how you got there in the first place. The board cares about what happened and what the drivers and sensitivities were. Experts also say that soft information should be top of mind when management prepares analysis.

  • Go paperless
    Without current information, the board and management can't have the right conversation. Board portals allow for greater collaboration between management and the board. The board is able to see the numbers, understand what is happening, and offer more meaningful insight and discussions at board meetings.

To make this partnership a well-oiled machine at your company, read the full white paper here.

Mike Sellberg

About the author

Mike Sellberg is Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Workiva. He is the former EVP and CTO at iMed Studios and the former Divisional General Manager at Engineering Animation, Inc.