As corporate structures have evolved over the past decades, the job profiles of those in certain roles have undergone dramatic changes. One of the biggest among these is the position of a company secretary, whose tasks within an organization are no longer merely secretarial. From just supporting the daily tasks of those in leadership roles, company secretaries today maintain corporate governance standards and participate in formulating the financial and operational strategies of the business. The role has become so intrinsic to the operations of an organisation that it can often take on the name “Corporate Secretary” in Europe and the west.
We explore company secretaryship in detail in the following paragraphs.
Responsibilities of a Company Secretary
Company secretaries have a whole range of legal, compliance and managerial responsibilities within an organisation. It is their duty to ensure that the company is fulfilling its compliance and regulatory obligations and maintaining proper bookkeeping. They are often the company’s representatives on legal documents and the official point-of-contact between the company, its shareholders and government agencies. Company secretaries also play a key role in daily personnel and administrative functions and participate in corporate strategic planning in advisory capacities to the board of directors.
Are you Company Secretary Material?
With this long and varied list of responsibilities, it is easy to see that company secretaries require a certain degree of natural and developed skills to perform effectively in their roles. Company secretaries should be highly organized individuals with attention to detail and a keen awareness and interest in the law of the land. They should also have strong and effective communication skills, and be able to thrive in situations that demand multitasking, especially since the role is so multidisciplinary.
Career Growth and Opportunities
As per the Company Secretaries Act of 1980 and the Companies Act of 2013, all listed Indian companies, with a capital of more than Rs. 5 crores, are required to appoint a certified company secretary to their ranks. This means that there are enormous opportunities for company secretaries across industry verticals and sectors. With the kind of deep and meaningful roles that they play in an organisation’s structure, company secretaries are often known to rise to occupy senior leadership positions and play a key role in long-term decision making.
How do you become a Company Secretary?
A company secretary should be certified by a recognized body or institution like the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). The company secretaries course offered by ICSI can be divided into three programs – foundation, executive and professional. Professional graduates, post-graduates and those with certifications from recognized accountancy bodies like ICAI can enroll directly in the executive program. If you are planning on taking on the programs, it would also be wise to seek the help of a recognized and reliable institution that offers coaching in ICSI’s Company Secretaries course.
In this age of rapid corporatization and entrepreneurship, the demand for company secretaries far outweighs their supply. So, becoming a corporate secretary not only guarantees professional growth, but also promises a highly rewarding career. We wish you the very best of luck!