How to Approve Board Meeting Minutes (Step-by-Step)

  • By: Josh Palmer
  • December 27, 2023
How to approve board meeting minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Every board must take official minutes. It’s an integral part of the governing process, as originally defined by Robert’s Rules of Order. Minutes create a trustworthy and accurate record of the key points and decisions the board made during the meeting. 

Of course, you can’t just take notes and call it meeting minutes. Official minutes must be approved, which requires a formal vote.

Read on to learn how to approve board meeting minutes. We’ll also cover how board management software makes it easier to record, preserve, and share meeting minutes.

What are Board Meeting Minutes?

Board meeting minutes serve as the official record of a meeting. Meeting minutes document the discussions, decisions, and actions taken during a meeting of a board of directors or a similar governing body of an organization. 

Meeting minutes typically include

  • What was decided
  • What was accomplished
  • What was agreed upon

Corporate minutes vary in length, depending on the pace and efficiency of each meeting. Once minutes are created, they must be reviewed, voted on, and approved before they can be entered into the official record.

Why are board meeting minutes important?

Board meeting minutes play an important role in corporate governance. They contribute to legal compliance, accountability, transparency, and the effective functioning of the board, ultimately helping to safeguard the interests of the organization and its stakeholders.

Why invest in software to handle minutes?

When Robert’s Rules of Order was first published in 1876, all minutes were taken by hand. However, software designed to handle meeting minutes can make documenting and approving minutes easier, more accurate, and faster to achieve. Board management software enables the meeting secretary to quickly record meeting minutes

Minutes software also makes it possible to share, review, and even approve minutes remotely.

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How to Approve Board Meeting Minutes

Now, let’s take a closer look at how to create minutes and go through the approval process. Whether you’re the board secretary, chair, or on a special committee meeting, it’s important to familiarize yourself  with the process and participate in every board meeting.

1. Preparation

During the board meeting, the designated secretary will take the minutes. Following the meeting, the secretary clearly organizes and arranges the minutes using a formal minutes template

Minutes preparation ensures the board meeting record follows a cohesive format, including all relevant information from the meeting.

2. Distribution

Next, the meeting secretary will distribute copies of the prepared minutes to every board member. Distribution can be done by email or sending out paper copies, but the most efficient way is to leverage a shared board meeting software platform.

In some cases, minutes are sent first to the board chair or executive committee, tentatively approved, then sent to all other board members.

3. Review

Once the distributed copies of the meetings are received, they’ll be reviewed by each member of the board. Board members will look for any inaccuracies or items that were left out. 

4. Revisions

At the next board meeting,  the board chair will introduce a motion to approve or revise the last meeting’s minutes. Everyone who reviewed the minutes has the opportunity to propose changes to the meeting record. 

5. Approval

The final version of the meeting minutes will be approved by a vote from all board members. The vote of approval enters the minutes into the official record for the board. In most cases, the meeting secretary will sign the approved copy of the minutes, while some boards require all present board members to sign the approved minutes.

Achieve Board Alignment with OnBoard

OnBoard software provides an efficient way to take meeting minutes during board meetings and to streamline the approval process. 

Additionally, some of the core OnBoard features include:

  • Agenda management: OnBoard simplifies agenda creation and distribution, ensuring all necessary topics are covered in meetings.
  • Document management: The platform allows for secure storage and easy retrieval of crucial documents, such as financial reports, strategic plans, and meeting minutes.
  • Voting and resolution tracking: OnBoard facilitates electronic voting and tracking of resolutions, making decision-making processes smoother and more transparent.

Download our free board meeting minutes template to bring structure, clarity, and efficiency to board meetings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • 1. Can a Board Approve Meeting Minutes via Email?

    It’s possible to approve of meeting minutes through a digital platform. Email is not an ideal method because it is not conducive to group discussion. However, if all board members review and vote to approve the minutes digitally, they can be approved digitally outside of an official or in-person board meeting.

  • 2. Should Board Meeting Minutes be Signed?

    Board meeting minutes should be signed, typically by the secretary and all members present for a meeting.

  • 3. Who Approves Board Meeting Minutes?

    Board meeting minutes are approved by members of the board. All members of the board who attended the meeting must approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

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About The Author

Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer
Josh Palmer serves as OnBoard's Head of Content. An experienced content creator, his previous roles have spanned numerous industries including B2C and B2B home improvement, healthcare, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). An Indianapolis native and graduate of Indiana University, Palmer currently resides in Fishers, Ind.