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Importance of taking minutes in a business meeting

ArticleID 127  
Writer Isaac Thuku
Category Personal Article

Minutes are tangible records for meetings which also act as a source of information for members who were unable to attend. Businesses hold meetings in order to spread information, discuss issues, solve problems and decide on future actions. These meetings can either be one-off or regular but minutes must be taken for future reference. Business minutes can be long and detailed or short and to the point depending on the nature of the meeting.

Minutes should be written less than 48 ours after the meeting. This helps in credibility as board members will have their copies on time. Also they will have ample time to go through them before the next meeting. The first thing in the agenda of a meeting should be checking through previous minutes at the beginning of a meeting and confirm whether the mentioned actions were effected.

The format, style and content requirements for meeting minutes vary depending on the organization or business. A well taken minute will show when was the meeting? Who attended? Who didn't? The topics which were discussed, what was decided, unclear issues yet to be agreed on and if there is a follow up meeting scheduled.

Minutes act as an aid memoir for those who attended the meeting. It also provides a summary to those who didn't attend the meeting. Signing off by present members is necessary to confirm that whatever is written is accurate and true. This will prevent future arguments.

Business minutes help in conflict management. When conflicts arise in business, there is need to make reference to previous minutes which can elaborate what has been going on over time. If the chairman or any board member made a certain remark or comment, the executive will know how to solve the problem according to the contents of the minute. The secretary will just have to read the minute and members will confirm whether certain things were said or done.

Taking minutes is important for action Points. Minutes indicate what actions were decided in the meeting. They show who is responsible for certain actions and how long they will take to carry on the activities. Everyone allocated any tasks or responsibilities will be listed.

Minutes provide businesses with a legal protection. Minutes keep the business in line with state laws and can show if tax returns are filed. They represent the actions of the board and company. Auditors, revenue authorities and courts consider them legal documents.

Business minutes can be used to attract donors and investors. Before other entrepreneurs can invest or partner with you, they may need to go through previous minutes which can tell them how good or bad the business is running. Banks and other micro-finance organizations usually ask for minutes among other useful documents before giving out loans to businesses and organizations.

The secretary needs to prepare well before taking minutes. Necessary tools and equipment should be available in advance. Keeping time will prevent hectic situations which can distract taking minutes in a meeting.

Importance of taking minutes in a business meeting
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