A company secretary has the job of making sure that the directors of the company and the company as a whole follow the necessary financial regulations and laws.
The responsibilities of the job include:
- Communicating with auditors, lawyers, and other professionals
- Providing advice to board members and directors regarding legal responsibilities
- Acting as the representative of the company on legal documents
- Keeping abreast of changing company laws and regulations
- Preparing annual reports for the company
- Organising and taking minutes for meetings
- Maintaining director and shareholder records
- Providing the Stock Exchange and Companies House with information pertaining to the company
Some company secretaries are also responsible for finance, accounting, general and property management, as well as safety and health.
A full-time company secretary would work typical office hours between Monday and Friday. However, there are often part-time jobs available as well. In order to make deadlines, it may also be necessary to work overtime.
The average company secretary’s salary is between £35,000 and £55,000 per year with the salaries reaching as high as £120,000 in some cases.
Requirements for Entry
Many company secretaries are experienced in business and possess degrees in subjects such as public administration, accountancy, law, or business. In order for an individual to work for a public limited company, it is necessary for he or she to be an accountant, barrister, solicitor or to qualify through the ICSA or Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
It is necessary for an individual to complete the IQS or ICSA International Qualifying Scheme. In some cases, courses that are taken in a postgraduate setting may satisfy this requirement.
Development and Training
Knowledge will predominantly be developed while working and will also be obtained through the individual’s studying for the appropriate exams.
After the passing of the IQS exam, the individual is considered to be an ICSA graduate and will be fully qualified as a member of the ICSA after 6 years of work experience relevant to the job of company secretary.
Knowledge and Skills
The following are a list of skills that are necessary for every company secretary to possess:
- Ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing
- Ability to present and negotiate successfully
- Ability to organize and manage time well
- Ability to pay attention to detail
- Sound judgment
- Ability to solve problems successfully
- Ability to make priorities and carry a full workload
- A thorough understanding of finances and business law
Public limited companies are required by law to hire a company secretary. A company secretary can also find a job in many sectors of the industry as well as in local authorities, universities, NHS hospital trusts, and charities.
Another way to start your career in finance is to work as a auditor where you can also join a proffesional accounting association and study towords becoming qualified, which can lead you to become a Company Secretary.
There is the ICSA where you can become a memeber of the Chartered Secretaries Association.