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Company secretaries are responsible for ensuring that an organisation complies with standard financial and legal practice and maintains standards of corporate governance. Although they are not strictly required to provide legal advice, company secretaries must have a thorough understanding of the laws that affect their areas of work.
They act as a point of communication between the board of directors and company shareholders, reporting in a timely and accurate manner on company procedures and developments.
Public limited companies are legally required to employ a company secretary and many private companies also have the role. Positions can be found across all sectors and in the public sector this role often has the title chartered secretary or simply secretary.
A company secretary's role covers a wide variety of functions and these depend, in part, on the company for which they work. Typical tasks include:
The work of a company secretary in a registered company may be more specialised than in a smaller private company. For example, the liaison role with shareholders and compliance responsibilities may make up a major part of the work and may include:
In small businesses, other duties commonly undertaken by company secretaries may include:
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