Do you ever wonder, what is a Board of Directors (B of D)? What does it mean to serve on a board? What exactly do board members do? Here’s a bit of insight to brighten your day.
According to Investopedia, “a board of directors is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.” The B of D are involved with hiring and termination of senior level executives, executive compensation, dividend policies, and the setting of broad organizational goals, among other things.
An organization’s bylaws set the structure and authority of a board. The bylaws can include the number of board members, how they are elected, and how frequently the board meets.
Board members are commonly referred to as fiduciaries because they have a legal responsibility to manage and safeguard an organization’s assets. Fiduciaries have three primary responsibilities:
To perform one's fiduciary duties as a board member, one must understand the duties, stay informed & inquisitive, pay attention to red flags, ensure assets are managed properly, implement best practices, policies and procedures, and know when to ask for help.
When asked about their duties as a Board Members, Tax Director, Kelly Boswell, CPA, CFE, who serves as Treasurer of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) shared, “As Treasurer, it is my duty to make sure the financial policies are in place, to review the financials, the audit, and the 990, and to report on the financials. It is the fiduciary duty of every board member to review the financials but since not all have a financial background, they rely a lot on me. I answer their questions.”
ADKF Audit Partner, Susan Valdez serves as one of the Vice President’s on the San Antonio CPA Society Board. She shared “My responsibilities include helping to make policies, assist with strategic planning, membership retention and attending meetings and social gatherings. I like attending the social gatherings and meeting CPAs in the San Antonio Area.”
Tax Senior and CPA, Kelsie Tabbert, serves as the Treasurer of the Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare (AAPAW). She reviews the financials monthly to ensure they have enough funds to cover program expenses, keeps the rest of the board apprised of the financial position of the organization, and assists with fundraising efforts. When asked what she enjoys the most about serving on the board, she replied, “I love being able to see my effort make an impact on animals in the San Antonio area. Every time I pay a spay/neuter bill for one of our rescue members, I know that we are one step closer to eliminating the stray pet population in San Antonio.” Using one's skills to give back to the community is an intrinsic reward of serving on the board of an organization you love. However, challenges do exist, but are never a reason to stop contributing in a way that makes a difference. Kelsie notes, “Working with non-profits are always a bit stressful due to financial constraints, especially if it is a 100% volunteer run organization like AAPAW. Funds are always tight, and the organization relies solely on volunteers and donations to survive! However, that is one of the things that makes AAPAW so special – this organization exists because of the passionate people who dedicate their lives to making it work!
Here at ADKF, we prioritize community. We understand that success starts with a good foundation. Many of our partners and staff sit on boards within the San Antonio, Boerne, and New Braunfels communities to help them successfully manage, save, and organize their finances. To learn more about our community involvement, visit our website.