The Difference Between a Company Secretary and a Personal Secretary

While the similarity in the names may lead you to assume that a company secretary is the same thing as a personal secretary or personal assistant (PA), this couldn’t be further from the truth.

While a PA is responsible for general admin tasks in the office, a company secretary is a more specialised position. Here’s what you need to know about the role of the company secretary.

Company Secretary Role

At each company, the company secretary will share legal responsibilities with the directors for certain tasks that are required under the Companies Act. The company secretary is also often appointed as a director, but this is not a requirement.

While only public companies are legally required to have a company secretary, many private companies still have one anyway.

Company Secretary Duties

While a personal secretary will be responsible for organising meetings, taking calls and dealing with everyday admin tasks, a company secretary has many important secretarial duties in the organisation.

Perhaps the most important task is to file the annual returns at Companies House. They also have to schedule annual events and file important documents like the directors’ report, auditor’s report and strategic report.

They must also keep a register update of the people at the company, including the number of male and female employees, and file it with Companies House, as well as reporting on strategy and other issues. They must also confirm the accuracy of the information that Companies House holds on the company.

They are responsible for arranging board meetings if asked to do so by a director, and they must also give notice to the other directors and take formal minutes.

The company secretary may have various other duties depending on their precise role at the company. These could involve dealing with VAT registration, PAYE, payroll, insurance and managing the premises.

You can find out more about the essential and complementary roles of the company secretary at Law Donut.

Legal Issues

The company secretary will carry out many essential duties. As such, they can face legal problems and even be prosecuted for failing to comply with their obligations.

It’s worth stating that this is unlikely to happen at a smaller company where genuine mistakes are made, but it is still important to be aware of the fact that the company secretary must take on responsibility for certain legal issues.

How to Outsource Company Secretarial Services

While some companies have in-house company secretaries, this is not always necessary. Indeed, good company secretaries can be hard to find, and many companies decide that it makes more sense for them to outsource this service.

At Keith Graham, we provide professional company secretarial services, sometimes called corporate secretarial services, to companies of all sizes in Surrey and Hampshire. Our team of accountants are trained to complete all the responsibilities and duties that are required, giving you complete peace of mind – enabling you to focus on areas of your own expertise.

If you would like to find out more about outsourcing your company secretary duties to an experienced team, why not contact us today and we will be happy to discuss any queries you may have.