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How to become a Company Secretary

company secretary careers

What does a Company Secretary do?

A company secretary has a wide range of responsibilities, including maintaining company records such as lists of directors and shareholders and annual accounts, sending annual returns based on these to the Company Register or to the Stock Exchange. They also keep records of the company’s property, such as buildings, land, and vehicles. The company secretary is the company’s named representative on legal documents, and it is their responsibility to ensure that the company and its directors operate within the law and in line with the company’s established articles.

Company secretaries may have a range of other administrative duties; many are involved in accounting and finance, including responsibility for the payroll, annual budget and internal audits. They may also assist in the general management of the company and in liaising with professional advisers. They must have extensive knowledge of the company’s operations and of relevant national and international laws.

What's the working environment like working as a Company Secretary?

The hours are normally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, although this varies where deadlines must be met, and it is sometimes necessary to attend evening meetings. Some posts are part-time.

The work is office-based with some travelling to meetings with managers, directors and outside advisers.

What does it take to become a Company Secretary?

To be a chartered secretary you should:

  • be methodical and well organised, with a high degree of accuracy
  • be able to understand and explain complex legal and financial matters
  • have sound judgement and problem solving skills
  • be able to prioritise and manage a busy workload
  • have an excellent command of written and spoken English with good presentational skills
  • have good interpersonal and negotiating skills.

Company Secretary Career Opportunities

Company secretaries work in many different organisations such as charities, trade and professional associations, universities, local authorities and the National Health Service. There are opportunities for company secretaries to become general managers or company directors or to move to larger organisations.

Chartered secretaries who can demonstrate career progression to senior level and have eight years' relevant experience are eligible to become Fellows of ICSA.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Company Secretary that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
16 Park Crescent
London
W1B 1AH
Tel: 020 7580 4741
www.icsa.org.uk

Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC)
51 Gresham Street
London
EC2V 7HO
Tel: 020 7216 7366
www.fssc.org.uk

Courses to help you become a Company Secretary