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.
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.
To be a chartered secretary you should:
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.
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