Paper is not as reliable as you think!

We cannot deny that the digital era is here to conquer and stay. There is a major proliferation of smart gadgets like phones, tablets and cameras that makes everything easier for you with just one click. This is especially true for those who have a ton of documents to file and wants to do it efficiently.

digital paper

Digital over Paper

Documents and filing has always been under the umbrella of paperwork. A lot of people are still counting on this method to date and we will outline general ways on why it is time to switch your gears to digital mode:

  1. No to Losing Documents

Compared to paper filing, losing documents in digital form is so much harder. This is because you can store a single document in multiple platforms, do it via cloud, your email or through an online storage provider. People still have the fear that computers will fail and documents will be lost. Although this can happen, with a good system in place, it is far less likely than paper. How many receipts do you have that are now blank with the ink faded? How many times have you looked for notes you jointed down on paper? Digital is more reliable, albeit for most less comfortable.

  1. File Documents Easily and Save Room Space

All you need is a laptop or a computer to store files. You don’t need to dedicate an archive room for it like how people used to do. Moreover, it is easier to tag documents in categories using a computer compared to printing and pasting labels on folders.

  1. Search for Files Faster

When looking for a digital file, all you need to do is type the file name or put keywords on the search feature of your gadget, no need to go over piles of paper for hours. It will only take you seconds to do this which saves you time to attend to other important matters.

  1. Clean

Having your files online or on a digital platform is so much cleaner aesthetically. There are no dusts or ununiformed tags. It is more presentable especially if you are in a department that is heavy in meeting clients.

  1. On the Go

Take your files with your wherever you are on the globe! Literally! Scan paper files if you need to and bring them with you during a meeting or a trip abroad.

 

Are you still running your association or not-for-profit on paper? It’s time to make the move to an easier more reliable way. Check out how Process PA makes all the paperwork easier without paper.

Do All Motions Need To Be Moved And Seconded?

The question of “do all motions need to be moved and seconded?” is quite common. The answer is not absolute for all. The reality is that it is customary to move and second motions. But then again it will all depend on the governing rules and regulations of your organization.

If your organization clearly states in its rules and regulations that a seconder is necessary then this must be practiced, otherwise, there is no need to do so.

There can also be situations where it has been customary to have a seconder although it is not required by the organization’s rules and regulations. If this is the case then the common action is to continue with the customary practice. Although, technically speaking, it is the discretion of the chair if the common practice is continued or not.

Colorful hands up - happiness or help concept

Robert’s Rule

Robert’s Rules is a set of instructions that is intended to be a guide for meetings and making decisions as a group. If your organization is following the guidelines in this book, it is important to note that is has stated two exceptions for requiring a seconder for a motion:

  1. Small boards. When a board has less than 12 members, motions do not require a seconder.
  2. When a committee report is given and a motion is moved to implement the report’s recommendations.

Which practice to choose?

Another question raised is to decide whether a seconder rules must be implemented in your organization or not. The smartest move here is to apply the seconder rule. Having a seconder to a motion is a good form of validation in terms of support. It shows that members actually believe in the motion, if there is no seconder, and then it will always be a guessing game as to who actually agrees to a motion that is proposed.

How to Start an Incorporated Association in Queensland

What is an Incorporated Association?

An incorporated association is basically a group of people that is regarded as a person. It is because it has the same responsibilities and benefits like a person does. It is a legal entity that does not change even if its members do.

It can do the following as governed by the law:

  • Own a Land
  • Appear in Court
  • Enter into Contracts

Responsibilities of an Incorporated Association

An incorporated association has duties and responsibilities as well, these include the following:

  • Comply with the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 and the Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999
  • Review its financial affairs every year
  • Lodge copies of its rules, annual returns and financial statements

Starting and Incorporated Association

There are qualifications that must be met before starting to incorporate, these are:

  • Having at least seven (7) members
  • Be a not-for-profit organization
  • Have a physical address in Queensland

After meeting the aforementioned requirements, the next steps should be completed:

Resolution

  1. Propose a resolution to become an incorporated association
  2. Pass the said resolution with ¾ majority vote

Name

The name chosen for the incorporated association must also meet requirements subject for the approval of the Government of Queensland:

  • Contain only English characters (the characters allowed are the letters A to Z, numbers 0 to 9, apostrophes, brackets and full stops)
  • Have the word ´Incorporated´ or the abbreviation ´Inc.´ at the end of the name chosen

The name chosen should not be similar or identical to the following:

  • Another association’s name
  • A business name
  • A cooperative name
  • The name of a company

To check if the name you have in mind, you may check the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s registers. You may do this online by going to this link: http://www.asic.gov.au/

There are restrictions to certain names as well. You cannot choose a name that:

  • May be confused with government agencies, financial institutions or educational institutions
  • Infers an affiliation with the Royal family, ex-servicepersons’ organizations or major sporting events (if that affiliation does not exist).

To review the complete list of restrictions, you may check the Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999.

Set of Rules

Incorporated associations must create a set of guiding rules for its operations. It is also referred to as the “association’s constitution”. Once your association is incorporated, these rules immediately take full effect.

The rules must outline the following:

  • How the association operates
  • What rights are available to members
  • How the management committee works
  • How meetings will run.
  • Get more details about adopting rules
  • You may use the model rules or you can write your own rules.

Set a Management Committee

The rules you have created must outline the process of election of your association’s management committee. It should include the following:

  • How to choose committee members
  • How long the committee members’ term of office is
  • Why a committee position may become vacant
  • How to fill casual vacancies on the committee.
  • The rules should set out how to choose the committee members. The management committee will usually include a president, treasurer and secretary.

Application to the Queensland Government

If the aforementioned requirements or steps have been completed, you can already formally apply to the Queensland Government by:

Fees

Fees to be paid will amount to $148.00 that needs to be settled at the time of lodgments. This is as of this writing, for updated fees you may check out the official website of Queensland Government.

Processing Time

The regular lead time for this type of application is three (3) to four (4) weeks. Unless there is a need to contact the applications for additional requirements or information.

Summary

There are a fair number of steps required to setup an association as shown. Be aware that the ongoing responsibilities and liabilities must also be adhered to.

What makes good meeting minutes?

Taking good meeting minutes contributes greatly in making a meeting effective. It is an important source of information about what transpired during the meeting, especially for those who were not able to attend. Aside from the fact that for many associations, they are legally required to keep minutes of the management committee or board, there are three basic reasons why keeping meeting minutes is important:

  • Memories are unreliable and therefore, written records that includes action items and decisions made are useful references.
  • They drive action. Meeting minutes can be used as reminders for tasks and action items that needs to be accomplished.
  • They serve as metrics. Meeting minutes records goals, strategies and deadlines for such, which makes it a good tool when measuring progress.

document

What are good meeting minutes?

The following are characteristics of good meeting minutes:

1. Records attendance

Good meeting minutes indicates those who were invited before the meeting and those who actually attended.

2. Decisions, actions and owners

It is important to take note of the decisions and action items that were agreed upon during the meeting including their assignees. It is helpful to use a table for this part of the report.

3. Report and relevant files

If there were reports and other files presented during the meeting ensure that copies of these are included in the minutes.

4. Use a structured format

The structure that you use in writing the minutes of the meeting is as important as the information written in it. It is better to start your report with logistical facts that includes the meeting time, date, venue and attendees. Then use the agenda as the outline of your report. State the action items, files and assignees under each agenda item.

5. Distribute the minutes

Ideally, minutes should be sent within 24 hours after the meeting.

When to Motion a report – 3 simple guidelines to follow!

Committee reports are handled differently depending on their content. Motions that relate to reports are often used indiscriminately like motions to adopt or to accept. However, that is often unnecessary.

The following are the basic guiding principles that are generally followed for reports as per Robert’s Rules of Order:

  1. If the report states facts or information for the assembly, then there is no need for a motion. If a motion is to be created, it is only to accept the report, which serves as an endorsement that the assembly is now responsible for it.
  2. If the report contains recommendations that are not technically motions, a motion to adopt recommendations may be passed.
  3. If the report ends with a resolution, then the reporting member should move that the resolutions be adopted.