A board package should contain matters pertinent to strategic oversight and development.
The basic components should be (1) what happened in the past quarter/year, (2) where we are now as part of our overall roadmap and business objectives, and (3) how do we move from here toward our mid- and long-term goals?
A business owner or management should keep in mind that this package should serve to help the board of directors help the company.
Common and fundamental components of a package would be:
- Minutes from prior meeting
- Current financial statements and analysis
- The numbers are clearly important but so is the analysis. The “so what?” is a key component of financial reporting. P&L, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, etc.
- Summary of business development
- Updates on sales leads, clients, opportunities, risks, etc.
- Package should outline both quantitative and qualitative plans for the coming year (or other time frames). Section should contain changes from prior budget and explanation for variances. Included should be projections for sales, expenses, margins, headcount, etc.
- FY plans
- This should include any pertinent notes having to do with key parts/drivers of business, including material decisions pending, new opportunities, any changes in marketplace environment, any key risks or headwinds the company is seeing, etc.
It is crucial to have the right materials in a package that gets presented to the board. Care must be taken to ensure that the materials are presented with appropriate levels of detail and that both opportunities and challenges are coming through in the deck. Keep in mind that the purpose of this package is to help the board help the company, and each component should serve a purpose toward that end.