List 6 Reasons for Taking Accurate Minutes (A list)

In this brief guide, we will look at a list of 6 reasons for taking accurate minutes in a meeting, as well as some other things related to having a successful meeting.

List of 6 Reasons for Taking Accurate Minutes

Here is a list of 6 reasons for taking accurate minutes in a meeting:

  • They provide structure
  • They provide legal protection
  • They offer the people who are absent crucial information
  • They help keep track of projects and developments
  • They help solve conflicts if they arise in the future
  • They help provide a reference for the next meeting

Of all the reasons for taking accurate minutes in a meeting, quite possibly one of the most relevant ones is that they offer tremendous legal protection in cases where there is eventually a conflict of some kind, and the minutes can be used to resolve this sort of thing.

Meeting Minutes refer to a collection of important details about the meeting that is usually recorded by an assistant or a professional minute taker, and these are something that should not be ignored because they often help keep the business in line with state laws.

Furthermore, accurate minutes from a meeting can also be very helpful in cases of figuring out tax returns of the business or the individuals. Accurate Minutes of a meeting also represent the actions of the Board and company leadership and they are so important in any organization that they are considered to be legal documents by auditors, the IRS, and the courts. 

This is the reason why taking accurate minutes in a meeting is so fundamental, and even legal experts agree that when there is an action taken in a meeting which is not put down in the form of minutes from the meeting, it is as good as considering that the meeting didn’t happen at all.

Another good reason for taking accurate minutes in a meeting is that they provide structure to the meeting, and help specify everything that has happened in the meeting, despite the fact that there is no standardized format for meeting minutes. The IRS and the courts always tend to refer to the meeting minutes in case they need to understand what was said or decided in the meeting, which is why it is so important to have these minutes down to explain the structure of the meeting.

When a meeting is taking place, it can be very beneficial to define how the attendees in that meeting arrived at reasonable decisions during the meeting, and for this purpose, it is crucial that the minute-taker take them down in a structured way. For this reason, experts always recommend that the structure or format of the minutes of a meeting does not vary too much and stays the same so that it can be understood better even by the people who were not there in the meeting.

Accurate minutes of the meeting are also important because they often drive action, and there is a high likelihood that they may help create a bridge of action between the leadership team and employees. 

Accurate minutes of the meeting also help clarify all the information surrounding the meeting and the action plan that was decided upon in the meeting like the how, when, why, and by whom, regarding the decisions that were made. 

Minutes of the meeting essentially end up mapping out a concrete plan for the action items, and based on how well they are taken in the future meetings, they can also serve as kind of a measuring stick to see how far the company and the team have come.

Minutes of a meeting also help specify who took what decisions and how the certain plans that have been put in place came about, in cases of conflicts regarding the minutes in the future.

What are Minutes in a Meeting?

Meeting minutes, also called mom, which stands for minutes of the meeting, is a record of all the things that have happened during a meeting, and this is usually written down by a single person who uses a specific format. 

Minutes of a meeting is used to inform people who did and didn’t attend the meeting about what happened, and often they also serve as valuable tools meant to keep track of what was decided during the meeting, in case one wants to go back and look through them and figure out how the team came to a certain conclusion.

There are five steps involved in the taking of accurate minutes of a meeting:

  • Pre-Planning
  • Record taking – at the meeting
  • Minutes writing or transcribing
  • Distributing or sharing of meeting minutes
  • Filing or storage of minutes for future reference

Advantages and Disadvantages of Meetings

Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of meetings:

Advantages:

  • They provide concrete opportunities to solve problems for the entire team where everyone can be heard at the same time
  • They make the members of the entire team feel included and heard, which improves communication and the ability to work well together.
  • They help get everyone aligned and on the same page about a topic
  • Many people also find the idea of working together as a team relaxing compared to doing independent work 

On the contrary, here are some disadvantages of meetings:

  • Meetings take a lot of time to conduct and get through and they may not always be that important.
  • They also take time away from being productive
  • Sometimes people who go to meetings may not necessarily need to be there
  • Some people in the meeting may end up dominating the conversation so the others don’t feel heard.
  • Decisions taken in the meeting may not get recorded and therefore be discarded soon after the meeting

How to Deal with Inaccuracies in Minutes of Meetings?

Here is how one may deal with inaccuracies in minutes of meetings:

  • The team may try to refer to the personal notes someone else may have taken
  • The disputed idea may be revisited
  • The format of the minutes of meetings may be settled upon and the same thing be used in the future
  • The team may brainstorm what was decided upon together

A legal expert, Don Kramer, also answeres the following question about inaccuracies in minutes of meetings:

“If one of the members of the board of our nonprofit corporation disputes the accuracy and/or thoroughness of the minutes of a board meeting and the Secretary refuses to change them or add the comments, what should the chair of the board do about it?”

The answer to this question about the accuracy of minutes in a meeting is as follows:

“The secretary is not the despotic arbiter of what happened at the meeting.  The secretary may be responsible to see that a draft of the minutes is prepared, but the group should approve the minutes to be sure that they are accurate and thorough.  The board chair should ask for approval at the next subsequent meeting.

If the board thinks that the secretary’s draft is inaccurate or inadequate, it can correct them and cause the corrected version to be filed in the corporate minute book.  

Even if a majority does not think they need amendment, the discussion of the controversy can be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it took place so that a fair representation of the dispute can be permanently maintained.  There is no one correct form of minutes (See Ready Reference Page: “Preparing Minutes of Board Meetings Is Usually More Art Than Science”) but they are part of the historical record of the organization and ought to reflect what actually happened.”

How to take good minutes in a meeting?

Here are some tips on how to take good minutes in a meeting:

  • Have a structure and format that gets followed
  • Make sure you ask for clarification when required
  • Have the same person do the minute-taking
  • Have clarity on what is being decided
  • Record the minutes appropriately
  • Select the right person to take the minutes, that is, someone who is aware, at least superficially, of what will be discussed

One may also want to consider using a professional minute taker in a meeting for the following reasons:

  • They are impartial
  • They know how to maximise the input of information in the minutes
  • There will be no conflicts of interest of biases
  • There will not be a need to take time and attention away from an employee
  • They will know exactly what format to use and the structure that needs to be followed

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at a list of 6 reasons for taking accurate minutes in a meeting, as well as some other things related to having a successful meeting.

If you have any questions or comments about this subject, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): List 6 Reasons for Taking Accurate Minutes

What is the reason for taking and producing minutes of a meeting?

The reason for taking and producing minutes of a meeting is so that there is a record of what was said and decided at the meeting and also ensure that people who were not able to be present at the meeting get to know what was discussed.

Meeting minutes refer to accurate accounts of the proceedings that take place at meetings, in which important details are recorded as specifically as possible, and in which decisions and assignments are also mentioned. Meeting minutes also include any and all references for future meetings and also clarification of previous meeting details.

How can meeting minutes be accurate?

Here are some ways to make meeting minutes accurate:

  • Clarify things where necessary.
  • Mark off attendees after their arrival.
  • Have an attendance list or some kind of introduction.
  • Make sure there are clear, brief notes and not full sentences or verbatim wording.
  • Use a template.
  • Record motions, actions, and decisions as they occur.

What is the purpose of the minutes of a meeting?

The purpose of the minutes of a meeting is to ensure that there is an official record of actions and the fact that a board or committee took at a meeting.

However, minutes of a meeting does not refer to having a record of everything that was said, but more of a historical purpose. In most cases, however, minutes of a meeting are also present for a legal purpose, and they may be used for documenting the group’s adherence to the proper procedures and the association’s bylaws.

Why is it a good idea to prepare extra sets of meeting papers?

It is a good idea to prepare extra sets of meeting papers because there may be more attendees than what the person had planned for initially, or in some cases, there may be a need to revisit the original papers. Also, it is always a good idea to have extra sets of all the information that was shared in the meeting in the form of minutes, in case the original copy is lost or the people who have the minutes of the meeting have not turned up at the next one.

Citations

https://www.gbnews.ch/the-importance-of-taking-meeting-minutes/

https://www.nonprofitissues.com/to-the-point/when-accuracy-minutes-challenged-what-should-board-chair-do

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