7 Duties Of A Secretary And 4 Secretarial Job Positions

Updated 25 February 2023

Secretaries are an integral part of companies as they reduce the administrative and management load of the managing committee. They look after records, organise and collect minutes of meetings, help in communication between high-level, in-house authorities and clients and are the reference point for committee members. Understanding the responsibilities of a secretary may help you discover their importance in an organisational setup and how they are crucial employees in ensuring the smooth functioning of record keeping and correspondence filing based on the hiring organisation's dynamics.

In this article, we learn about the duties, skills and few job opportunities as a secretary.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

Duties Of A Secretary

The duties of a secretary can range from preparing meeting agendas, sharing insights and conclusive discussions from these meetings, preparing members to respond to queries brought up in previous meetings and creating reports of various organisational activities. Many secretaries may also be responsible for managing databases of clients and employees, which includes regular updating of details, whether for in-office or out-of-office information. Another critical duty can be fact-checking across the company's governing paperwork and making sure they conduct all activities in compliance with regulatory bodies.

Additional Duties Of A Secretary

Here are some duties a secretary may have to execute:

Communication between committee members

Secretaries may require managing inter-departmental communication between managers or between employees assigned as the point of contact. They also collect and record such communication specifics to offer reference material in case of future queries. For data preservation purposes, even the replies to inter-committee correspondence may go through safekeeping to store a thorough record of the entire communication chain. Company secretaries also double-check whether the key points of the messages exchanged are understood and suggest asking relevant questions to increase communication efficiency. Such duties may expose secretaries to VIP information and thus, requires attention to detail.

Related: Accountant Roles And Responsibilities: A Complete Guide

Formulating presentations and reports

As secretaries work closely with the managing committee, they may need to research, plan, and design presentations prepared for essential meetings. Such tasks come with a significant level of responsibility, as you may be the last editor of the presentation. Any inaccurate details, poor font, faulty image placement or broken links can reduce the presentations' effectiveness. Similarly, secretaries may create reports on employee efficiency, company performance, expenditure in comparison with revenue and customer satisfaction statistics. While preparing such reports requires an excellent knowledge of numbers, it may also demand analytical thinking for logical conclusions.

Supervising new employees

As a company secretary, you may interact with new hires regularly to get them accustomed to in-house practices and company workflows. Apart from guiding them for a smoother onboarding experience, you may supervise their actions, ability to meet deadlines and dedication to work. Depending on your analysis, you can suggest recruitment teams modify the onboarding process and give them reasoning regarding why new employees are struggling to perform. If your advice is making sense and supported by proof, there is a chance recruitment decisions might account for your opinions.

Related: What Is An Administrative Assistant? (With Career Advice)

Managing calendars and scheduling meetings

Committee members usually inform secretaries about their daily work schedule, mainly to take their assistance in organising their day. Knowing their senior's schedule is beneficial when planning their calendars and coordinating meetings with clients or in-house teams. Moreover, secretaries also give attendance confirmations for their seniors in case of corporate events. If their superior gets busy, they may have to cancel their confirmation and fill in the vacant time in their calendar with another priority meeting or pending task after the superior's approval. Also, an ability to reorganise meetings and adapt to others' schedules can help any secretary.

Executing new administrative systems

The secretary might execute any developments or updates to the existing administrative system. Whether it is a new software, a tailored software update, addition of new features to track employee and company metrics or collaboration with third-party companies to extract insightful information from administration-based data, secretaries may look after the inclusion and application of such processes. Often, only after several meetings with key decision-makers of the company can the secretary be sure about the goal and methodology to handle these systems.

Complying with legal requirements

As the company's legal and governing documents are imperative when filing taxes, hiring and firing employees, signing contracts, and expanding teams, secretaries are typically responsible for periodically guarding and authenticating these documents. Secretaries study any changes in government policies or organisations regulating the activity of your company's domain of operation. Suppose their learnings indicate a significant change in policies. In that case, they may have to re-initiate paperwork and communicate with a team of legal professionals to understand the potential impact of these changes. All the insights they collect are further shared with authoritative members at higher posts in the organisation.

Maintaining records effectively

Amongst the secretarial duties of these professionals, gathering, organising and offering hassle-free accessibility of records is another one. This can include adding and modifying email addresses, phone numbers and office or home addresses of clients, vendors and third-party collaborators that contribute to your office workload regularly. Many records may contain information of relevant officers and officials that assist in providing in-office services related to electricity, water supply, kitchen functionality, security, wi-fi and even essentials such as printing paper and ink. If secretaries can create a system that offers convenient ways of referring to this information, offices can run smoothly.

Related: What Is An Executive Assistant? A Guide To This Profession

Jobs As A Secretary In India

Here are a few jobs posts you can apply for to become a secretary in India:

1. Secretarial Assistant

National average salary: ₹19,679 per month

Primary responsibilities: Secretarial assistants work in close collaboration with the main secretary and help them in correspondence tasks, research for drafting reports and organising documents. They may make travel arrangements after studying their superior's schedule and verifying the bookings with the main secretary head. In many cases, such assistants help secretaries plan the accommodation and agendas at specific conferences and communicate with the travelling authority to check if they require special arrangements. Secretarial assistants also maintain the calendars of their allocated supervisors and remind them of their high priority duties, calls, paperwork and meetings.

2. Secretary Supervisor

National average salary: ₹44,817 per month

Primary responsibilities: While also performing the duties of a secretary, these supervisors oversee how additional secretaries are functioning and guide them to improve their management and communication styles. As a secretarial supervisor, you may be responsible for ensuring all the secretaries are doing an efficient job and making the management and administrative tasks of the company much easier. Chances are, you may be present for meetings with more responsible teams and conduct audits to analyse the activities of the secretarial team. As dignitaries can be present, they expect you to be fluent, clear and result-oriented in your approach.

3. Secretary

National average salary: ₹23,371 per month

Primary responsibilities: The responsibilities of a secretary may include database cleansing and management, noting meeting minutes and sharing them with the attendees, filing legal, financial and administrative papers and organising groups meetings based on the availability of the required employees. They study the purpose of a meeting beforehand and produce an agenda that helps accomplish the purpose and assign everyone new tasks which contribute to the end goal. Secretaries regulate their manager's timetable and prioritise workload based on the manager's preference. If the manager demands postponing a meeting or task, secretaries ensure to reschedule and inform the concerned parties.

Related: What Are The Best Corporate Certifications To Get The Job?

4. Senior Secretary

National average salary: ₹41,515 per month

Primary responsibilities: Senior secretaries may offer comprehensive secretarial support to department heads, organisational leads and high authority staff who are exceptionally busy with critical tasks. As they have experience in secretarial matters, they may require studying budget allocation and resources the company spent their budget on. A few more duties of theirs can include deciding and regulating payrolls based on performance, managing billing receipts, checking, accepting and recording invoices and creating purchase or sales orders. While some senior secretaries may transcribe dictations, others may require drafting detailed proposals, contracts, documents or letters.

Skills Which May Help A Secretary

Here are some skills which may assist you in becoming a reputed secretary:

  • Communicating clearly with high-level employees and ensuring all information transfers occur without discrepancies

  • Proficient with managing calendars, shifting meetings, reassigning dates and informing relevant authorities

  • Accounting expertise to keep a check on revenue, daily expenses, debts, invoices and additional financial factors

  • Good listening skills while noting meeting minutes and attention to detail while revising and structuring the minutes

  • Strong memory regarding the location of files, deadlines, reminders for managers and timely uploading or physical submission of governing documents

  • Professional letter writing etiquette to maintain a reputable company image while writing to contractors, vendors, clients and partner companies

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