My first job was as a Company Secretary in an Accounting firm. I consider this as my first job because the other small time jobs that lasted less than a year don’t count. This one lasted 3-5 years, I think.

This is different from a private secretary’s position but many people get confused when they hear the word “secretary”. It is also different when you are Company Secretary for a corporation compared to being a Company Secretary in an accounting firm. In an accounting firm you are company secretary to many corporations not just one.

I remember one of my tasks was to do company searches for companies. I would often go to the Registrar of Companies to queue up, get a number, then go into a separate room like a library to copy down all the information like the directors and shareholding etc from a given file. It was all very err…. manual. Then I would take the info back to the office, type it out and give it to the client for a fee. People sometimes check on the backgrounds of who is behind a certain company for various reasons.

Another thing I did was to form shelf companies. We would appoint ourselves as directors, then form a RM2 company ie RM1 share of each shareholder, then do a general M&A (Memorandum of Association) and do all the necessary filings with the Registrar of Companies. Then we would sell those companies to anyone who wants to set up business as a corporation. We would change the directorship, transfer the shares and sometimes change the name and M&A of the company to reflect the client’s new business. This way the client gets to “buy” an instant company without doing any paperwork. Then they can concentrate on running the business immediately. In those days, it was very cheap to own a company like this. It was around RM1,800. Imagine that, for that sum you can be the director and shareholder of your own company. 🙂

In order to form a company, we would first have to think of a name for it. A unique name. Then do a research to see if that name is available. You’d really have to think of something different because when you conduct searches for names, you’ll find that almost everything you can think of is there. Haha. I used to think of beautiful names (Ahem) like “Mutiara Abadi Sdn Bhd” (That means Pure/True Pearl) but sometimes my boss would come up with names like “Gembira Bahagia Sdn Bhd” and have me laughing real hard. I remember we did go ahead with Gembira Bahagia even though I thought it was a ridiculous name for a company. Haha. He’s the boss mah. A good name was very important too because sometimes people don’t want the hassle of changing names so they would just stick with the shelf company name and they would choose one that they thought sound good.

The rest of the time, we just did annual filings for companies and company resolutions. A company is a separate legal entity so it must have a resolution for whatever it is that it wants to do, whether its to buy an asset or appoint a director. Everything must have a resolution on paper and file as a record. And so thats what we did. We also made sure that the company files its accounts to the Registrar of Companies on time.

These are jobs that are done by a small fry Company Secretary. The job of a big time Company Secretary is very different. You often have to sit in board meetings to advise the directors and shareholders. Once, when I tagged along with my boss, I decided that this job was not for me when I saw him struggling to maintain peace among the quibbling partners who comprised of locals and Japanese. How boring and stressful, I thought and thats how I moved on towards Organising Conferences instead. End of story. Hehe.

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