Laura Arterburn, Senior Director of Reporting and Technical Accounting, Workiva
I love the Workiva platform (and I’m not just saying that because I also work for Workiva). In my seven years at Workiva, I’ve been involved with our initial public offering, expanding internationally into various countries with statutory reporting requirements, becoming SOX compliant, and managing a steady stream of internal and external audit requests, in addition to adopting some pretty big accounting standards (ASC 606 and ASC 842). Throughout all of this, we’ve had a lot of opportunities to use the Workiva platform to help make us more efficient and provide more visibility across teams
Here are a few areas where Workiva has streamlined processes for my team:
SEC reporting: Our accounting, FP&A, legal, investor relations, and corporate communication teams use one set of connected documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to manage our quarterly earnings process. With one spreadsheet of actual and historical numbers (our SEC workbook) and one spreadsheet of forecasted numbers and other metrics (our FP&A workbook), we link to all of our filing documents, our earnings press release, presentations (investor, board, management, etc.), and earnings call script. This provides our financial reporting team and management with confidence that there’s a single source of the truth for all numbers being reported.
Technical accounting memos/new accounting pronouncements: Using Wdesk documents, we track all of our accounting technical memos for things like new pronouncements and new significant/unusual agreements. Not only can we link all sign-offs to one master tracking spreadsheet (providing visibility into progress), but it makes for a seamless review process with the ability to comment, track changes, and blackline. For technical memos with underlying calculations, we support the memos with spreadsheets. For example, ASC 842 (the new leasing standard) had a separate schedule for each lease. We were able to drop these into one spreadsheet and use cross-sheet formulas to summarize all data and disclosures. This provides visibility to everyone involved in the process and a clear audit trail of documentation.
Audit requests/PBC lists: We use spreadsheets to track all audit requests. Everything can be tracked by date, which allows for greater visibility into what’s open. Since our auditors have access to the Workiva platform, they can easily add new requests into the spreadsheet and tag people in comments to notify them.
- Global statutory reporting: As we’ve continued to grow globally with foreign audit and statutory reporting requirements, we’ve used the Workiva platform to track all adjustments to our trial balance (GAAP to STAT), ultimately feeding our statutory report. Our auditors have access to our documents, and we use spreadsheets (with attachments) to provide all support. They love the commenting feature, which gives them the ability to ask questions back and forth with the Workiva team. This helps us centralize everything in one place, so we can more easily track progress and keep a handle on all the audits taking place.
This list is certainly not all-inclusive! Any time we’re tracking something or want a second set of eyes on it, we use the Workiva platform. This allows for collaboration and transparency across teams. These are just a few of the many reasons I love Workiva.