Financial Reporting & Accounting

Workiva Wdesk: Benefits and Key Attributes

Whether your Company is a private enterprise planning to go public or an existing, publicly traded Company, leveraging a powerful, cloud-based platform like Workiva Wdesk offers a wide range of benefits. It can improve data accuracy, increase productivity and efficiency, manage risk and compliance. It can also streamline the SEC reporting process by using connected data and provide collaborative processes with a high degree of transparency.

Workiva offers solutions for other business needs. This includes: Financial Close Reporting, Tax Reporting, SOX Compliance, Initial Public Offering, Enterprise Risk Management, Management Reporting and Statutory Reporting. However, in my experience, the SEC reporting capability remains the most effective and industry-leading tool available in the market. We’ve created this blog to help you evaluate whether the tool is a good investment of Company time and money. Below are Workiva Wdesk benefits and attributes, specifically for the SEC reporting solution, grouped into two categories:

1. Wdesk helps companies manage SEC requirements.

The SEC reporting solution in Wdesk helps you manage 10Qs, 10Ks, and 8Ks filings, proxy statement, investor relations materials, tax disclosures, SEC staff comment letters and other SEC requirements.

  • You can connect data from disparate sources whether it is structured (e.g., ERP system data) or unstructured (e.g., data in Excel workbooks or Word documents). This eliminates the inefficiencies of manual efforts to manage documents, data and disconnected systems.
  • Financial data are linked and instantly updated across documents, spreadsheets and presentations once the source data is refreshed. This allows for a single consolidated source of truth for data in the reporting ecosystem.
  • Version control and blacklines allow for comparison of documents and revisions by management.
  • Multiple users or team members may work together in the document, make updates and revisions, write and resolve commentary, and share changes simultaneously and in real-time. This allows collaborative document and content management in one central location.
  • Data access is controlled by having the ability to monitor access and restrict permissions from the document down to the section level.
  • Legal, investor relations, tax, accounting and other teams as needed can collaborate and work together in one single system.
  • Full history and audit trail provide visibility into each change, as well as accountability and transparency throughout the reporting process.
  • You can simplify the painstaking and time consuming issue of formatting documents manually in Word or Excel. Users are able to easily create consistency in things like font, table size, header, footer, number accuracy (e.g., decimal values), and date. This shaves hours, if not days, form the reporting process for more “value-added” analysis work that would otherwise require additional resourcing.

2. Workiva Wdesk ensures XBRL and iXBRL quality.

Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is used for standardized reporting of business information, especially that relating to a Company’s financial performance for key stakeholders and investors. Inline Extensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) adds a rendering layer to the data. Wdesk’s SEC Reporting solution lets you ensure the quality of both.

  • Leverage a single system to manage the entire process from close to tagging data.
  • Simultaneously review EDGAR document, disclosure tags and fact properties.
  • Use validation checks that look at the meaning of the tags used from a business and accounting perspective to help identify errors.
  • Roll documents forward to help ensure XBRL and iXBRL tags are consistent with those filed in previous quarters.
  • Simplify the annual US GAAP taxonomy update process to comply with SEC requirements.
  • Allow XBRL to be done in-house, outsourced to an experienced Workiva customer success manager or select a combination of both depending on your business needs.

My Summary of Workiva Wdesk Benefits

Having Workiva Wdesk as a reporting tool at your Company can help you substantially reduce reporting time, gain confidence in the accuracy of your data and final report output, and protect your Company brand and personal credibility.

As a prior Wdesk user, I also find value in the ongoing education Workiva provides its clients. Business and regulatory requirements constantly change and evolve. Workiva offers continued education by providing an extensive library of value-added content, ongoing training, and nationwide events. This helps users expand their knowledge on SEC reporting, XBRL taxonomy updates and industry best practices. Over the years, Workiva has consistently made significant product improvements and enhancements to its Wdesk features and continues to be the market leader in the SEC reporting space.

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