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4 Signs You Need to Revamp Your Statutory Reporting Process

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November 6, 2020

When you’re heads down preparing statutory reports, it’s such a relief when you finally come up for air. It’s during this time when you have some clarity you can begin to analyze what worked well and what caused the most stress—and you start to think about process improvements.

But how do you know if your global statutory reporting process really needs to change? Are the challenges that your team faces simply normal issues every company must deal with, or are they clear indicators that it's time to find a better way to work? 

If the signs below sound familiar, then it’s probably time for you to revamp your statutory reporting process.

1. You have nightmares about traditional spreadsheets

Example: Fexco

Problem: The process to produce the statutory financial statements for more than 35 companies relied heavily on traditional spreadsheets, and it wasn’t scalable.

“We had a very manual process. We were populating legacy documents based on a set of more than 35 files with different formatting across each company and file. This led to a lot of inconsistencies in first drafts, and we wasted so much time formatting documents and checking for errors rather than focusing on the content of the statutory accounts,” said Niamh Christie, Senior Group Accountant, Fexco.

Solution: Fexco migrated the preparation of their statutory financial statements to the cloud with Workiva through a connected end-to-end process centrally administered by the statutory accounting team.

After: Over a 12-week period, Fexco saved 1,000 hours, including 500 hours for the statutory reporting team and approximately 15 hours for each of the accountants of their more than 35 companies.

2. Your legal entity reporting cycle is inefficient and unreliable

Example: National Grid

Problem: The team at National Grid wanted to transform the process to produce their statutory financial statements in order to shorten their reporting cycle, improve the consistency of their reports, and drive collaboration.

Solution: To address this challenge, National Grid searched for a solution that would help them manage and standardize the global reporting process in one platform. They ultimately found Workiva to help them with their goals.

After: With Workiva, National Grid shortened their reporting cycle and improved collaboration with key stakeholders, such as their tax team and auditors. Since their data is now connected throughout, they built trust and confidence in their data and reports.

“Despite the fact that it was our first year, and we had all the challenges caused by the lockdown, we still managed to shorten our reporting cycle and improve the efficiency throughout our reporting process,” said Katie Davies, Financial Reporting Manager, National Grid.

3. Overtime keeps stacking up

Example: European bank

Problem: Extra hours at a large banking institution were adding up—both financially for the company and physically and mentally for team members. With this in mind, a senior manager was asked to save an extra six weeks on an already shortened timeline for statutory reporting across 80 entities.

Solution: The company selected Workiva for global statutory reporting in part due to the transparency of the product and the ability to connect and link reports.

After: The bank reduced the need for long hours during the reporting cycle, leading to projected savings of half the bank's overtime costs. Overall, the bank shortened statutory reporting timelines by weeks, impressing stakeholders with the fast implementation and extremely short learning curve.

4. Your audit fees are scary

Example: U.S.-based insurance company

Problem: The audit process for this insurance company was costly and time-consuming. Since the company had just gone through an expedited IPO, the audit firm had a difficult time getting all the support they needed, and they struggled to understand the processes the company was using.

Solution: With Workiva, the company fundamentally transformed their processes, making both internal teams and their audit firm more productive and effective.  

With all documentation and stakeholders working together in one platform with a complete audit trail, the time required for their audit was drastically reduced.

After: As a result of the company’s transformation with Workiva, they were able to reduce their audit fees by $300,000 annually.

Any of these sound familiar?

If you found yourself nodding throughout this article, then it might just be time to revamp your global statutory reporting process. Get in touch with us, and share the sign that’s making you think it’s time for a change.

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