Amplify GO: 2,385 Attendees, 7 Takeaways, 1 Virtual Event
The work-from-home contingent is in full force. This was evidenced by the 2,385 accounting, finance, risk, and compliance professionals who logged in to Amplify GO on March 24–25, making it the largest virtual connected reporting and compliance event of the year.
If you missed the initial stream, here’s a look at our top seven takeaways and a hint of what you’ll get when you watch or listen on demand.
1. Financial viability requires following best practices, especially in uncertain times.
With so many large-scale events being canceled and many teams working remotely, executives and employees are exploring ways to conduct training virtually to keep skills sharp. Amplify GO delivered best practices and practical peer advice on a variety of critical reporting and internal controls topics that continue to matter, even while offices are closed.
After all, if an organization fails to follow through on its commitment to continuity and compliance, the stakes are high:
- Up to 28 percent of finance chiefs are no longer with their firms between three and nine months of a financial restatement
- Audit fees can go up, and stock prices can fall for companies with a material weakness
2. Technology helps people get their critical work done wherever, whenever.
Amplify GO streamers said their organizations are investing in systems of record like ERPs, business intelligence applications, big data and analytics applications, and automation.
Some also use tools like Wdata to automatically pull and refresh data from source systems, so someone doesn't have to manually update spreadsheets line by line. Roughly 40 percent of Amplify GO attendees who took our survey said automating data aggregation with Wdata would have the greatest impact on their work.
Meanwhile, some teams are accelerating peer research to inform their disclosures by using platforms like Sentieo.
3. First, streamline. Then, automate.
"If you try to reverse this order, you end up automating an inefficient process. That's not going to give you the max potential time-savings," said Brian Simms, Financial Reporting Manager for Fannie Mae, during the Amplify GO keynote The Connected Organization.
4. Leaders are embracing a culture of continuous improvement.
“They must be open to change and be willing to adapt and leverage technology and leverage their perspectives to challenge the status quo," said Joel Macholan, Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) for Wintrust, at the Workiva customer roundtable.
"We’re at a crossroads in terms of some of the things that we are able to do with technology. And, I ask my team to always review why they’re doing something, and if there’s a better way to do it or if it still needs to be even done.”
5. Digital transformation success starts by being human.
"Having people on your team who have the interest in learning new skills, have the desire to create a better process, is really key to your success," Brian said.
One lesson his team learned in terms of transforming processes was the importance of embracing failure. "When you start down this journey, you're going to try things that you think are going to work, and they're just not," Brian said. "Something's either going to break, or it's just not going to be the best practice."
Embracing failure is a fundamental shift from the mindset you need for accounting, but it's one that can help more rapidly improve your processes.
6. Peers provide the best insights.
Often, the best advice comes from people who have been in your shoes. Three Workiva platform users from organizations of various sizes spoke during the customer roundtable, “Customer Reflections: Financial Reporting Readiness in the New Decade.” To hear their stories and the lessons they learned, watch Amplify GO on demand.
7. Amplify GO had something for everyone in risk, compliance, finance, and accounting.
The virtual event offered a variety of sessions for long-time Workiva platform users and newcomers alike, including:
- Using Intelligent Data to Increase Trust in Disclosures, featuring speakers from Sentieo
- Connecting the Three Lines of Defense with Workiva
- The Connected Close with Workiva and BlackLine
- The Impact of Centralization on Your Global Reporting Process with Workiva
- Journey to a World-Class Close: The Intel Story
- Wdata: Increased Confidence in Your SEC Reporting
If you have any questions regarding Amplify GO or any of the content, please email our webinar team.
The Illustrated Guide to Connecting Your Financial Close Process
Learn the 5 steps for connecting internal reporting.