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Less Confounding Rounding: Introducing Workiva’s Rounding Template

Rounding Template Blog Image
August 25, 2021

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject: rounding. Exciting, right? Well, it is a lot more exciting now—not to mention exponentially easier—with Workiva’s new Rounding Template. The Rounding Template automates the process of rounding in your reporting, helping you to avoid mistakes and errors.

We've had the opportunity to share many iterations of rounding in our customer demonstrations for several years. The basis of this template came from the hundreds of examples of rounding processes we've witnessed while working with customers on their reporting strategies and challenges. 

To be clear, rounding shouldn’t be an informal or quick decision; it should be purposeful. Genuinely innovative organizations have a consistent methodology across internal and external reports to help eliminate misunderstandings and prevent significant misrepresentations. 

With the ever-increasing reach of a global economy, rounding efforts can become even more challenging, especially when working with multiple currencies and regulations. It's important to have a documented policy to explain how your rounding strategy works.

Why good rounding matters

Because rounding has consequences on the accuracy of financial reporting, it can lead to inaccurate information being reported or discovered later by auditors. And that can often result in fines from regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Rounding is most important where an organization's financial data is the most visible—we’re talking external-facing teams like financial reporting and investor relations. A rounded balance must be the same and consistent in all areas. For example, the accounts receivable balance may appear in 10 different locations in an external presentation or filing.

But rounding holds significance internally too, and many organizations have created checks to assure their internal analysis and reports reconcile to externally reported numbers. 

Meet your favorite new rounding tool in the Workiva Marketplace

Rounding adds consistency, transparency, and control to your organization's process. Depending on your dataset, you can generally round individual numbers, but more commonly, you are probably looking at complete financial statements (i.e., balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, etc.). 

This Rounding Template will simplify your rounding efforts, and it has been tweaked, edited, and improved upon based on real-world rounding processes. Here’s how it works:

  1. Gather data for line items, add adjustments, and then help validate that your footing still works. 
  2. The template demonstrates how you can consolidate into a summarized spreadsheet with a rounding/adjustment column. 
  3. Then link it to everything from your management reports to your 10-K—boom, rounded!

 

About the Author

Chuck joined Workiva in late 2019 as a Senior Technical Engineer, where he focuses on developing and bringing new concepts to life using an approach that helps customers to solve their intelligence challenges with the entire Workiva platform. His current mission is to demonstrate how the office of the CIO, and various other departments that often lay outside of Finance and Accounting arena, can leverage Wdata to solve their toughest problems.

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