What Sent a Securities Company to the Cloud

data security in the cloud blog
February 26, 2014

Whatever you choose to call it—the Information Age, Computer Age, Digital Age, New Media Age—we're all currently living in one of the most productive and fast-paced times in history.

New, custom designed technologies have been positively influencing manufacturing and services immensely over the past two decades. And as we become a global knowledge society, with tiny computers in our handbags and pockets, it's about time for financial professionals to finally feel this relief.

Increasingly, new insights are being published about how financial processes are improving through SaaS (software as a service) solutions and cloud-based applications. Customized and nimble platforms are being created to meet the very specific needs of the financial reporting industry, making reporting more efficient and more convenient in every way.

A Forbes article, "Why The Financial Technology Revolution Is Only Just Getting Started" by Brian Ascher, addresses the challenges of financial professionals, such as complex changes to banking, and payment, tax, investment, and financial disclosure regulations. These challenges make the environment "ripe" for a disruption, and available technology and talent makes now a good time to challenge the status quo, Ascher writes.

In recent piece by Tony Kontzer from TechTarget, "Tangential financial systems seen as gateway to the cloud," he agrees that the trend in SaaS financial applications is picking up speed. Kontzer highlights a company who found that Wdesk provides better functionality, more security, additional time for analysis, a boost to employee morality, and even less cost.

The positive effects are being felt in other departments as well. Legal and investor relations both benefit from improved financial reports for their own internal purposes and find it easy to work in the application side by side with the SEC reporting team.

Here are three ways Wdesk sent the multibillion dollar securities company, mentioned in the TechTarget article, to the cloud:

  • Making simple changes to data in one step, not five or more
  • Eliminating the pencils down period
  • Gaining efficiencies and saving on extraneous costs

1. Simplicity through technology

Last-minute changes and version control issues may happen in any business reporting environment, but in the financial industry, these headaches are magnified greatly. Top those issues off with EDGAR, XBRL, and the SEC filing calendar, and you get one of the most stressful jobs around.

Wdesk solves each of these issues by giving business reporting professionals controlled flexibility. Complex reports are created easily and quickly when you're given the ability to link numbers across spreadsheets, documents, charts and graphs, and presentations. You can even link text that may appear in multiple locations. Having this function at your fingertips drastically improves accuracy and reduces errors significantly.

But what about EDGAR and XBRL? They are included as a part of Wdesk, and it is all backed by customer service support that has one most highly rated customer satisfaction scores in the technology industry.

2. No more pencils down

Waiting days to get back a proof of your report is unacceptable. Are you like the company in Kontzer's article? Have you been told by a financial printer that no changes are allowed to be made to your report in the final three days before filing?

With Wdesk, those days are gone, giving you back valuable time. The back-and-forth changes between you and a financial printer are no longer a part of the process. It is now a reality that reports can be submitted directly to the SEC with the click of a button. Make a change right before filing. No problem. And now that all companies are liable for XBRL, you'll be confident in your tags.

3. Saving time and money

When it comes to developing advanced technologies that can help users in their daily lives, Wdesk has become a clear leader. Not only does it help humans, it helps bottom lines too. Altera Corporation, a current Wdesk customer, reports a cost savings of up to $40,000 annually. And companies gain days on filing timelines thanks to the elimination of third-party printers. You really can have it all—more time, less costs, less stress, more accuracy, and more analysis. Thousands of companies experience company-wide savings every day.

See more success stories that come directly from real customers right here.

These are the primary ways Wdesk makes complex reports easier. However, there are countless small features built into the application that make reports come together quicker and with more accuracy.

Seeing this overall trend in finance merge with technology becoming more prevalent makes us happy to be a part of all business reporting industries. Wdesk has contributed to this movement and is helping to improve the lives of thousands of business reporting professionals constantly plagued by revolving deadlines.

This is just the beginning for business reporting professionals. The future looks bright and the possibilities are endless. Customer feedback will continually be pouring into Wdesk, improving it as new updates, mandates, and rules emerge. It's an exciting time to be at the forefront of the technology industry fusing with the financial industry. We like to call it the Wdesk Age.

Mike Sellberg

About the author

Mike Sellberg is Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Workiva. He is the former EVP and CTO at iMed Studios and the former Divisional General Manager at Engineering Animation, Inc.