Why Customers Choose Workiva and the Cloud: Efficiency

Why Customers Choose Workiva and the Cloud: Efficiency
February 5, 2019

Finance, accounting, risk, and compliance professionals have given us many reasons for choosing Workiva. In this blog series, we are exploring each of 10 top reasons organizations are moving their reporting and compliance to the cloud.

Imagine you are on a pit crew for a race car driver gunning for the finish line. It makes no sense to pump gas, clean the windshield, and change tires one task at a time.

No one is going to win that way.

Yet back-office professionals in accounting, finance, and compliance racing toward deadlines are often asked to wait their turn to work on PC-based spreadsheets or documents. How many times have you sent an email to your colleagues asking, “Are you done yet?”

Those logjams are a big part of why more and more organizations are moving their reporting to the cloud. IDC, a market intelligence firm in the technology space, predicts worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will total $277 billion in 2021, up from its forecast of $160 billion in 2018.

The key is choosing a cloud solution that takes efficiency one step further. For example, the big-data software firm Cloudera brought Workiva on board so it could be more efficient—not just in financial reporting but also in its IPO process.

The company was able to save days by eliminating manual tasks, handwritten notes, and back-and-forth with the working group, all thanks to the cloud. "Moving from traditional printers to Workiva was like going from typewriter to computer," said Cloudera Chief Financial Officer Jim Frankola.

Efficiency is just one of many reasons customers like Jim tell us they choose Workiva and the cloud.

Reason Number 7: Efficiency

The cloud helps streamline the record-to-report (R2R) process for everyone involved. Teams can work on the latest version of a document simultaneously. And, instead of double-checking numbers or tracking down evidence, focus can go toward executing more skilled tasks and delivering deeper analysis.

The amount of data being handled also continues to grow, with IDC predicting that the world will create and replicate 163 zettabytes of data annually by 2025. Increased scalability of the cloud makes it possible to manage large volumes of data without crashing. That's fewer headaches for you and your colleagues.

Eddie Holt, a Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance manager in the food and beverage industry, remembers what his team’s processes looked like before the cloud. Information across his company was gathered, mostly manually, in desktop-based word-processing and spreadsheet applications. Then, it was stored in a separate document management program. Finally, it was reported using a desktop-based program for presentations.

Tracking changes in the company’s 2,000-line control spreadsheet was "a nightmare," Eddie said. “You were never really sure if somebody changed something and you didn’t know about it." That uncertainty came to an end when the company transformed its reporting in the cloud.

How Workiva delivers efficient reporting

Eddie says what may have tipped the scale for choosing Workiva was the blacklining function within the cloud solution delivered by Workiva. Users not only see a robust audit trail of revisions, but they can also create a blackline between any two versions to quickly see what has changed.

“The ability to see what was changed, who changed it, and when was a huge factor," Eddie said.

Other time-saving features that customers love:

  • Linking: Connecting data allows you to change information at the source and see it automatically update across all linked instances. Imagine updating a disclosure once and knowing that it has changed across hundreds of pages of your regulatory filings.
  • Customizable style guides: Built-in style guides create consistency in tables, charts, graphs, and reports. That means your team can focus on the numbers and analysis, not making sure the font is correct.
  • Dashboards: Real-time dashboards let managers see progress on tasks at a glance. No more tapping people on the shoulder for a status check.

Watch this blog for more stories from Workiva customers who have unleashed the power of connected reporting to become more efficient. If you want to know more right away, you can request a demo.

Keep your stories coming. I can't wait to hear them.

Mitz Banarjee

About the author

Mitz Banarjee is the Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. Over the past 10 years, he has been heavily involved with technology companies of all sizes at an operational level driving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.