- Legacy reporting processes delayed audit scope analysis and the creation of key report listings
- Updates to audit documentation required manual revisions to multiple files
- Traditional data collection methods couldn’t keep pace with the demands for more timely audit reports
- Synced controls data across the organization
- Audit analytics that deliver more targeted assurance
- Automation of administrative procedures
Why They Chose Workiva
- Internal Controls Management
- Internal Audit Management
- SEC Reporting
- ESG Reporting
Prior to joining 8x8, he spent more than a decade at a Big Four firm, where he collaborated with a variety of customers, using a raft of reporting technologies—he discovered what worked and also what didn’t. Because of his unique experience, Tom has a pretty good idea of what smart work looks like.
But when he took the helm at 8x8, he didn’t quite have the analytics perspective he needed to reorient the audit program. Rather than searching for new solutions, he took inventory of the technology 8x8 was already using. For SEC reporting, 8x8 was harnessing the Workiva platform and already had experienced significant gains in time-savings. After evaluating several other vendors for internal controls, 8x8 then chose Workiva as well for controls management.
Once Tom had discovered the Workiva platform’s agility, built-in analytics, and well-rounded customer support with the controls management solution, he extended his use of the Workiva platform for his internal audit processes and reports. “The efficiencies just made sense,” said Tom.
Scoping for a turnkey solution
Tom oversees 8x8’s audit operations that function as three traditional silos: SOX compliance, internal audit, and enterprise risk management (ERM).
When Tom joined the company, he aimed to tighten SOX controls and ramp up operational audits for more targeted assessments. Tom also identified a need to deepen the company’s ERM beyond simply conducting an annual survey, sharing the results with the executive team, and tying them to broader strategic goals.
But fragmented and manual work processes were hobbling audit scope procedures and the creation of key report listings. Tom wanted to review data and analytics from his audit program to better scope service organizations, applications, and key reports. He also needed a system in place where he could reference certain controls and their corresponding technologies for key reports.
8x8 pulls up its SOX
One of Tom’s predecessors at 8x8 chose to implement Workiva’s controls management solution for SOX controls. But when Tom joined, 8x8 hadn’t completed implementation yet.
Tom is well versed in the sizable marketplace of reporting technologies, and he’s experienced in appraising available options. Technology feasibility needs to measure up, such as how a platform integrates with other systems, coheres with longer-term objectives, and fulfills administrative needs. However, cultural fit is equally important to him. The solution should not only have industry accolades, but it should also have a versatile customer support structure. Workiva answered the call on all fronts.
So, when Tom stepped into the role, he accelerated Workiva’s integration. As he implemented the platform, he discovered its adaptability and the ease of working with Workiva’s support team. When making changes or customizations, according to Tom, “I can literally ping someone on Workiva’s support chat and they get my question or my need resolved in 24 to 48 hours. The team is really great.”
8x8 has been using Workiva’s controls management solution for two fiscal years—simultaneously with Workiva’s audit module.
Live linking in a natural environment
With the controls management solution fully embedded, Tom can now examine customized reports, such as the deficiencies that detail issues, root causes, action plans, and severity assessments—and send to 8x8's external auditors, meeting their requirements like they had in the past with Excel files. “And it’s a minimal effort to actually maintain that file. So it's a lot of utilizing Workiva to be data-driven—or technology first and then spreadsheet second,” he said. In terms of administration, his team needs to only execute provisioning and termination procedures once, each needing only one designated control owner.
In the process, databases and controls data are synced, which gives Tom flexibility in analyzing his control environment. His team has created new data sets from service organizations to entirely new sections within key reports. With a keystroke, he can cross-check which processes have specific risks and controls, and which controls are associated with particular documents or key reports. “I finally have a sense of—from an analytics standpoint—where my environment is and how much we do and where,” he said. If he needs to modify documents or controls and add fields, he can make adjustments on the fly.
With Workiva’s intuitive user experience, his team operates in a congruous environment. Sub-certifications for SEC reporting and controls that are issued to owners have the same look and feel as Q4 SOX certifications. “For us, it's really one unified experience for all our stakeholders. It’s the same look and feel, and we don't have to learn a completely new tool,” he said.
Reining in risk in one space
When he finishes rolling out Workiva’s audit solution, both of his SOX and audit workspaces will be linked, so risk management will be easily manageable in one central source of truth. Additionally, Tom anticipates using Workiva’s dynamic out-of-the-box audit analytics, which will provide greater assurance across the entire audit management process.
In addition, giving their external auditor access has made things even smoother. “They're able to go in and look at our data, reports, and for requests, and they're allowed to push requests back and forward,” he said.
“With Workiva, you have everything from SOX control to audit to ESG to SEC reporting, IT, and risk and compliance all on one platform,” he said. He added, “If the PCAOB, auditing, and regulations continue to evolve, I can now evolve with them.”
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