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Disconnected Challenges

American Enterprise was already producing a range of complex financial reporting requirements. But then it was required to comply with the Model Audit Rule (MAR)—a new financial reporting regulation for insurance companies with a component similar to SOX, but for smaller insurance companies. The company needed a technology platform that provided greater transparency and flexibility while improving information accuracy and providing a positive experience for management and external auditors.

Connected Results

  • A single location for managing the entire MAR process
  • Linked data for total confidence in data accuracy
  • Enthusiastic support from internal teams, C-suite, and external auditors


SOX Compliance, Financial Reporting



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Sara Lehan: Actually, when Workiva initially contacted me about using the tool, I thought, 'I don’t work for a public company. You guys do work for SEC clients, you know what could you possibly have to offer us?' They sat me down, and they showed me. I was so impressed with what they’d been able to do with things that look like PowerPoint®, things that look like Word®, things that look like Excel®. They take the best features of those tools and are able to incorporate them in a way that I have never seen before and make them work together and function together in a package that works better for what we are doing as a team.

So one thing that I think is really invaluable about Wdesk is being able to have our board reporting, our external reporting, and our internal management reporting all in one place—all of those documents linking off of each other. I think the other really unique thing that Wdesk has brought to us, it started out in the financial reporting department, but we have seen it expand to our internal audit group. We were able to find ways to improve our MAR reporting, our MAR controls. We’ve got Workiva working right now with our rate filing group to see if there are things they can do to help streamline our process there. So even though we just initially brought it in to help us out with some of our reporting needs, specifically in financial reporting, Workiva has been able to take a different look at our business and see where else they can help us.

I’d say the biggest value of that is being able to have multiple people in the document at one time. You can have a reviewer in there, you can have people working on different sections, it is very easy to have people work on stuff at home too. As people get into wanting to have good work-life integration, it’s important that not only can they access what they need at work, but they can access it from home as well. Wdesk keeps track of all the changes. I can easily go in and see who the last person was that touched something, that made a change, and I know that what I’ve got is the final version.

My team spends so much of their life at work, and it’s important that they are spending time on things that matter. They’re not spending time on making sure that this number that got changed then updated, you know, in all 12 places that it was supposed to update. It’s good for us to know that we can rely on updating the number in one spot somewhere, and then that carries through.

I would absolutely recommend Wdesk to anyone. I think one of the most unique things about Wdesk is their willingness to work with their clients. They don’t just set you up with the tool and sort of send you on your way. They make sure you know how to use it. They make sure you have a contact if you have questions. They want this to be a valuable tool to you. They care that you’re using it. They care that it works for you.

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