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Analyst Briefing Book, Earnings Review, and Flash Reports

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  • The financial analysts are responsible for several sets of internal reports that feed up to the CEO and management team.
  • The reports were created as individual Excel® files, but they were built from the same base of data. If a number changed, the team had to search through each file and make sure every related number was updated accordingly.
  • The reports relied on hundreds of different macros, with an equal amount of Excel files to go along with them. The team would create a 'data dump' and then use v-lookup to create documents. 
  • The analyst team was in the process of moving to SAP® software for its general ledger and saw an opportunity to update the entire reporting process. Two members of the team had previously worked with the SEC reporting group, who were early adopters of Wdesk. They realized the analyst team had many areas where Wdesk could improve workflows and began to migrate the old Excel files to Wdesk.
  • The analyst team spoke with the controller—who was familiar with the SEC team's transition to Wdesk—and made the case for additional seats of the application. The controller approved after being promised a relatively low cost and a high amount of risk mitigation. 

How Wdesk works for the analyst team

  • Because Wdesk was already in place for the SEC department, the analyst team didn't have to go through additional procurement steps. To add users, the Wdesk admin for the company just had to select the appropriate seat levels and add email addresses.
  • The team now works with a single Wdesk workbook fed from the general ledger, as opposed to hundreds of Excel files and macros. Information is synced from the ledger software directly to Wdesk, so when the team needs to create reports, it can have data available in Wdesk automatically.
  • The workbook is linked to the three main reports, so when data is synced, the reports also update instantly. Documents can roll forward each reporting period, eliminating the need to create the reports from scratch.
  • If a number changes, the team can edit the source in the workbook and any linked data points update instantly.


  • The CEO and management team noticed an increase in accuracy across documents. They know reported financials are 100 percent aligned in every report.
  • Reviews are streamlined because the team creates blacklines of reports and can clearly see what changed from one version to the next. Version control is no longer an issue.
  • Because all of the reports are fed from a single source of controlled data, the risk of error from copying and pasting numbers or rekeying entries has been dramatically reduced.
  • Management gets more consistent reports. The analyst team can quickly export a PDF of any report from Wdesk without risking formatting errors—headers and footers don't shift, fonts stay the same, and table widths are consistent.


Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other counties.
SAP is the registered trademark of SAP SE in Germany and in several other countries.


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