Athene Holding

Situation 

Athene used the Workiva SEC reporting solution to smoothly transition to iXBRL filing.

Results 

  • Faster than expected implementation of iXBRL filing
  • Confidence that late adjustments will be reported accurately in 10-Qs and 10-Ks
  • Ability to swiftly manage SEC reporting process, even with a reduced team size

Why the company chose Workiva

Working with a traditional printer was painful, especially when going back and forth losing time with the printer on updates and edits.

Solutions 

Shortly after Athene went public in 2016, the annuity provider adopted Workiva, the market leader in SEC reporting software. Then, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was phasing in requirements for filing financial statements in Inline XBRLTM format, starting with large accelerated filers like Athene.

"Management was suddenly very interested in how the iXBRL transition would work," said Jennifer Haaland, Director of SEC Reporting for Athene.

Jennifer had estimated the transition would take a week at most. Workiva, whose platform was used to submit the very first iXBRLTM filing to the SEC, was ready.

"With support from Workiva, it didn't take any time at all," she said. "Management asked, 'How long did the iXBRL transition take you?' And I said, 'Well, it's already done.' And, this was only a few days after we had filed our Q1, so it was a much faster timeline than what they were expecting—and even what I was expecting."

Fast, accurate SEC filing with Workiva

Beyond iXBRL support, Workiva has delivered efficiencies that have made SEC filing much easier than when Athene worked with a traditional printer. Jennifer recalls the challenges of producing an S-1 as the company prepared for its initial public offering.

"Going through a printer, it was extremely painful having to update and recheck," Jennifer said. "You would change something on the printer proof, and then it would come back, and something else would be wrong."

As a public annuity and insurance provider, Athene often must adjust financial reports at the last minute to incorporate late updates. Workiva enables users to connect data across multiple instances in a report, so that updating the data at the source automatically updates all linked instances within seconds. Because users can submit directly to the SEC with Workiva, they maintain control over their own documents all the way through the filing process. The Workiva cloud platform also gives reporting teams a central place to work. Everyone on the team always uses the most recent version of a document, with the most recent data.

"Using Workiva, the process is seamless," Jennifer said. "You get the data in there, it goes wherever you want it to, and you know there's only one source for that data."

Benefits beyond the numbers

Jennifer had used Workiva before joining Athene, making her the in-house expert on the connected reporting and compliance platform. But, she appreciates that Workiva Customer Success Managers are accessible for additional support.

"They are always a call away—I think that's what sets Workiva apart," Jennifer said. "I've had experience with other systems where you call support, and it takes three or four days before they'll even address your question."

Jennifer credits Workiva for helping Athene make it through a filing season, even after a team member moved on from the company at an inopportune time.

"That's 100 percent due to how quickly we can manage all the data," she said.

Workiva helps her team connect data to reports and shows users what data they have available and what they still need to collect. Jennifer sees the potential for using Workiva for other reports as well, such as internal reporting for quarterly executive meetings.

"We're always looking for new ways to expand the reach of the platform," she said.

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Inline XBRLTM and iXBRLTM are trademarks of XBRL International, Inc. All rights reserved. The XBRLTM standards are open and freely licensed by way of the XBRL International License Agreement.

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