A Better Way With Wdesk
This forward thinking high-tech company solved its outdated approach to financial reporting.
This high-tech manufacturer creates cutting-edge technology used to explore new frontiers in genetics and life science. Despite being a forward thinking, high-tech company, it was using an outdated and tedious approach to financial reporting, relying heavily on an outside printer to convert, tag, and file its SEC documents.
The company’s lead accounting analyst says the printer she’d been working with had done a decent job of handling Level One XBRL tagging. “But when we started detailed tagging in-house, we realized just how much work is involved in reviewing those tags. Plus, there were so many nuances to it,” she explains. The printer had also extended its turnaround times which slowed the reporting team down. “Getting a report back after three days, finding an error in it, and then having to kick it back to the printer for another three to five days—that was taking a really long time,” she explains.
The lead analyst had no idea what she was missing. She works with one other person to file SEC reports, handle compliance issues, and manage several other ad hoc activities at the company. “We thought the reporting process we were using was adequate, and nobody was really complaining about it,” she says. Then she adds, “That’s until you show us something new like Wdesk—then you see how much better it can be.”
The accounting analyst first heard about Wdesk from peers in her professional circle. “They were having a great experience with Wdesk and said we should look in to it,” she says. One highly respected reporting professional told her that she had so much confidence in the platform that her company didn’t even have a backup in place for the transition. “That confidence really assured us,” she says.
She requested a demo and immediately liked what she saw. “I was impressed that the platform could do things that I never knew I wanted,” she says. In its transition process, the reporting team met with another company that offered financial reporting software with a complicated range of functions. “But we realized simpler is better. If the software becomes too complicated, it takes too much time. And the real end goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes to file,” explains the analyst. After a thorough check of the security of the cloud-based platform, the company made the switch to Wdesk and hasn’t looked back.
Proactive Reporting Process
With Wdesk fully integrated into its process, the team appreciates the roll forward feature, so it’s well prepared before the actual filing process starts. “You can have your file set up before your numbers come in,” the analyst explains. “In the past you had to wait for numbers to come in and then set it up. We are just so much more comfortable with the way the files are set up in Wdesk.”
She also has XBRL tagging reviewed and ready to go before numbers are finalized. By working ahead, she’s able to conduct more thorough consistency checks and correct any errors ahead of time. “Now we have enough time to be sure we’re addressing them properly.”
The proactive nature of the platform also means there is less pressure around the filing deadline. “In the past, the last two weeks before the deadline were really a crunch time,” says the analyst. 80-hour workweeks weren’t uncommon. Not anymore. “I’m seeing smaller peaks and valleys in our schedule. Our schedule has evened out because we’re able to do so much of the work up front,” she says. Using Wdesk, the team cut a week out of the time it takes to prepare a quarterly report.
As she and her team have become more adept at using Wdesk, the solution itself has also become more capable. “So many functionalities are added to Wdesk that it’s made things even easier,” she explains. The analyst eagerly anticipates more of the same. “It’s a constant progression, both in our abilities as users, as well as the application.”
The recommendation she received from those in her professional circle to switch to Wdesk was a big turning point for the analyst and her team. Now she is the one recommending the solution to her peers. “I’d recommend Wdesk to anyone in the financial reporting field because you get much more control over your documents and timeline.”