Bondholder Audit Reports, Principles of Assumptions Document, Rate Case

The external financial reporting team primarily used Microsoft® Word and Excel. Because the drafting and revision process was extensive, formatting and spacing was often an issue. As a result, the external financial reporting manager spent more time changing tables and other structural issues, instead of spending time on analysis.

Situation

  • The external financial reporting team primarily used Microsoft® Word and Excel. Because the drafting and revision process was extensive, formatting and spacing was often an issue. As a result, the external financial reporting manager spent more time changing tables and other structural issues, instead of spending time on analysis.
  • Report building goes through many different teams, including accounting, legal, treasury, and regulatory. Reports were emailed, and as comments came back, they were compiled, considered, and implemented. Tracking them caused version control issues.
  • The final Word document was copied and pasted section by section into EDGAR software. This process was tedious and created a larger chance for human error.
  • Related reports were scattered in different places, and time was wasted on minor edits in new and existing documents.

How the team uses Wdesk

  • For bondholder audit reports, anywhere from 50 to 70 people from different departments (e.g., legal, accounting, treasury) add content to or revise a single version of the report right in Wdesk. Content can be directly shared with stakeholders.
  • Because the bondholder audit goes through many changes before the final product is finished, the reporting manager finds the comment feature beneficial—it allows all revisions to be discussed in one place, rather than a communicating via massive email chains.
  • For principles of assumptions documents, the reporting manager uses Wdesk on the front-end of the process. He downloads the information from a planning consolidation system used by legal entities. He then uses Wdesk to consolidate the data, filter by entity, add narrative, and exports it for senior management and the board to consume.
  • When a rate case needs to be submitted, the reporting manager creates a filing in Wdesk and attaches supporting testimonies directly to the document. Accounting, legal, finance, and other teams can all contribute directly in Wdesk.
  • The reporting team loves linking between documents because it can plug in new numbers and see them update in different places.

Why Wdesk works for the SOX team

  • The SOX team worked with its Customer Success Manager (CSM) to build out documents, link data, and receive best practices on data and document structure. Wdesk was implemented in 5 weeks.
  • After a 30-minute training session with its CSM, the team was comfortable with Wdesk. It scheduled an additional 2-hour training session for its less technology savvy executives.
  • The company uses process narratives as a single source of truth, so process owners can monitor their documents. When an update is made in the process narratives, it automatically flows through to the risk control matrix, attribute testing, work papers, and audit documentation—eliminating the need for the SOX team to make those changes.
  • Advanced permissions allows the SOX team to easily and efficiently assign accessibility to individual process owners. Process owners then review, update, and certify the information in their process narratives.
  • Color-coded labels are used as status indicators in each section of a document, so the SOX team knows what sections need reviewed, are currently in review, or if the review has been completed.
  • The team leverages dashboards to collect and show data to the audit committee on a quarterly basis. These items focus on generalizations of status expectations and deadlines.
  • The audit trail and blackline capabilities of Wdesk are useful when the team needs to get to the bottom of any issues—seeing exactly who made changes, when, and where.

Results

  • A major benefit the team has experienced since switching to Wdesk is increased efficiency. With 10-Ks, for example, everything is in one place, which makes data entry quicker, leads to more time for review before deadline, and ultimately produces a better finished product.
  • The team experienced at least one-half day per quarter saved on time, as well as an overall increase in quality of the product.
  • The commenting and collaboration features in Wdesk have greatly helped the customer.
  • With Wdesk, reports can be automatically EDGARized directly in the application. The copying, pasting, and reformatting of reports have been eliminated.

Word and Excel are a registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other counties.

How the team uses Wdesk

  • For bondholder audit reports, anywhere from 50 to 70 people from different departments (e.g., legal, accounting, treasury) add content to or revise a single version of the report right in Wdesk. Content can be directly shared with stakeholders.
  • Because the bondholder audit goes through many changes before the final product is finished, the reporting manager finds the comment feature beneficial—it allows all revisions to be discussed in one place, rather than a communicating via massive email chains.
  • For principles of assumptions documents, the reporting manager uses Wdesk on the front-end of the process. He downloads the information from a planning consolidation system used by legal entities. He then uses Wdesk to consolidate the data, filter by entity, add narrative, and exports it for senior management and the board to consume.
  • When a rate case needs to be submitted, the reporting manager creates a filing in Wdesk and attaches supporting testimonies directly to the document. Accounting, legal, finance, and other teams can all contribute directly in Wdesk.
  • The reporting team loves linking between documents because it can plug in new numbers and see them update in different places.

Why Wdesk works for the SOX team

  • The SOX team worked with its Customer Success Manager (CSM) to build out documents, link data, and receive best practices on data and document structure. Wdesk was implemented in 5 weeks.
  • After a 30-minute training session with its CSM, the team was comfortable with Wdesk. It scheduled an additional 2-hour training session for its less technology savvy executives.
  • The company uses process narratives as a single source of truth, so process owners can monitor their documents. When an update is made in the process narratives, it automatically flows through to the risk control matrix, attribute testing, work papers, and audit documentation—eliminating the need for the SOX team to make those changes.
  • Advanced permissions allows the SOX team to easily and efficiently assign accessibility to individual process owners. Process owners then review, update, and certify the information in their process narratives.
  • Color-coded labels are used as status indicators in each section of a document, so the SOX team knows what sections need reviewed, are currently in review, or if the review has been completed.
  • The team leverages dashboards to collect and show data to the audit committee on a quarterly basis. These items focus on generalizations of status expectations and deadlines.
  • The audit trail and blackline capabilities of Wdesk are useful when the team needs to get to the bottom of any issues—seeing exactly who made changes, when, and where.

Results

  • A major benefit the team has experienced since switching to Wdesk is increased efficiency. With 10-Ks, for example, everything is in one place, which makes data entry quicker, leads to more time for review before deadline, and ultimately produces a better finished product.
  • The team experienced at least one-half day per quarter saved on time, as well as an overall increase in quality of the product.
  • The commenting and collaboration features in Wdesk have greatly helped the customer.
  • With Wdesk, reports can be automatically EDGARized directly in the application. The copying, pasting, and reformatting of reports have been eliminated.

Word and Excel are a registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other counties.

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