Budget, Planning, and Board Reporting
- The team was responsible for creating financial reports that would ultimately reach the board and shareholders—which in this case are municipalities.
- The previous tools for reporting and data management were a combination of Microsoft® Excel, Word, and PowerPoint combined with IBM® Cognos® for budgeting and planning.
- Although there was one source for the financial data, it was reused in many different places. Each time data was copied and pasted, it was at risk of being incorrect. Oftentimes, a number would change in the middle of development, causing the team to change every instance and validate each of the documents—including the financial team, the vice president, and president.
- A number of people contributed to the end product. Each had to complete tasks in a linear fashion, so when one person finished, the next person worked on the document. Taking reports from outside contributors and integrating them into the company's reports was time consuming and added risk of error.
- Because the team used Wdesk for external reporting, it realized it could use Wdesk for budget and planning as well.
How Wdesk works for the team
- Because Wdesk is cloud based, the team is able to work on different parts of the report at the same time. Contributors are also given specific, limited access to relevant portions of the report. Many people are able to work at once, which cuts out the time spent serial editing. A complete audit history maintains accountability and traceability on a section level.
- Formatting documents has also become much easier because there's no need to combine multiple software outputs. Everything in Wdesk operates on the same integrated platform—documents, workbooks, charts, and presentations.
- Executive review of documents has been streamlined, as the CFO and president have direct access to Wdesk. They're able to review the document live and leave comments or edits as they see fit.
- The team has "perfect" support from Workiva whenever it's needed. A dedicated Customer Service Manager is available to answer questions at any time—from implementation through published report.
- Executives noted a distinct improvement in the quality of reports and presentations. They appreciate the increased accuracy and efficiency.
- The timeliness has translated into monetary savings because the team devotes less time to report development.
- Time spent on validation has decreased significantly. Because numbers are linked from one source to multiple reports, the team knows changes are automatically updated. There's no longer need to double and triple-check.
- The team has gained a better sense of work-life balance. Because Wdesk is accessible from any internet connection, team members are able to work from home when emergencies arise. For example, the accounting specialist completed the year-end reporting from home despite having a broken ankle and being unable go to the office.
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