Crane Co. Untangles Internal Audit, Connects Reporting and Compliance
An industrial products manufacturer struggled with efficient internal audit work on account of clumsy, ill-fitting tools.
Crane chose Workiva for Internal Audit Management to modernize their system and better entwine audit, SOX, and SEC teams.
The team eliminated their tedious email-centric approval process and became able to offer up-to-the-minute insights on audits.
Why the company chose Workiva
- Detailed, tailor-made implementation custom to their needs and process
- Streamlined and automated internal audit management, with all data accessible in one spot
- The ability to connect data across SEC reporting, SOX compliance, and internal audit
- A feedback-driven and attentive customer success team
SOX Compliance, SEC Reporting, Internal Audit Management
No matter the product, manufacturing is a cutthroat industry. Neck-and-neck competitors are waiting for any sign of weakness, ready to pounce on every slip-up you may make. Couple that with endless product variables, regulatory hurdles, and pressures to keep costs low, manufacturers have their work cut out for them.
Crane Co., a Fortune 1000 industrial products manufacturer, is no different. And, zooming in on their internal audit department, that stress is evident through the whole organization.
"In a manufacturing company, you're always looking for efficiencies and ways to reduce cost," explains Andrew Disabato, an internal audit manager for Crane Co. "Obviously, that relates to R&D and actual manufacturing for products. But from an internal audit perspective, we try to take that same approach."
As a professed process-focused organization, Crane thrives on ruthless efficiency and effectiveness. However, using Microsoft® Office and a clumsy document management system for internal audit didn't keep in line with that credo.
Untying the knots of internal audit
Katie Reiss, Senior Portal Administrator for Crane Co., describes the organization's previous system for internal audit management as essentially document management. "Just putting data in and getting data out," she said.
"We didn't do any testing in there. We didn't request any information through it," said Andrew. "It was really more of a step-by-step, 'once you get something done, you put it in there' kind of thing."
And, with 100+ controls per audit, the system just wasn't sustainable. Such a disconnected, transactional tool made it nearly impossible for Disabato's team to make a foolproof, meaningful picture out of their internal audit data.
Once, Andrew accidentally sent the wrong version of a spreadsheet to a coworker, who incorporated that data into their work, which was then uploaded into the repository. Untangling that knot was enough to push the team to seek out other options.
Though Andrew, Katie, and the Crane team entertained demos from six different vendors, the team landed on Workiva for two critical reasons: attention to detail and customer service.
Detailed implementation, from start to finish
After choosing to bring Workiva on board for internal audit management, Workiva dispatched experts to understand, design, and implement a tailor-made solution for Crane Co. David Taylor, Senior Solutions Architect for Workiva, worked on-site for two days to fulfill the team's needs.
"As a former auditor, I've used tools for internal audit that don't fit the needs and processes of auditors at all," said David. "Workiva isn't one of those. As we do with every customer, we started with Crane's needs, then engineered Workiva to fit the processes they already have and value—not the other way around, like other software vendors."
That customization helped Crane get up to speed quickly with minimal down time and effort.
"I personally could not have been happier," said Katie. "David really understood the system and also understood us, and was able to put the two together. Had you only had one of those—either the technical knowledge or understanding us—I don't think would have worked well."
As soon as the solution was in full swing, the Crane Co. team saw an immediate benefit. With all internal audit documentation readily available, connected alongside their SOX compliance and SEC reporting data, the team could finally ditch their old, one-in-one-out "repository" system.
"Just having everything online really helps," said Andrew. "In a cloud-based system, we're not passing emails back and forth. That was a big thing."
Additionally, as the manager of an internal audit team, he appreciates the clarity and the ease of access Workiva provides into his team's work.
"From a review perspective," said Andrew, "I don't have to constantly manage, and I don't have to constantly ask, 'Hey, where are you at?' or 'Hey, can you send me that workpaper?' It's all live and right there."
Meticulous customer care
Like any new tool, said Katie, the Workiva platform has nuances to learn. But with 24/7, U.S.-based customer service, alongside a trove of online resources, the team at Crane got quickly up to speed, scaling to nearly 200 internal audit documents on the platform in 2019 alone. What's more, she said, their feedback drives new features and functionality.
"Really listening to feedback is inherent to customer success, not only for that individual customer, but all Workiva customers on the whole," said Ebenezer Chelliah, the Workiva Quality Assurance Analyst who worked most closely with the Crane team. "We take feedback to heart and put it to use."
Katie and team experienced that ethos of celebrating customer feedback firsthand.
"If David or Ebenezer weren't aware of a solution to our question, they would say, 'It's an existing roadmap item,' or 'We can get it added,'" she said. "They listen to the customers and try to work feedback into making Workiva better. They like to get into the details and work with us."
Workiva: "The whole package"
Reflecting back on her team's shift to Workiva, Katie wouldn't change a thing.
"We used to work with Word® documents, Excel® spreadsheets, PowerPoint®, and things like that," she said. "The fact all those types of applications are incorporated into the Workiva platform, including manager review and workflow and notifications and directed comments—there are a lot of good features to it."
Andrew agrees. As the ways Crane uses Workiva expands—from SEC reporting to SOX compliance to internal audit management and beyond—he says there's only one platform with the capabilities the company needs. The ability to connect people, processes, and data across the company has an exponential benefit.
"If you want the whole package," he said, "I don't believe there are a lot of other vendors out there who can offer what Workiva does."
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