Eagle Rock Energy and Wdesk: It's All About Control

Eagle Rock Energy needed a product that would handle XBRL tagging without losing its autonomy or getting locked into a contract.

It’s all about control for Larry Thuillier, Vice President of Financial Reporting at Eagle Rock Energy. Thuillier oversees SEC report development for the publicly traded master limited partnership in Houston, Texas. “We like to control our own public filings,” he says. So it’s not surprising that when Eagle Rock Energy was vetting applications for XBRL tagging, retaining control was paramount. “We were looking for a solution that would allow us to do it ourselves and continue to file ourselves,” says Thuillier.

With Wdesk we can do almost everything around filing ourselves - the solution is easy to use.

— Larry Thuillier, Vice President Financial Reporting, Eagle Rock Energy

He didn’t want to be confined by a long contract, either. “We were leaning towards a program which was going to carry significant costs. What if we spent all that money and then realized it didn’t meet our needs? Then we’d be stuck,” he comments.

The Best of Both Worlds

Workiva offered Eagle Rock Energy a comprehensive solution. Easy-to-use XBRL tagging and quarter-to-quarter subscription with the Wdesk platform gave Eagle Rock Energy control, flexibility, and peace of mind. What’s more, Workiva delivered a robust report development application, a streamlined reviewing process, and direct filing at the click of a button­— all in one cost-effective application.

Eagle Rock Energy subscribed to Wdesk at the end of Q2 2010. Within a few days, the Workiva support team had imported Eagle Rock’s prior quarter 10-Q, rolled the data forward in the application, and scheduled Eagle Rock’s new customer training— enabling Eagle Rock to begin updates in the second quarter 10-Q.

With a short training session, support from the Workiva team, and access to extensive online resources, Reagan Smith, Financial Reporting Manager, was up and running with XBRL in Wdesk. “It was very easy,” she says. “I did all the manual tagging in a week. I was expecting it to take much longer than that.”

A Focus on Content, Not Format

As with any public company, Eagle Rock’s disclosure committee is very hands-on with the report review process. Smith was charged with getting the members of the large committee up-to-speed with Wdesk, including the CEO and CFO. “It was easy because it’s so user friendly. Every time they asked a question about the platform, I was able to say ‘Yes, it can do that!’” she says.

Now the committee uses Wdesk to review reports, and insert and track comments. The committee appreciates the ability to make their own blackline reports. “Our senior execs really like this product,” says Thuillier.

He adds that, beyond a happy C-level suite, the platform has saved the team time, reduced stress, and improved collaboration. “It’s made us more efficient…Now we’re even more productive, and we can focus on the substance in our review of the disclosures.”

Wdesk lets you spend your time more efficiently. You can focus on content and not worry about administrative issues.

Reagan Smith, Financial Reporting Manager, Eagle Rock Energy

A Cloud Based Solution

The fact that Wdesk is cloud based is another vast improvement over the company’s previous process. Team members who were on the road or working from home were required to access documents over the company’s slow VPN network. Now with the one active document feature, up-to-date documents can be viewed anywhere, any time. “This is much faster and more people are likely to use it because of the way it’s hosted,” says Smith.

The Eagle Rock Energy team was surprised to find they even have some control over the platform’s functions. Recently they suggested an improvement to their Workiva representative, and within a month the feature had been added. “It was amazing how quickly that change was made,” says Smith. It’s clear that Eagle Rock Energy remains in control with Wdesk.

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