Executive Names Top Features of Workiva for FP&A and Beyond
- Linked data updates automatically
- Workiva consultants provided a streamlined process
- Executives are thrilled with Wdesk for DFAST
- Financial Close Reporting
I manage the financial planning and analysis team at Wintrust. Prior to my financial planning analysis role, I initially joined Wintrust as part of our SEC reporting and accounting team. I learned Workiva through those processes, and then I switched into my FP&A role a few years ago. That's where I started to take that background and see how I could apply it to management reporting, to supporting our budget and forecast process. I think that background and experience has really proved invaluable to identify what are some opportunities that we can do beyond SEC reporting.
I always, when people ask me about, "What does Wdesk do?" especially when we talk to other departments that are completely unfamiliar, I typically point out three features that appeal to me the most:
Linking data to multiple documents
The first is linking. So having the confidence that I don't have to worry about tying out numbers. If I want to use the same number in multiple documents and change it in one place, it affects all the documents. Having that peace of mind in terms of the accuracy of the data—I think linking is extremely powerful.
Collaboration is the second. Being able to cut your presentation or your spreadsheet in Wdesk allows multiple users from my team to work, so it's more efficient. You don't have this, "Are you done yet?" type approach. With the team interacting like that, they can just do what's assigned to them.
And then the third feature I would just call governance. Effectively encapsulating the ability to have an audit trail and run blacklines to show what the changes are, the ability to set permissions and of restrict access. Management at our company extremely stresses being transparent. There I can say I'm not just handing a document and saying, "figure it out, what changed." I can say, "Here's exactly what we did," and allow them to challenge it and understand it and feel confident in it.
I have an audit background, and a lot of our reports are still financial reporting in nature. And so I'm used to ticking and tying and making sure everything's right, and having the peace of mind that I know that most of our report's constructed from links, it reduces the amount that I either need to do or reduces the errors that could happen.