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Getting in the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Mindset for an IPO

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  • The manufacturing company had already completed its first year of SOX.
  • A shared drive was used with Word® and Excel® files. The team was frustrated with version control issues and the inability to access documents others were using.
  • The company already used Wdesk for SEC reporting, so the corporate controller had previously discovered the benefits of linking. Once he realized that both text and numerical data could be linked and that a SOX solution existed, he scheduled a Wdesk demonstration.
  • After receiving firsthand feedback from a public controller using Wdesk at a different company, he was sold. In 2014, the company added the SOX solution to its existing Wdesk subscription. 

Why Wdesk works for the SOX reporting team

  • The company is growing quickly and needs to be able to scale without hiring on any more new employees than necessary. With Wdesk, the team is able to accomplish more with less people.
  • One main document that contains source links is updated by process owners, which makes it easy for the team to guarantee consistency throughout all documents.
  • Instead of paying the external third-party audit team to spend 10 hours per quarter providing status updates, the corporate controller now relies on the linking feature to automatically update the information to report to the audit committee—saving time and money.
  • Multiple employees can access documents at the same time in Wdesk, which encourages collaboration and cuts back on time spent waiting for file access.


  • Because of linking, auditors feel confident that the language used in SOX narratives is consistent with the verbiage used throughout the documentation.
  • Having better documentation for SOX work, solid financial statements, and an organized layout has helped the company to develop a great relationship with its auditors.
  • The team takes pride in the SOX document and has peace of mind knowing time and money aren't being wasted throughout the reporting process.
  • With the positive results the team has seen, it plans to utilize Wdesk next for a quarterly flux analysis with its auditors to help better collaborate, manage flux, and maintain consistency.


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


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