Healthcare company streamlines SOX


  • The team used a combination of Excel® and a shared drive. Security and space constraints concerned the group completing the filing process.
  • All testing and filing was done internally. The company had only gone through one quarter doing everything completely in-house.
  • The company already used Wdesk for SEC compliance and learned about the SOX solution from its Workiva rep. The company's CFO was concerned about cost savings, but he found Workiva was willing to create a custom plan for the company's needs.

Getting executive buy-in

  • The accounting and SOX officer provided a cost/benefit analysis to the chief accounting officer (CAO) and the chief financial officer (CFO) to show the risks the company would face if it didn't adopt Wdesk. If the company didn't have good controls, especially at a financial level, it faced both reputational and financial risk.
  • Since external accountants and the PCAOB are making noise about internal controls, it was imperative to get information about the importance of adequate controls across the company and up the ladder to stakeholders.
  • The biggest hurdle internally was overcoming investments in different solutions, including MetricStream™. Outlining the issues they were experiencing with the current solution and the benefits of Wdesk were key.
  • The fact that Workiva is a partner for the SOX process—working with the company to improve its processes and provide best practices—and not just a vendor, made a big difference to the company's executive team.

Why Wdesk works for the financial accounting team

  • Once a project is completed, testing can begin right away. There is no need to wait for someone else to be ready or finished, which has saved the team valuable work time.
  • Getting answers to questions is simple. The Wdesk success center or the group's CSM is available to help if the team ever has questions.
  • The company's master control matrix, process narratives, testing documents, COSO Framework, risk assessments, dashboards, and audit committee presentations are all in one place, in-house, and can be accessed by all team members.
  • The team finds it convenient that the evidence behind its documents is attached and linked directly to its source within Wdesk, which saves time searching for related files.
  • Because Wdesk is cloud based, the group no longer worries about running out of space and knows that the documentation and testing results are safe and secure.


  • All SOX work is done in-house, which saves the company money on hiring consultants to look over and critique documentation.
  • The CFO is able to easily see what progress has been made and what needs to be completed. The status feature allows outlines to be color coded to indicate what is being worked on, hasn't been started, or is completed.
  • Employees are more efficient. Instead of spending time sending backup documentation to consultants, the team is now incorporating backup documentation and reconciliations into its testing routine.
  • All files are located in Wdesk, and linking is used to let updated information flow out to related documents.
  • The time saved using Wdesk can be put toward a company restructure and new employee responsibilities.

Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Read More