Lattice Semiconductor Corporation

Lattice’s highly skilled professional staff was spending their valuable time trying to assemble the company’s SEC reports using a tedious, cumbersome process.
  • Improved use of team members’ time
  • Slashed a week out of the filing process
  • Reduced stress and frustration

Lattice's highly skilled professional staff was spending their valuable time trying to assemble the company's SEC reports using a tedious, cumbersome process.

Frustrating. That’s how Bob Adam summed up the SEC reporting process at Lattice Semiconductor, which makes low-cost, low-power programmable logic devices. Adam oversees a team of three SEC reporting and accounting professionals who create and file SEC reports. The process was frustrating for team members, who were struggling with version control problems and formatting tables with word processing software.

Even more frustrating was the fact that the highly-trained professionals were spending inordinate amounts of time on tedious tasks when they could have been doing more productive things for the company. “Those aren’t the kinds of things we want our professional staff to be working on,” explains Adam. “We want them to focus on content.”

Adam and his team had just been through several difficult filings using their old process of cobbling the report together with word processing and spreadsheet software and then sending it to a printer for formatting and filing. “We had to do something different. We just couldn’t keep doing it that way and still be successful,” says Adam.

Adam was one of the very first prospective customers to see how Wdesk worked. The platform was still in development when a Workiva salesperson gave him a preview. “I was very impressed right off the bat,” says Adam. “I could see that Wdesk would solve all kinds of problems for us and reduce stress and the amount of time it took to get a filing done.”

He says he was “dazzled” by the change once, update everywhere function which links numbers throughout the document; and the fact that several people could work in the different sections of the document at the same time. Adam asked Workiva if Lattice could use the solution as soon as it was available.

With Wdesk, document changes happen in real time, which saves so much time and stress in the days before filing.

— Bob Adam, Assistant Controller, Lattice Semiconductor Corporation

Taking the Risk

The beta version of the Wdesk platform was released just before the Lattice team began creating the company’s 10-K report. The company had just been through a major restructuring, which resulted in accounting challenges and a lengthy closing process, so the timing wasn’t opportune.

“Our executives were very skeptical about it,” says Adam. “Workiva was a new company and had a new product so they thought it was risky.” But Adam had so much confidence in the application that he was able to convince management to let him try the solution—as long as he had a backup plan in case the solution failed.

Even though his team would be getting up-to-speed with a new process while they were preparing the 10-K, the biggest SEC report of the year, Adam wasn’t concerned. “I just knew that with Wdesk we would still wind up with a net savings in time and a major savings in stress,” he says. He was right. “Even with the transition time and learning the Wdesk platform, we still came out ahead.”

Easy to Learn

Adam says Wdesk has a very flat learning curve because it’s so similar to the word processing and spreadsheet software they’d been using. “Once you get a few basics, you can learn as you go.”

Wdesk revolutionized Lattice’s SEC reporting process, starting with the time line. The team used to file within 30 minutes of the filing deadline, sometimes at the very last minute. “It always seemed like a race against time,” says Adam. Now he says Lattice files about a week early.

Wdesk is easy to use and the learning curve is very shallow.

— Bob Adam, Assistant Controller, Lattice Semiconductor Corporation

Not having to send the file out to a printer for formatting and changes saves time— and headaches. “We don’t have to wait overnight for changes to be made,” says Adam. “With Wdesk, document changes happen in real-time which saves so much time and reduces stress in the days before filing.”

Powerful Collaboration

Now the team can collaborate on creating SEC reports. With the Wdesk one active document feature, multiple people can work on a document at once. Reviews are also easier with the Wdesk blackline function, which provides a comparison between two versions of a report and can be created and sent to reviewers in a matter of minutes. Adam says that each reviewer can establish a control version well before the filing date, and then ask for a blackline showing changes between their control date and most recent version of the report.

“My favorite feature on Wdesk is the blackline,” says Adam. “A blackline is quick and easy for us to produce. It takes a lot of time and stress out of that last week before filing.”

While time savings and functionality are important, being able to focus on what they do best is the most important benefit Wdesk offers the Lattice team. “Wdesk eliminates so many of those things we’re really not interested in doing,” says Adam. “We’re financial professionals. We want to do accounting. We want to do the work we were trained to do.”

With the time they save on the mechanics of SEC reporting the Lattice team now focuses on the actual content of the document and the company’s close process— both much better uses of their time.

As one of the earliest Wdesk adopters, Bob Adam says there’s absolutely no turning back.

If I had to go back to the way we were doing SEC filings before—I’d just retire instead.

— Bob Adam, Assistant Controller, Lattice Semiconductor Corporation

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