Amanda Taylor was in her living room checking a printer’s proof of her company’s SEC report at 1:30 in the morning. Additional changes needed to be made, so she emailed the file back to the printer, set her alarm for 3 a.m., and lay down on her couch to wait. When her alarm buzzed again, she woke, rechecked the printer’s final file, and set her alarm for 4:45 a.m. so she could send the report by the SEC’s deadline on the East Coast.
“All of that just to change two sentences in the report!” exclaims Taylor.
As Senior Vice President and SEC Reporting Manager at LegacyTexas Bank, Taylor leads the external reporting team for the Plano, Texas-based community bank. LegacyTexas has 31 branches throughout North Texas.
Due to its lengthy financial disclosures and footnotes, the bank’s external reports are massive, which makes an already difficult process even harder.
Taylor and her team struggled with embedding tables into word processing documents, managing access to a single document, and version control. “We have a lot of people who need to review the documents, and they always want to see a track-changes version of their prior edits,” explains Taylor. “So we would end up with 25 versions of one document.”
Then there was the challenge of working around her printer’s pencils down period and the headache of staying up all night making last-minute changes before the filing deadline. “We really did not like depending on someone else to EDGARize our filings,” she says.
Taylor says it was “the nail in the coffin,” when she started experiencing problems with the vendor that managed the company's XBRL tagging. She needed a new reporting process—fast.
With Wdesk I can work on documents from home, and I don’t even need a VPN connection.
— Lyn Rupich, Senior SEC Reporting Specialist, LegacyTexas Bank
Start With a K
Enter Lyn Rupich, who joined LegacyTexas as Senior SEC Reporting Specialist. Rupich had XBRL tagging experience and used Wdesk at her previous employer. She recognized right away that the platform would improve the company's process and recommended it to Taylor. “Based on Lyn’s experience with Wdesk and XBRL tagging, we decided to take the plunge and switch,” says Taylor.
She opted to transition to Wdesk for the bank’s 10-K during its first detailed XBRL tagging. While that might seem risky, Taylor says it was a good move. “I think it’s smart to start with the 10-K because then all your tagging and footnotes are done.”
Even with transitioning to the new platform, last-minute financial changes, filing the company’s largest document of the year, and adding a new level of XBRL tagging, Taylor says the initial 10-K filing was a success. “It wasn’t as stressful as it could have been,” she says. “It went so smoothly. And we saved at least a full week in the process!”
A New View
Now the LegacyTexas team has an entirely different view on creating external reports. From the workbook that contains all of its data to the collaborative development and review features, Wdesk has streamlined the bank’s process dramatically.
Taylor says the commenting, blackline, and milestone functions have eliminated her version-control problems. “It’s been a lifesaver. If someone needs a version, it’s not a big deal. Before Wdesk, it was a major problem.”
In particular, the blackline reports make it easier for all reviewers to understand the documents. “When you’re tracking changes in a word processing program, it’s hard to see because the view isn’t very good,” says Taylor. “With the Wdesk blackline it’s easier to see what changed, and you have the flexibility to see different versions, too.”
Rupich also has a much better view of the XBRL tagging process —literally. “When you’re looking for a tag, you just type in a few words and Wdesk brings up the tags that fit. Plus, it puts a star by the one that fits your taxonomy!” she says.
We really did not like depending on someone else to EDGARize our filings.
— Amanda Taylor, Senior Vice President, and SEC Reporting Manager, LegacyTexas Bank
It Keeps Giving
Even though LegacyTexas is now proficient with the Wdesk platform, the team continues to learn about the solution on its own and with help from Workiva. “The help function is good,” says Rupich. “But if I need an answer right away, I can always call, and Workiva is happy to walk me through the process–even two or three times.” Taylor says she’s called at 11 p.m. on a weeknight and found the team ready to help. “Workiva treats us like we’re its only customer.”
Taylor and her team are also capitalizing on the platform’s depth. They use it for the bank’s 10-Q, 10-K, 8-K, and proxy statement. Not long after switching to Wdesk, an earnings release was due. Taylor started creating the report using her “old way.” She quickly changed her mind. “We were able to do it on the fly with the Wdesk platform. I love how we have all our data in our workbook. You just cut and paste, and you’re done. It saved us so much time.” Now Taylor is using Wdesk to create a variety of other internal documents for the bank.
Beyond better collaboration and time savings on her report development process, Wdesk gives Taylor something else she really values: sleep. “Since we went public in 2006, there wasn’t a filing period where I didn’t pull at least one all-nighter to get it done. And for the 10-K, it was usually three all-nighters in a row,” says Taylor. “But with Wdesk, I haven’t had any at all!”
Workiva treats us like we're its only customer.
— Amanda Taylor, Senior Vice President and SEC Reporting Manager