Lower Lakes Towing

The Rand SEC reporting team, based in Port Dover, Ontario, was using an outmoded process to produce its SEC reports. The manual, time-intensive review process slowed the team down. The company needed a more efficient way to produce external reports.
  • Fast, easy transition to the new software
  • Saved several days of report development time
  • Streamlined the review and approval process

Every day Rand Logistics, Inc. bridges the gap between the U.S. and Canada as the company’s powerful vessels move tons of cargo across the Great Lakes. Back in Rand’s Ontario, Canada offices, Sanjiv Shah, Controller, struggled each day to bridge the gap created by the company’s outmoded SEC report development process.

Shah’s tasks at Rand range from accounting and financial consolidation to SEC filing. He oversees a team of four people, one of whom works with him directly on SEC report development and filing. The Rand team had been using word processing and spreadsheet software to create the company’s SEC reports. An outside printer handled the EDGARizing for the company. “It was very tedious. Keeping track of all the changes during the review process was a tough job in terms of maintaining an audit trail,” explains Shah.

Despite all the work that went into creating the report, ensuring changes were made correctly, and getting the document through the review process, Shah says the end result didn’t always look as professional as he would have liked. “The presentation was always a challenge and we had trouble with how reports looked.”

A Quick Transition

Shah and his team made do with the process until the company’s CFO saw a Wdesk product demonstration and was impressed. She felt it was the right solution for Rand but wanted Shah and his team to see a demo as well.

“We’d attended several software demonstrations by other firms and something always went wrong with the demonstration itself,” says Shah. “The Wdesk demonstration was very smooth and impressive. They were also able to answer all the questions we had at that point in time.”

Rand subscribed to Wdesk in December 2011, and the transition and training process was quickly underway. "The transition to Wdesk was smooth and easy,” says Shah. After a two-hour training session, he and his team were up and running with the solution.

Shah was initially most impressed with the platform’s linking capability and the integrated EDGARization process. Now, after using Wdesk for nine months to produce several reports, he remains as impressed as day one.

“Some of the numbers in our reports are used at several places. It used to be that if we changed one number, we had to make sure to change it in all the different places,” explains Shah.

With Wdesk, when we change a number it changes that number everywhere else automatically. That’s a lot of peace of mind.

— Sanjiv Shah, Controller, Rand Logistics

Streamlined Reviews

The report review process at Rand is considerably more streamlined as well. Shah used to send three separate reports to his auditors. Then he’d have to make and track all the changes in the reports. “I’d make changes in the document, send it for review, wait for comments, put the changes in and circulate it again, then wait for that document to come back,” says Shah. “Now we send one document for review and all the changes are being made online.

Our auditors are impressed with what we’ve done using Wdesk.

— Sanjiv Shah, Controller, Rand Logistics

Shah says because of the powerful features on Wdesk, he’s slashed a couple of days off of his SEC report preparation process. And the reports come together much more quickly than they used to.

Rand’s CFO, Lorraine Barber, is impressed too. “We were impressed by the support in facilitating our move to Wdesk.” She says that level of support helped allay all concerns of the finance team, parent company CFO, and legal team. “Our progress was monitored very closely by our Workiva Canadian support team— they were not going to let us fail. Overall, our experience with Workiva has been very positive.”

Our progress was monitored very closely by our Workiva Canadian support team— they were not going to let us fail.

— Lorraine Barber, CFO, Rand Logistics

Download case study

Read More