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Lower Lakes Towing Testimonial
Lorraine Barber, Chief Financial Officer: My name is Lorraine Barber. I’m Chief Financial Officer of Lower Lakes Towing Limited and also representing Grand River Navigation on the US side. Lower Lakes began in 1994. It’s actually an owner-managed company initially. Started off very, very small, one boat, and has grown into a public company with 16 vessels on the Great Lakes representing traveling between the US and Canada.
What would end up happening, we’ve got to get information into our auditor’s hands, we’ve got to get information into legal counsel as well as our senior management that’s based in New York to make certain that we’ve got all of the feedback coming in.
Sanjiv Shah, Controller: It was very time consuming plus version control was another issue, like who is going to take care of which part. And of course sending the documents to our auditors was, again, an issue.
Lorraine Barber: So you’ve got all these changes coming in, you’ve got photocopies of PDFs, you’ve got all these different document sources. Some of it’s electronic, some of it’s manual, you know, whichever way. And you’re trying to consolidate and coordinate it. You’ve got all of these different questions coming in, so it’s really a question of just managing all that time and all that information and making certain that you haven’t missed any of it.
We saw that there was some real potential for savings and just streamlining that entire process and our… it was just a good… a good sell in for us. So right from that start of being exposed to WebFilings to ultimately that decision to go with WebFilings, it was a really solid process for us. So often what happens is you get sold something, there’s an implementation team to get you set up and then it stops. Well, we did the initial setup with all the hand holding in the world that we needed and then we came to the time where we needed to start thinking about filing.
Next thing you know, we’re into it. And it’s like, “Well, what do we do with these tables? How do we fuse this information in here? How do we develop the links?” And suddenly the real support kicked in and we had the most amazing support person working with us. She was just absolutely fabulous. No matter what happened, no matter what time, it was like she was on the phone with Neil, Sanjiv, myself. It didn’t make any difference.
Sanjiv Shah: We can call her any time on her cell, after hours. She was always available.
Lorraine Barber: That implementation to go live was phenomenal. We then moved to detail tagging in XBRL and most people do that in an off quarter, they do their 10-K, they get a little bit of time, and June 30th rolls around, you’ve now had 6 months to get yourself up to speed to get the detail tagging done in XBRL. Well, we’ve got a March 31st year end. We filed June 8th.
Sanjiv Shah: That was something which we…I think we could not have done without WebFilings.
Lorraine Barber: With WebFilings, we’ve got this locked down. We are able to get all of our comments in from our auditors, from counsel, whoever needs to see it. We’ve got viewer rights have been described to these people. We’ve got it all coordinated. We know where everything stands. I don’t have to chase after people to see what’s open, what’s closed. I know… I know the status of every query that’s been raised by whoever.
Sanjiv Shah: I can just log onto my WebFilings and can update the document, send it again to our auditors or our outside counsel, and everything is so fast. We really have saved some time on the process.
Lorraine Barber: It’s all there. It’s all in one spot. And you’re able to do blackline versions, so, you know, lawyers who just love to know what changed from here to there. You’re suddenly in control of all the different elements. You still go through the stress of a closing, but you do it with a lot more confidence, you know that all your factors are taken into account, you’ve locked everything down, and you file.
Right now we only do our 10-Ks and 10-Qs. I wanna actually embed our press releases into this process as well so that when we go to initiate a change in our press release or if there’s a change in our 10-Q or 10-K, it automatically updates into the press releases that we’re creating so we can create our templates. We’re always looking at anything that will help streamline the operation.
Our workload was pretty heavy and we would have people down here every night during a close until 10 at night. I’d say in the past 2 to 3 filings we’ve got people that are leaving here at 6 and 7 at night. So, you know, as you start converting that over, that’s where we’re getting our savings. So you’re right, that work-life balance is actually coming through quite nicely for us. It’s sort of, as you think back on it, think, “Well, where was my life before this?” Well, when you’re working those hours all the time and you’re able to get out of here at 6 or 7 through a close, that’s a nice… a nice savings for your employees.
From a streamlining perspective, we already had gone from… we had gone from 45 days down to 40 days in that filing timeline. We did it very smoothly and I don’t know that we could’ve done it without WebFilings.