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Meredith Corporation Testimonial
Karen Johnson, Director Financial Reporting: They had asked Meredith if we would be willing to be one of their two beta-test clients and we agreed and we worked closely with them in October of, it would be, boy, October 2009 we worked closely with them to file our first quarter 10-Q in their software and we were actually the very first company to file with WebFilings with the SEC.
It has changed in so many ways. It’s continued to grow. It went from just basically what was an editor product, which was kind of one version of the truth. It allowed you to have a workbook and a word processor, if you will, and it had a filing wizard to simplify filings with the SEC, which is where the beginnings really started. But since then, WebFilings has grown into XBRL and really that’s been one of the things that has been fabulous about WebFilings is their integrated XBRL product, which really wasn’t even in the picture when they started 3 years ago. We’ve also added other products such as [Certification], the Section 16 filer. Just as WebFilings continues to grow, we continue to find uses for their products.
Before XBRL the biggest challenges were basically trying to have one word processor, one document, that, you know, sometimes it might have an error and then what did we do? When could we go back? Or we’d have to save off a copy. ‘Did you remember to save off a copy of that document in case there’s a problem or in case we want to go back?’ So it was just trying to track all the versions and who was in it and what was updated. Where now, again, it’s all in one place so we don’t have to do that.
It’s just a much improved process. It’s just smoother, it’s more relaxed, if you will. We’ve always done the filings in-house, but there was a lot of manual work that had to go into doing them in house. So now with WebFilings, we can be more confident that all the information is there, it’s entered once, we don’t have to double check and triple check all the versions because the HTML and the PDF are created all at once out of the same information.
The workbook sync, basically what it does is it allows us to take our spreadsheet application where we were already doing some of our top-level financial statements and we can create, if you will, a replica of that in WebFilings in the workbook and then with an add on in the spreadsheet application, when we make a change to our press release statements, that can then be synced directly into the WebFilings application and we have our 10-Q or our 10-K and our press release documents all mapped to the same workbook. So we can make one change, actually, in one location, have it synced into WebFilings, and synced into all the appropriate places in the documents that it goes. So, again, it even goes towards the accuracy as well as the efficiency of making changes because we know if we change it in one place it’s now going to go to all the places it needs to go. It’s just a very smooth and easy process. We’re really liking that new feature.
The company is built on a framework of customer service first. It’s just an attitude. I’ve actually said, you know, as they’ve grown I was worried that that might get lost because it’s easier to train 30 people to have a customer service attitude, but when you have 500 do you still have that customer service attitude? But through everything we’ve watched them grow, they still do. Right up to the last filing that I had where we saw it time and again with the customer service attitude. We feel that we can pick up the phone or send an email at any time. We know that we will always get a quick response to it. That’s just… it’s one of WebFilings, in my mind’s, philosophies. Customer service always comes first. I think WebFilings does an excellent job of hiring people who kind of, or at least training people, to have that attitude of customer service, of wanting to help the customer, and that comes through. I sometimes when I call, you know, maybe I’m calling for the third time that day and feeling like I’m bothering my customer service representative and I’ll be like, “Oh, I’m sorry to bother you again today,” and they’re like… they’ve never made me feel that I’m bother them at all. Not once has that ever come across.
I think the WebFilings product is… it’s just the most integrated product. It makes it easy, it makes it… it’s intuitive, plus it has a lot of built in features that make sure that it checks and double checks your things. So if you do have an error, it helps you catch that. It has business rules and validation rules and all the things that are behind the scenes that I only see when I get an error, but I know it has hundreds and maybe thousands of rules behind it and I get, you know, 15 errors and it helps me improve my product.