New Director of Technical Accounting Connects from Home
Early in her career, Abi remembers tedious preparation of financial statements created with traditional spreadsheet and word-processing software that didn't sync well.
- Ability to log on and work from home, just like she would at the office
- Less time spent on data entry, more time for analysis
- A single platform for creating spreadsheets, documents, and presentations
- Flexible outputs, from PowerPoint® presentations to PDFs to EDGAR filings
In her first months at the clinical research and biopharmaceutical services company Parexel, Abi Raja served as Director of Technical Accounting and External Reporting without ever setting foot in the office.
Like other U.S. employees who happened to start new jobs in March 2020, Abi spent her first day—and beyond—working from home to do her part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
She found that like her previous employer, Parexel used the Workiva connected reporting platform for financial reporting. With the ability to use the cloud platform from anywhere with a secure internet connection, it was easy to start contributing on projects, even though her team couldn't meet up in person.
"The platform lends itself well to working remotely and working in distributed teams," Abi said. "I picked up my iPad®, I logged in, and I was able to put in all my comments. There was really no change between what I would have done in the office and what I would have done in a remote setting."
Benefits beyond enabling remote work
Before managing external reporting, Abi started her career at an audit firm, working with clients who used traditional printers to produce external reports.
"I remember hearing my clients talk about how annoying it was to work with the publishers and how inflexible the process was," she said. "I finally had a client who was public and used Workiva, and it was just so fascinating how much more comfortable and in control they were of their documents."
Abi experienced the benefits of connected reporting firsthand when she advanced her career as an accounting manager and then a director of finance at a public company in the building industry. There, she used Workiva to produce financial statements instead of using Excel® and Word® documents. "Frankly, there's no comparison to what Workiva provides you," Abi said.
Companies using Workiva can maintain control of the documents they file to the Securities and Exchange Commission, from creation of a report to the time they file, directly from the Workiva platform. That kind of control gives teams more flexibility to incorporate late updates and file more accurate reports. Users also can link data across multiple instances where it is mentioned. That allows a user to update the data at the source to automatically update the information everywhere it is linked.
"With Workiva, it would take minutes or seconds depending on what kind of change you were making," Abi said. "The idea that you could make a change a minute or two before you filed and file it is unheard of without Workiva."
In addition, Abi said:
- Reviews are faster, and she can create blacklines to quickly see what has changed between versions of a document.
- Validation checks help verify the accuracy and integrity of projects. "It's a wonderful way to move people out of entering data into being more analytical and thinking through what the financials are telling people versus just putting them together," Abi said.
- She has the flexibility to work with colleagues on a document directly in the Workiva platform or to export documents in other formats for those who prefer reviewing a PDF file, for example.
A solution that grows with her
As Abi continues building her career, even from home, she appreciates that Workiva continues to listen to users to improve the platform and release new capabilities.
"That's something that I always find refreshing. There's always something new available to me to improve my document," Abi said. "It's the way that we work, right? We all take whatever we're doing, and we make it better the next time around, especially with financial reporting. The fact that there is always something more that we can do with Workiva the next time we jump into it is really amazing."
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