Quarterly Reports, 401k, and Pension


  • Prior to implementing Wdesk, the company used Microsoft® Word for quarterly financial reports. They experienced issues with formatting and transferring information from document to document.
  • This caused headaches within the finance department and generally made the team's job more time consuming and difficult to complete.
  • Due to the large size of the documents, including a large number of charts and tables, the previous system was unreliable when it came to managing multiple changes.

Getting executive buy-in

  • The accounting and SOX officer provided a cost/benefit analysis to the chief accounting officer (CAO) and the chief financial officer (CFO) to show the risks the company would face if it didn't adopt Wdesk. If the company didn't have good controls, especially at a financial level, it faced both reputational and financial risk.
  • Since external accountants and the PCAOB are making noise about internal controls, it was imperative to get information about the importance of adequate controls across the company and up the ladder to stakeholders.
  • The biggest hurdle internally was overcoming investments in different solutions, including MetricStream™. Outlining the issues they were experiencing with the current solution and the benefits of Wdesk were key.
  • The fact that Workiva is a partner for the SOX process—working with the company to improve its processes and provide best practices—and not just a vendor, made a big difference to the company's executive team.

How the accounting team uses Wdesk

  • Two team members input the data for a given quarterly report. Using the linking feature in Wdesk, the senior accountant can roll forward relevant data from the previous quarter into the new quarterly report.
  • Unlike before, multiple team members are able to edit a document at one time, which makes the process more efficient.
  • The team uses blacklines and track changes, in addition to leaving comments. Because an email is sent any time a user is mentioned in a comment, the task of tracking down contributors to ask questions has been eliminated.
  • When preparing 401k and pension reports, the senior accountant enters the information from record keepers into Wdesk, and the appropriate areas automatically populate because documents are linked.
  • After a manager reviews the document, it goes through audit and legal teams who view the document as a PDF.


  • Since switching to Wdesk in 2014, the company has been happy with the stability of the platform.
  • The team believes Wdesk is an easy program to navigate and use effectively.
  • Because of linking, the team's reports have become more accurate.
  • The senior accountant is pleased with the level of service provided by the Workiva Customer Success Manager (CSM). The company's CSM is easy to contact and has answers to any questions that may arise when using Wdesk.

Word is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Read More