Starting Internal Controls from Scratch


  • As a private biotechnology company, the business wanted to be prepared to go public if it was ever needed. This meant the company needed to have controls in place for SOX compliance when it did go public.
  • The company had no flowcharts or risk and control matrices in place.
  • The team taking on internal controls reporting only had access to Excel® and wanted a system that would allow the controls and accounting manager time to train employees on the process.
  • Being new to internal controls, the internal audit department is a team of one with work outsourced to a public accounting firm as necessary, so everyone needed to be able to access documents without worrying about version control.
  • “Once we started hearing and seeing the dynamic capabilities of Wdesk, in my opinion, it was a relatively easy decision to make,” says the controls and accounting manager.

Why Wdesk is right for the company

  • The controls and accounting manager claims that by automating control testing with Wdesk, the risks involved with constant updating, sharing, and maintaining spreadsheets manually were significantly lowered.
  • Process owners reviewing the document can find all the information they need in one cloud-based platform instead of searching through a handful of spreadsheets to find the data they are looking for.
  • “We could've accomplished the tasks in-house with Excel, but it would've taken exponentially longer to get any sort of coherent, dynamic transparency into these documents like we wanted,” says the controls and accounting manager.


  • With only one employee working full-time on internal controls reporting, having built-in controls and testing capabilities within Wdesk allows him to be more efficient with his time.
  • “Wdesk allowed me to free up more time in order to get people actively involved and to increase their overall knowledge of the importance of SOX,” says the controls and accounting manager.
  • Linking allows the many spreadsheets, reports, and graphs that factor into the internal controls process to update simultaneously, saving the team countless hours of review time.
  • Pulling together a presentation for the audit committee doesn’t require extraordinary efforts. Data from many different cycles can easily be pulled into graphs that show the risks associated with each one.

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

Read More