Starting the SOX Process from Scratch


  • Employees responsible for financial reporting had been using IBM® OpenPages® GRC Platform until their energy company split off from its parent company. They had to start from scratch to create processes for SEC reporting and SOX documentation.
  • The company was looking for a solution to meet both its SEC and SOX needs.
  • Without a full-time internal controls or audit team, the corporate accounting group needed a reporting process efficient enough to allow employees to still manage their other responsibilities.
  • The company's external auditor suggested they look at Wdesk, and the company found that Wdesk had solutions for both types of reporting.
  • The team did not have a budget for SOX or additional headcount, so the SOX reporting capability of Wdesk was a win-win for the corporate accounting team.
  • Because the team was starting from scratch, it expected implementation would be a lot of work. Instead, implementation was relatively painless because Workiva took care of creating the spreadsheets and documents the company needed within Wdesk.

Why Wdesk makes sense

  • Wdesk has increased the team's productivity as it goes through acquisitions and implementation of a new ERP system.
  • Contributors can quickly find all data they need in one location without worrying about whether or not the information is the most current version.
  • Certifications are easily completed without the hassle of email. Wdesk keeps an automatic log, so extra administrative steps aren’t necessary.
  • Contributors are sent tasks, which take them directly to what they need to work on or edit, through Wdesk.
  • All documentation is located in Wdesk and is linked to audit committee slides and testing dashboards, providing real-time insights to management, external audit, and the audit committee.


  • "Without Wdesk, there would be no way I could take on additional functions and responsibilities in my role at the company." —Financial analyst
  • Through ongoing acquisitions, the flexibility of Wdesk allows the company to effectively manage its SOX process without hiring extra personnel. Plus, the team is still able to spend time on additional responsibilities.
  • When Wdesk was rolled out to the business lines, team members found it easy to use. They quickly understood how the structure was organized and where to update information.
  • The senior accountant no longer spends extended periods of time manually collecting information or constantly comparing versions.
  • Within a SOX cycle, the company estimates the senior accountant alone saves 4–5 hours of work time now that external auditors access the documentation they need directly in Wdesk.
  • With industry standards constantly changing, the team feels confident that it can keep up with the changes, rather than be buried under additional reporting tasks.
  • The team has seen such great success with SOX documentation, testing, evidence collection and management, and certifications, that it plans to start using Wdesk for risk assessments.
  • The company’s customer service manager offered support and tutorials throughout each step of the implementation process.
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