Upland Software improves SOX with Wdesk



I’m Marissa Palmer and I am from Upland Software and I am the SOX and Compliance Manager for Upland. I think my boss was already leaning that way when I got there. I knew you guys had a solution and I was leaning that way because again, natural progression, you do your SEC filings there. You know the whole reason for SOX is to ensure these filings are correct, so why wouldn’t you do that? What we basically did was, we handed you guys all our SOX documentation and said: This is what we have. This is what we need built. And that was the take away. A couple of weeks later—and we were expecting it to be longer—you came back and you’re like: We have it built. Start looking through it. Is there any tweaking? We did a week of tweaking because there are a lot of documents to go through.

I can’t imagine a first-year SOX implementation not being somewhat painful and hectic. That’s just the nature of it, because it is so new for everybody. Having Wdesk made it less painful and more manageable. It’s always felt more like a partnership than a support. The implementation, compared to other implementations in the past that I have gone through, there is just no contest. It was really painless. They got everything up and running really quickly.

Simplicity is really difficult to find and to create something simple. Complexity is actually easier to make, you just pile one thing on top of another. To make something that is extremely efficient and simple requires a tremendous amount of thought on the back end, of how it is going to be engineered and how it is going to interface. To me the test of an application as to whether it is user friendly or not is, without any training, go into it, and if I can figure out in 10 to 15 minutes how to do what I need to do, it's great user interface system. It’s user friendly.

I’m not here to tell them how to build their SOX process. I’m here to make sure that the SOX process is executed and that we pass and that our controls are operating effectively. I’m also here to help build the program, but I don’t believe in building it in a silo, because they are still the control owners and you have to collaborate there. I need them to tell me how they need to see it to be comfortable. The nice thing about Wdesk is it gives me the flexibility that if one person wants to see it one way and another wants to see it another way, I can adjust their worksheets to how they want to see it, but it can all still feed a master document the same way I want to see it. So everybody is happy.

They were pretty excited because they knew about it from the SEC perspective and they wanted to see it, I think they were really anxious to see it. They were like, oh yeah we can’t wait to see it. When we did onboarding for SOX, I walked them through it and they were just so truly impressed by that single source of truth. They just said, “Wow” because it takes so many man hours. They see this every time, client after client, and there are just so many man hours saved right there, just having that. Something that would have taken several hours now takes a couple of minutes.

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