7 Takeaways from the Inaugural Amplify Europe
The inaugural Amplify Europe took place on 21 Nov in London. More than 150 accounting, finance and compliance professionals from 12 countries joined the one-day event to explore the power of connected reporting and compliance.
If you weren’t able to attend, here are seven key takeaways from Amplify Europe:
1. Building trust through connectivity
Assistant General Manager Bart van Praag spoke to the audience about the Workiva mission: building trust in the global economy with transparent data and connected reporting. He addressed how important it is for organisations to maintain control of their data and how the finance function can harness that data to add value to the business.
Yasser Mahmud, Senior VP Marketing, expanded on these points during his keynote presentation. 'The focus of corporate computing has almost always been on managing the transactional nature of the business. As these technologies advanced, more data was created. This ushered in the need to consolidate data and provide the visualisation necessary to perform the analysis that we have become so dependent upon', said Yasser.
'However, what is seemingly frozen in time are the systems of work used for reporting that we depend upon to assemble, to collaborate and to file critical information. Break free of this disconnected status quo, and maximise the value your organisations can realise from connected reporting and compliance'.
Yasser continued by sharing an incredible statistic: in the last year alone, Workiva users created nearly 500 million data elements. What this means to Workiva users is 500 million fewer copy and pastes, 500 million fewer chances for disconnected data and 500 million fewer opportunities for risk.
2. Connected data—a game changer
A hot topic throughout Amplify Europe was the opportunities organisations can unlock with Wdata.
Previously, data in the Workiva platform was likely pulled from multiple systems of record, and it was reconciled, consolidated and analysed. However, throughout this process, the integrity of the data begins to degrade. With Wdata, organisations can now connect directly from source systems to reports. This is vitally important since connected reporting cannot happen unless data is connected completely and consistently.
Imran Choudhry, Solutions Architect, took the attendees on a deep dive into what is possible when organisations connect their data.
'Even the best organisations struggle with data, and the problem is only getting worse', said Imran. 'However, with Wdata and the Workiva platform, you do not need to choose between access to data and control. You can have data without tradeoffs—that means data that is connected, automated, accessible and trusted'.
3. Connecting organisations across the globe
Laurence Kiddle of Deloitte, Katie Davies of National Grid and Andromeda Wood and Conor O’Kelly of Workiva discussed the challenges of global reporting and how creating swift and accurate statutory reports has become more complex. With the status quo unsustainable, the panel stressed the importance of centralising the statutory reporting process to make organisations more connected, more collaborative and more capable.
4. Workiva users in the spotlight
Workiva customers took centre stage at the event, including Rashid Khilji of J.P. Morgan, Thomas Coles of Atrium and Geert Asselman of Euronav. The customer panel shared with the audience why they chose Workiva, best practices they have implemented in their organisations and lessons learned throughout their onboarding process.
'I am a regulatory technical specialist, but I was spending most of my time just getting the report accurate', said one panellist. 'I knew there had to be a better way. I started looking around for alternatives, and I found Workiva. Now with Workiva, a huge benefit is that instead of giving the board 2–3 days to sign a 400-page report, I can give them 2–3 weeks'.
'I love that all it takes for me to complete my report is to press two buttons', said one panellist. 'I love pressing those two buttons!'
Another topic that came up during the panel session was the importance of the Workiva customer success manager.
'My experience with the customer success manager has been consistently different from the first line of support compared to other software providers', said one of the panellists.
5. Own your data, own your story
Philip Fitz-Gerald of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) spoke about how the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) represents a turning point for corporate reporting in Europe. Philip shared how the ESEF provides both opportunities and risks.
'The ESEF is just the first step in the digitisation of reporting', said Philip. 'Reporting has always been about creating actionable insight from data. This becomes more challenging with so many sources of data. Therefore, it is really important for organisations to own their story by putting out data that is consistent and comparable'.
Philip recommended that organisations immediately address how they will handle tagging. More importantly, he suggested that organisations need to consider what they want their annual reports to look like going forward and what support they need to be able to produce that.
6. Exploring new possibilities
Attendees were able to meet with Workiva partners, including Anaplan, BlackLine, Lionpoint, Host Analytics and OneStream Software, to discover integrations that support reporting and process transformation and maximise their investments in Workiva.
Plus, demo stations were available where customers could explore new products and features and also get hands-on with the next generation of the Workiva platform.
7. Workiva Amplify in 2020
Ready to join Workiva for Amplify Europe 2020? Stay tuned for more information on the dates and location of next year’s event.
Meanwhile, consider joining us in Washington, D.C., from 21–24 Sept for Workiva Amplify. Sign up to receive alerts about Workiva Amplify, and be one of the first to know when registration opens and to take advantage of early-bird discounts.