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4 Findings from the Forrester TEI Study of the Workiva Platform

Financial Reporting
SEC Reporting
Total Economic Impact of Workiva Blog Image
4 min read
Published: 1 June 2023
Last Updated: 15 September 2023

Every organisation needs the clarity, confidence and connectedness of assured, integrated reporting. However, the challenge lies in trying to execute reliable reporting while managing risk and assurance with technology never intended for such complex work. 

With intelligent automation and workflow optimisation built in, the Workiva platform provides significant efficiencies across reporting and compliance processes. Those efficiencies added up for our customers, according to new third-party research.  

Workiva commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realise by deploying the Workiva platform for their financial, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) reporting activities. To better understand the benefits, costs and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed five Workiva customers and constructed a composite company that licenses multiple Workiva solutions.

Check out the highlights from the TEI study, based on a three-year risk-adjusted model by Forrester.

Forrester's Total Economic Impact of Workiva Infographic

In an interview with Forrester, the global head of internal audit at a healthcare company explained, “Our previous solution had 4,000 controls which was completely absurd. When I picked [Workiva] up, we were testing [about] 1,500 controls. [Workiva] along with the risk assessment process developed in it has enabled us to test only 950 controls with significant coverage across the business.”

Time-consuming manual tasks can prevent internal audit from playing a larger role in the business, such as advising on risk rather than simply reporting on it. According to the study, the Workiva platform helped reduce the number of total hours needed to complete audits annually by 3,600 hours by Year 3.

"Everything [is] centralised...[Workiva] really is simple and intuitive to use, [making implementation] just incredibly efficient," said the global head of internal audit, healthcare.

According to the study, the composite organisation sees a 45% reduction in the time it takes to produce an ESG report with the Workiva platform in Year 1, rising to 65% in Year 3. These ESG reporting efficiency improvements led to an estimated US$134,000 in present-value cost savings.

A head of governance and reporting at an IT services company described their stakeholders’ concerns with ESG data that was published before using Workiva: “The internal [audit] team almost didn’t let us publish our ESG report because they were concerned about how we were managing to create an auditable record of everything that had gone into it and all the changes that were made.” Now, when asked to provide evidence, this interviewee explained how Workiva has eliminated that hunting process. 

“Workiva has saved us so much time. If you look at the difference between our 2020 and our 2021 ESG reports, you’ll see that the 2021 ESG report has lots of proof points, it’s a lot more mature, it’s more substantive—it’s better. Why? Because I had the time to make it better,” said the head of governance and reporting at the IT services company.  

When asked how many hours the Workiva platform has likely saved them through their ESG solution, they said, “1,000 hours feels too low.”  

The representative interviews and financial analysis found that a composite organisation experienced benefits of US$4.29 million over three years versus costs of US$1.41M, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of US$2.88M and an ROI of 204%.

The cumulative effect of uniting financial reporting, ESG, and GRC in the Workiva platform is the difference maker for many organisations. According to the North American controller for a manufacturing/food company, “ of the major determining factors was that Workiva really turned into this one-stop shop for us.”

According to interviews, Workiva’s impact is noticeable from the top down. “[Our Chief Accounting Officer is] a big proponent of [Workiva] when he talks to other groups because he knows of the benefits of it,” said the assistant corporate controller of a financial services firm.

These are just a few highlights of the Forrester Consulting research. You can get a deep dive into the quantifiable and unquantifiable benefits, excerpts from the interviews and Total Economic Impact methodology in the full study. Click here to download a copy.

Join us at Amplify virtually on Sept. 21, and see even more examples of how financial reporting, ESG, and GRC intersect. Explore 13 select sessions, and a chance to earn up to 8 CPE credits! Register now.

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