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Amplify 2021 Crushes Complexity—and Smashes Records

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4 min read
Published: 28 September 2021
Last Updated: 1 October 2021

Dare to simplify. That was the theme of this year’s Workiva Amplify conference, the virtual global event featuring champions of change and headlined by Matthew McConaughey.

We dared. And you delivered. Nearly 10,000 attendees from 100+ countries joined us for two days of peace, love, and simplicity. There were more than 70 sessions to choose from, ranging from discussions on automation in the office of finance and trends in ESG reporting to inspiration for soft skills like confidence building and goal-setting.

Here’s a quick rundown of Amplify 2021...

Simplification in the spotlight

Amplify kicked off with a keynote on what work looks like today. According to Workiva CEO Marty Vanderploeg, “Consumers, institutions, stakeholders, and especially younger generations...are demanding more from companies to serve customers, employees, communities, and the planet. These are very positive outcomes. But, this level of change doesn’t come without complexity.” That complexity has come in the form of dispersed workforces, increased data streams, and more nuanced regulations. That’s why we need simplification—to put the right data in the right people’s hands at the right time. 

50+ hours of ideas, advice, and inspiration

Nearly 70% of Amplify sessions featured external thought leaders—CEOs, CFOs, and other executives from some of today’s most respected organizations shared perspectives on how to navigate workplace disruption, facilitate transformation, and take your teams into the next era. Here are just a few soundbites that had the session chats buzzing:

  • Junko Swain, CAO of Upwork, predicted the not-so-distance future of accounting: “People may say I'm crazy, but I think one day, bots or machines are going to close the books.”
  • Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock, spoke on creating a culture of compliance: “I'm not worried about being scathed or unscathed. I'm focused on doing right by our shareholders, by reporting accurately, telling the truth, and letting them know where the business is going.”
  • Anthony Pugliese, president and CEO of The IIA, talked about the shift in internal audit: “Disruptive innovation and how we work to help management and the board understand opportunity as much as risk is something that we see as a priority for the profession.”

A shared mission

Workiva may be leading the charge for simplifying complex work, but we’re not going it alone. Our partner network had a massive presence at Amplify 2021, showing how attendees can expand the powers of the Workiva platform to: 

  • Modernize the financial close with a focus on agility, automation, and control 
  • Streamline the IPO process and the ongoing responsibilities of operating as a public company
  • Establish a connected and transparent process to better manage your risk profile
  • Support data centralization and governance for both management and external reporting
  • Use templates that help you facilitate many of your reporting processes 

Workiva is working hard to make simple happen

Regular attendees of Amplify know that it’s the event where we unveil the latest Workiva products and platform features. This year was no exception—the Workiva team previewed exciting new innovations like Processes (more on that below), XBRL review, authorship overlays, cell history, lock edits, link placeholders, and the increased power of data prep Pipelines and Chains through our recent OneCloud acquisition. We also announced a new badging and certifications program, with learning paths that ensure you can maximize the value of your solution and establish yourself as a Workiva expert.

Intelligent workflows are in demand—and on the way

One of our most popular sessions was Processes at Work: Introducing Automation with Workiva. This was a deep dive into new functionality that enables you to package, assign, and manage tasks without ever leaving the platform. And apparently Processes couldn’t have come at a better time—63% of attendees said “streamlining existing processes and adding automation where possible” was their top priority for Q4. (Watch the session here.)

Workiva customer awards announced

During the week of Amplify, we also announced the winners of this year’s Workiva Customer Awards. To see who won everything from the Leader of the Year to the Excellence in Transformation honors, check out the blog

The reviews are in ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"I have attended hundreds of sessions across multiple conferences... This was a very tight presentation organized into digestible segments."

"Whether for work or personal, changing the way we think is critical in our success. Glad to be reminded of this."

"I have no complaints—except I wanted to attend sessions at the same time!"

"These sessions where clients share their journey and navigating through the platform are immensely helpful."

These were just a few of the comments we’ve heard so far. But the greatest compliment we can receive is knowing that attendees left Amplify with ideas to make work easier and inspired to get started. Thank you to everyone who helped make this the biggest Workiva event ever.

If you missed out on Amplify, you can still catch the entire conference on demand until Oct. 31. You can register for free, and then access Amplify content on the event site here

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