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Orion Engineered Carbons + Workiva

How Orion Took a Big Step Forward with Its SOX Compliance Program

Disconnected Challenges

Since their SOX compliance program relied on manual processes and desktop applications, it was a nightmare to keep their documentation up to date.

Connected Results

  • With all documentation in one place, colleagues can easily access the most up-to-date version
  • Saved time, which they were able to spend on analysing test results
  • Increased the transparency and visibility of entire process
  • Platform is easy to use, so teams were able to quickly see benefits without needing weeks of training 

Why They Chose Workiva

  • Centralised platform connects all people, processes and risk and control information
  • SEC reporting team already had success using Workiva
Illustration of Orion logo

Workiva Solutions

  • SOX Compliance
  • Internal Controls Management
  • ESG Reporting
  • SEC Reporting


The SOX compliance program at Orion Engineered Carbons used to rely on desktop documents and spreadsheets that were exchanged through emails or thumb drives. But this process lacked transparency, it was difficult to manage and it was time-consuming.

Plus, it was challenging for Udo Burger, Manager Business Process Controls, in Cologne, Germany, to work together with his counterparts in Asia-Pacific and North America.

“It was a total nightmare trying to keep the SOX documents up to date,” said Udo. “We have to collaborate with colleagues around the clock, but our old process was so complicated and time-consuming. I was aware that our SEC reporting team was having success using Workiva, so I knew it was time for us to make the switch, too.”

With Workiva, Orion is able to manage its entire SOX compliance program in one central location. By bringing the more than 120 people involved in the SOX process together in a single cloud platform, Orion is able to increase visibility and improve value.

“It was a big step forward for us to have all of our documents in one place,” said Udo. “With Workiva, we know that everything is in the right place, the documentation can be accessed at any time from anywhere in the world and we always have the most up-to-date versions.”

With everyone working together on one platform, not only is the entire process much more transparent, but Udo has also been able to save time that they can dedicate to work that makes a difference.

“Now we are able to go deeper into analysing the test results. We have the time to look more closely into what the issues really are and then see how we can remedy them,” he said.

Plus, since the team in Germany needs to work closely with their counterparts in the United States, Brazil, China and Korea, the Workiva platform has been key to helping their SOX team work together more effectively.

“The comment functionality and being able to assign tasks to other colleagues are both great for collaborating,” he said.

The Orion team uses the Workiva platform to collaborate on controls, risk assessments and more across the testing process.

“It is much better to manage the testing process in one platform. We are able to track the status of our SOX testing, and we have all the results in one place—it’s perfect,” said Udo. “ It’s also great to have our risk and control matrix linked together with our narrative and flowcharts.”

Plus, the report and dashboard functionality provides Orion with an overarching view of the status of their SOX program.

“The dashboards and reports are great! We didn’t have to spend time customising these, so we were able to work with them right away,” said Udo. “And, there is a variety of different reports and easy to use filters, so we have the flexibility to slice and dice the data as needed.”

Orion has a dedicated Customer Success Manager from Workiva who works with them to ensure they are meeting their objectives and optimising their use of the platform.

“The customer service and support is outstanding,” said Udo. “The personal Customer Success Manager makes a difference. I have to say, at first I was skeptical if they would really be able to deliver the benefits they describe, but now I am pleased. They are always available, and I can get valuable support whenever I need it.”

With a fast implementation time, the Orion team was able to quickly see the bottom-line benefits from connecting risk and control information across the enterprise.

“Between the online training and the fact that the test functionality is quite self-explanatory, there was no big learning curve. This is a big advantage because you do not need weeks or months of training to get up to speed with the platform,” said Udo.

Since the platform is so intuitive, Udo is excited about new ways Orion can connect its people, processes and data.

“We are now looking into how we can get more departments on to the platform since it is so easy to use,” he said. “I don’t know any other platform that can do everything Workiva can in such an easy way.”

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