Embark isn't the sort of firm that likes to dispense insights from the peaks of the digital mountaintops just to simply hear the sound of our collective voice. Instead, we at Embark like to put our proverbial money where our mouth is.
To that point, you might have noticed in some of our product reviews that we occasionally highlight Workiva solutions as being particularly efficient and effective in a number of different capacities. We can honestly say, after trying a number of different platforms for a number of different applications, that the Workiva tools separate themselves from their competitors with their functionality, ease of use, and overall benefits for team communication and productivity. A couple of real-life case studies will explain our affinity towards Workiva solutions and why we speak so highly of them.
Case Study #1: Workiva Internal Audit Tools for Pre-IPO Diligence
Recently, Embark was engaged by a $1 billion manufacturing company that had decentralized their operations across the U.S. and Canada after some key acquisitions over the years. As a consequence of these acquisitions, most of their plants had their own systems, process, reporting packages and controllers with very little consistency across the consolidated company.
To prepare for a potential IPO, the company sought Embark’s guidance to begin an initiative to document the current processes and procedures from each location, identifying a set of best practices, best systems and reporting packages that would be most suitable for the company as a whole. To organize, define and refine the many different tasks involved, Embark used Workiva’s Internal Audit tool to house the innumerable processes across the country while identifying the controls within each.
Embark also used the Internal Audit tool to develop a risk matrix for the consolidated company to identify any and all gaps and deficiencies within the control environment so the company, along with our assistance, could develop a remediation plan before their IPO.
The Workiva Internal Audit tool will also serve as the foundation for their SOX compliance efforts throughout their second year as a public company once they become a large accelerated filer. Throughout this entire process, both management and the external auditors at Deloitte had real-time access to reports, enabling them to offer their own comments within the Workiva Internal Audit tool and provide immediate review. Progress throughout the project was constantly monitored through the real-time dashboards also within the tool, giving all parties essential communication involving important milestones within the project.
Additionally, as the company prepared for their public filings, they utilized the SEC reporting tool within the Wdesk platform to prepare all such filings, facilitating the review process for both management and the external auditors to file their reports.
Case Study #2: Performing Multiple Tasks With the Wdesk Platform
For a smaller project, a private, pre-IPO REIT was required to issue over 40 joint venture audit reports. The company engaged Embark to implement Workiva’s Wdesk platform and assist in the financial reporting of each report, facilitating the external audit questions from Deloitte, PWC and Ernst & Young.
Aside from the significant audit report tasks, Wdesk is also being used for bank representation letters, totaling well over 100 separate documents, as well as tax compliance. By using the Wdesk platform from Workiva, Embark has been able to provide transparent and insightful guidance throughout the many varied responsibilities, lending an efficiency to the process that, simply put, is much more difficult to achieve with other platforms.
While the Workiva Wdesk platform has certainly become one of Embark’s favorite platforms (which is why we sponsor their annual TEC user conference), we did not arrive at such a conclusion lightly. Workiva's solutions afford us levels of consistency, reliability and productivity that our clients demand from their relationships with Embark. We're sure that you will realize the very same benefits from Workiva’s Wdesk and find that it quickly becomes one of your favorites as well.