Real Estate Investment Trust Uses Wdesk to Reduce Financial Review and Reconciliation Process Time by 90 Percent
AMES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Workiva (NYSE:WK), the leading cloud provider of connected data, reporting and compliance solutions, today released an independent study that documents how a publicly-traded, real estate investment trust (REIT) achieved a return on investment of 113 percent over three years by using its Wdesk cloud-based platform. Workiva commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct “The Total Economic Impact™ of Workiva Wdesk” study in January 2019.
The REIT, which manages $15 billion in commercial real estate, uses Wdesk to streamline its financial reporting processes, thereby reducing costs and giving its financial reporting, accounting and marketing teams more time to focus on higher-value work.
Prior to Wdesk, the company compiled quarterly regulatory filings and investor relations documents from disparate sources using legacy, on-premise software. The manual process of setting up documents at the start of each review cycle was tedious and labor intensive, and the review and reconciliation processes were time consuming and prone to errors.
“Without a single source of truth, the financial reporting team had to check and recheck the numbers in every document, all while working against looming deadlines. This meant extended hours and late nights,” wrote Forrester.
Wdesk has modernized how the REIT manages and reports financial data.“In that final week of preparing our document we’re not figuring out what the right answer is – we’ve already determined that prior to the crunch time,” said the REIT’s Vice President of Financial Reporting. “We’re now focused on finalizing our tie-outs and addressing comments and not determining what data should be in our queue.”
Forrester reported that the REIT experienced the following benefits:
Financial reporting staff
- Reduced time dedicated to reviewing and reconciling financial metrics by 90 percent
- Improved accuracy in tie-outs by creating a single source of truth for financial data across department
Financial reporting contributors
- Simplified contributor review process by removing inconsistencies in data across departments
- Reduced hours spent reconciling discrepancies
- Reduced time spent on developing impairments presentations by over 50 percent
- Alleviated stress associated with each reporting cycle close
- Reduced overtime hours previously needed to meet reporting deadlines
- Reduced time required to create board books and five-year plans by 50 percent
- Improved collaboration and accuracy by linking spreadsheets and source documents directly to Wdesk presentations so changes were reflected in real time
Forrester also reported that the REIT experienced the following immeasurable benefits:
- Avoidance of reputational damage caused by errors in regulatory filings
- Better work-life balance for finance and accounting teams
- Lower printing costs associated with producing more accurate documents
- More flexibility as teams now spend less time on administrative tasks related to review and reconciliation and more time on value-added tasks and processes that create efficiencies and improve insights
Workiva commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the benefits of Wdesk to enterprises. In addition to interviewing several experienced Wdesk customers, Forrester’s research approach included gathering usage data and constructing a risk-adjusted financial model to measure benefits, costs, flexibility and risks. This is the fourth in a series of studies that Workiva has commissioned with Forrester.
The full study can be found here.
Read full press release here.