FloQast Named Workiva’s Technology Partner of the Year
Oct 21, 2020 | By John Siegel
Over the last six months, finance and accounting departments around the world have been forced out of their comfort zone — evolving from traditional, in-house teams to remote organizations as their businesses scrambled to respond to an unprecedented global pandemic. In doing so, these organizations have turned to technology, replacing age-old processes that were more comfortable than efficient, and reaping the benefits along the way.
Founded in the midst of another economic downturn in 2008, Workiva is one of the preeminent financial technology companies in the world, simplifying complex work. To date, 75% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Workiva to transform and manage their financial, operational, and compliance reporting processes.
This month, FloQast was named the Workiva Technology Partner of the Year. Over the last few years, businesses utilizing FloQast’s accounting workflow automation software in coordination with Wdesk have been able to streamline existing financial processes — from the humble month-end close to SOX compliance and financial reporting. Here's how Utah-based mobile accessory pioneers ZAGG did it.
Putting the Pieces Together
With COVID-19 and the still-evolving business landscape, financial transformation is top of mind for many companies is top of mind. As a result, businesses are finding great results by implementing targeted solutions to their biggest bottlenecks with an emphasis on connectivity. A major strength of FloQast and Workiva is how well they connect, not only with one another but also to any ERP system companies are already using.
ZAGG initially implemented FloQast to help streamline the month-end close.
“FloQast has provided greater visibility for the whole financial team and simplified the reconciliation and approval workstream,” said Corporate Controller Steven Hayes. “We can now pre-handle close deliverables to get ahead of the monthly, quarterly, and annual close curve. FloQast aligned well with our supporting file structure, without needing major modifications, and helped stratify reference and delivery of supporting documentation in a simple-to-access way. Centralized views allow us to help identify any outstanding close assignments and the party responsible for their completion.”
Within months, the accounting team found that its reliance on FloQast could extend beyond just the close process.
A beautiful thing about connectivity is that it empowers collaboration. When you’re dealing with the close, reporting, and internal audit, it’s crucial to have everyone on the same page. If everyone’s working from a different version and trying to match up desktop spreadsheets, it’s going to take a lot more time and energy than necessary.
According to ZAGG, Workiva and FloQast function seamlessly. At the click of a button, the company can push information from one to the other. It’s easy for them to see what’s been done, see who’s working on what project, and know that everyone has the same current version of the numbers.
“My colleague Eric Green, the Director of Financial Reporting — who completes the bulk of the financial reporting functions — and I are now able to synchronize our activities for the first time thanks to Workiva and FloQast, without the usual back and forth of questions and redundant requests for additional documentation or supporting approvals," said Hayes. "Everything we need is stored in the Workiva platform, easily accessed by all.”
Hayes continued: “It's nice for him to be able to just put in tasks that he knows he needs to get done for reporting and keep them organized. As I'm reviewing reconciliations in FloQast and using Workiva to build up our reporting pack and consolidation, I know exactly where Eric is in the process, what he needs, what he's accomplished, and if he's waiting for anything from me. That's been extremely helpful.”
Collaboration in the finance function isn’t just some Kumbaya team-building exercise. It’s about saving time, saving money, and getting more done with less. COVID has made collaboration both harder and more necessary than ever, especially if your team is working remotely.
Connecting the Dots
Between the accounting and financial reporting teams lives ZAGG’s internal audit team. Internal Audit Manager McKay Bates illustrated how FloQast and Workiva bridges the gap between accounting, internal audit, and financial reporting.
“FloQast and Workiva have become instrumental in providing the bridge between ZAGG’s internal audit functions and the SEC,” he said. “It provides a critical point of reference, the checks and balances necessary to verify that appropriate internal accounting tasks have been completed and ratified.”
“As far as SOX internal controls, I've worked with our Controller and the various department heads and have built out — in FloQast — different checklist items and reconciliations that are done as part of the month-end process,” Bates continued. “I have a control inside of Workiva that says whether all of the bank recs have been satisfactorily performed monthly and are validated by FloQast. There's a Workiva checklist entry that contains all of those reconciliations, so it's a clear reminder for the whole team to stay on top of those items.”
Concluding his thoughts on the connectivity between FloQast and Workiva, Bates said “When I do my audit test work inside of Workiva, I import the reconciliations, checklist items, and screenshot approvals from FloQast to evidence all control activities were performed for that period. For control purposes, all these authentications in Workiva assist in finalizing the month-end process so while the accounting team is building out their consolidations, I’m preparing for a seamless external audit review."
If a financial transformation is in your future, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to start from scratch. Instead, find flexible tools that you can use with your existing system, implement quickly, and get maximum bang for your buck. If financial reporting and close management are on your list of bottlenecks, give Workiva and FloQast a try.