Workiva: Enterprise Risk Management with an Integrated Easy-to- Use Platform

Matt Rizai, Chairman & CEO
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) can mean different things for different companies—some want to gain established processes to conduct risk control assessments, and others want to have integrated dashboard tools for real-time risk reporting. Whatever may be the requirement, ERM places a greater demand on enterprises for transparency in carrying information across all the players—from employees to management. However, gaining information transparency is easier said than done.

“The reporting teams are often scattered across multiple departments, separate offices, and different countries, and yet they need to work as a single group on reports that can contain thousands of pages,” says Matt Rizai Chairman and CEO of Workiva. “Also, ensuring information consistency across resolution and recovery plans, comprehensive capital review and analysis reports, and stress tests can be a time-consuming task.”

Alleviating these challenges is Workiva, based in Ames, IA. The company’s cloud-based reporting solution, Wdesk, helps risk-reporting teams gain desired transparency by providing information about the tasks each of the team members are working on and how the overall process is being manifested.

Wdesk is based on the single-document data model technology that allows teams to collaborate on documents in real time. “It provides great value because all the data can be linked from the single source to maintain information consistency and avoid confusion,” remarks Rizai. Any time the linked data is changed, it gets automatically updated across all the occurrences in real time— in Wdesk documents, spreadsheets, and presentations—reducing errors and increasing efficiency. This keeps the information always up-to-date, no matter where it's used.

Wdesk enables each team member to work simultaneously on his or her own section of the document, eliminating the need for confusing email interactions. It also allows them to write comments and have the running document history about any previous changes that were made.
“This streamlines the review and revision process, improvising easy accessibility for audit trails—making communication easier for the scattered teams,” he adds. Wdesk also offers permission controls to allow administrators to determine who can see what information and where the contributors can load their data—that helps eliminate security risks involved with the process. “Many companies are currently using email to send text and other documents that contain necessary data to the contributors and reviewers through email, which is an insecure way of doing it—Wdesk changes it all,” says Rizai.

Any time the linked data is changed, it gets automatically updated across all Wdesk documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time reducing errors and increasing efficiency

“We serve over 65 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and have over 2,200 customers, a lot of which are from the Fortune 1000,” says Rizai. In one instance, Workiva helped FirstMerit Corporation, an Akron, Ohio-based bank holding company in its financial reporting to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Wdesk’s linking capabilities, which sync data and text changes throughout documents, saved time and eliminated the hassle of having to double and triple check numbers between documents. “We have more time now because we don’t have to put our pencils down,” says Stacy Gilbert, Vice President and Assistant Controller, FirstMerit Corporation. “Because of that, our quality control has improved, too.”

“We are excited about our technology that helps enterprises do their daily work much faster, better, and easier in a lot of ways,” says Rizai. “Our Wdesk platform handles data relationships that are organic and constantly in flux, providing new strategic insights and opportunities,” he concludes.


Boulevard Ames, IA

Matt Rizai, Chairman & CEO

Workiva created Wdesk, a cloud-based productivity platform for enterprises to collect, link, report, and analyze business data with control and accountability.