Committed to innovation company-wide, this mid tier, high tech company transforms its external reporting with Certent
The investment decision for Certent was absolutely clear. We knew it would enable us to improve the accuracy and speed of our reports, reduce our risk of noncompliance, and have peace of mind that we are producing high-quality, error free reports on a quarterly and annual basis.” CFO
We had worked with Certent in prior roles at other organizations and knew it was the best choice - it was a no-brainer decision. Their trainers got us up to speed on everything new with the platform, set up our basic reports, and we were able to take it from there.” VP, Corporate Controller
A drive for efficiency
This high tech company provides residential real estate appraisal and title and closing services to mortgage lenders. The company leverages its technology-based platform to create a competitive marketplace.
As a forward-thinking tech company, innovation is a core value, informing both their product and how they operate. For the company’s finance team, that meant seeking out an innovative and more automated way to handle manual financial reporting processes.
Manual reporting processes were slow and error-prone
Prior to deploying Certent, assembling and producing public filings was a manual process. There were opportunities for input errors and version confusion when an update or change was made beyond the first draft, in part because there was no way to link the document directly to source data. In addition, embedded Excel-based tables were a problem, often causing files to become corrupted, creating formatting inconsistencies, and added risk because numeric changes in the embedded tables could not be tracked in Word. What’s more, only one person could work on a document at a time.
The company’s finance team wanted a way to reduce risk caused by its manual approach to reporting. Automating and streamlining its processes would reduce the time devoted to reporting, the number of manual touchpoints, and the potential for risk and error.
By innovating its reporting systems, the team was looking for smoother and more efficient collaboration, faster time to report completion, and greater accuracy throughout the reporting process.
Improved efficiency would also deliver secondary benefits by giving the finance team more time to create robust narrative insights to explain and support its reported data.
How they chose Certent
The team reviewed a number of providers, ultimately selecting Certent in part because several team members had used the platform at a prior employer and knew it would offer the Microsoft integration, ease of use, and innovative features they were looking for. They also saw Certent as a company equally committed to innovation, which meant the platform would meet their needs for many years to come.
Other factors in the decision included:
- As an on-premise solution, Certent met the company’s internal security requirements and would allow for direct connection from a unified data source to published reports
- Certent represented the most cost-effective solution
- Certent offered comprehensive training and support to get the team rapidly up to speed and keep them apprised of new features and capabilities
As the implementation moved forward, Certent helped build out the client’s baseline financial statements. Already familiar with the platform, the team
was then able to easily create the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A), press release and investor decks.
Report production is now dynamic and streamlined
With Certent in place, the finance team can confidently generate accurate financial statements, MD&A, press releases, and quarterly investor slide decks ready for release at the push of a button. The entire process is streamlined and controlled, with the majority of manual touchpoints for report production eliminated. The company can now have full confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the financial information within each document and across all its reports.
Other benefits of its Certent deployment include:
- Excel-based charts, graphs, and other visualizations are seamlessly integrated and properly formatted, making reports graphically rich and more engaging for stakeholders
- There are far fewer proofing checks and reviews required, saving review time for the finance team
- Most aspects of the reports are automated, including income, loss, and gain sections, speeding report preparation and improving accuracy
- All team members can now share and access the multiple sections of the reports simultaneously, enabling efficient collaboration while maintaining tight version control
- Time savings are reinvested in enriching the narrative story and explanations that bring context to the company’s disclosures
Next up: XBRL
Having achieved all the goals the team initially set for the project, the company knew it could leverage the XBRL and EDGARization capability.