Originally published on the Certent Insider blog.
If you’re a finance professional, the terms “quarter-end” and “year-end” will evoke a certain emotional response. The quarterly fire drill of gathering documents from different departments with deadlines looming, compounded by the high stakes of ensuring compliance with the SEC is enough to make you pull your hair out. Your company’s disclosure documents tell the world your company’s financial story, and as the author you want to be sure the message is being conveyed clearly. A disclosure management platform allows greater collaboration with team members, control over your data and eliminates the manual processes associated with 10Q, 10K, and more.
A solution to end the nightmare
One key feature within a disclosure management solution is the ability to have multiple team members working on different parts of a Word document at the same time. A multi-user environment facilitates greater collaboration among cross departmental teams from multiple locations. This functionality reduces your number of iterations significantly and saves time. Be clear on each user’s permission level, and make sure any disclosure management solution you choose provides the ability to blackline changes made in the document.
A disclosure management solution also provides you with greater control over your data. You will be able to retain full access to your authoring documents, and have the ability to make changes as they come up. Having the ability to maintain control of your documents throughout the entire SEC filing process will result in simplification of last minute changes and the elimination of inefficient “pencils down” periods mandated by printer processes- and you can say goodbye to costly rush fees.
In the past, creating your 10K, 10Q, and other disclosure documents was a very manual process. Gathering data from multiple sources and keying that information into your Excel spreadsheet poses a myriad of challenges – not to mention a lack of control for data accuracy. Disclosure management systems can eliminate these manual processes with the ability to gather source data directly from your accounting platform, thereby reducing errors. A comprehensive solution will have the capability to link functionality between Excel, Word and PowerPoint, simplifying formatting tables and charts across applications. Investing in a disclosure management solution will also provide you with the luxury of rolling your company’s financial information forward quarter after quarter, so you don’t have to re-enter data every three months.
If your company is required to submit disclosure documents to the SEC on a quarterly and annual basis, consider the return on investment a comprehensive disclosure management solution will deliver in time savings alone. Time is everything to an accountant when deadlines are closing in, and the right platform can help you and your team streamline every aspect of your filing processes. When you’re ready to evaluate vendors, be sure to keep Certent’s white paper handy: Choosing a Disclosure Management Solution.
About the author
Sean Sandoval is the Director of Education and Product Enablement at Certent.