What to Expect When You’re Expecting… a Workday Financials Implementation
What to Expect When You’re Expecting… a Workday Financials Implementation
January 2019

Getting Started

After a long selection process, your company decided to go with Workday Financials. You have been sold on the “power of one” and are really looking forward to re-designing your financial processes and finally having a good answer for your auditors. The pre-sales teams have come in and have demonstrated solutions to your current problems. But now the realization sets in….This is going to be a lot of work!
Hopefully, your company has also spent time selecting the right integration partner and have augmented their staff with dedicated internal and external project individuals. A critical first step, is an internal one, spend time thinking about how you want the process to look or what reports you want to produce. This will allow your firm to answer important questions from Workday or the integration partner more effectively.

Workday Methodology

Workday has a formalized methodology and whether your integration partner is Workday themselves or a certified partner, you will find the process to be regimented. The first step in the process is called the Foundation Alignment Sessions (“FAS”). You will be given workbooks to populate which detail your current process. Workday, or the integration partner will ask questions to guide you on how you want this information to be stored in Workday. It is important to note, that a process review is not part of this process. Changes to future processes will be based on decisions made outside of alignment sessions. During the sessions, you may be asked questions to which you don’t know the answer. You may also answer questions having not fully understood the ramifications of the decision. That said, there is still time at this point to re-visit these decisions.

The FAS will cover everything from financial accounting, budgets, expenses, customers, suppliers, banking and any other process or “SKU” that was purchased from Workday. Every session will focus on a business process which is the approval flow associated with the transaction, as well as the key worktags that will need to be populated.
Upon completion of the FAS, the integration partner will conduct a walkthrough of the Workday environment in what is called customer confirmation sessions. This is a chance to fine tune the configuration and make additional decisions.


After these sessions, the configuration team will update the system and deliver a unit test tenant, at which time, you will be responsible for producing unit test scripts. Upon successful completion of the unit tests (and subsequent updates to the configuration), there will be user acceptance testing (which essentially strings together unit tests) and data conversion. These efforts can be time consuming and should not be underestimated.
A separate wortkstream is needed for managing interfaces (called integrations) and could be with banks or other third-party applications. Additionally, IT is typically involved in SSO and potentially user roles and security. Communication, training and hand holding can be expected.


Your original assessment that this will be a lot of work turned out to be true. However, what you can expect is a powerful platform capable of detailed and flexible analytics to support both your financial and management reporting requirements. Many processes that took you hours or days will be reduced to seconds or minutes. The user community will be capable of self service, which will free up your time to do more value-added activities. Most importantly, the information will be consistent, accurate and necessitate less time with auditors and regulators.FinServ Consulting has been providing technology and business solutions to financial services firms for over 15 years.

For more information on how we can help or guide your strategic direction, please contact us at info@finservconsulting.com or 646-603-3799.


About FinServ Consulting

FinServ Consulting is an independent experienced provider of business consulting, systems development, and integration services to alternative asset managers, global banks and their service providers. Founded in 2005, FinServ delivers customized world-class business and IT consulting services for the front, middle and back office, providing managers with optimal and first-class operating environments to support all investment styles and future asset growth. The FinServ team brings a wealth of experience from working with the largest and most complex asset management firms and global banks in the world.