Workday® Rising 2019: What You May Have Missed

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By Ross Garrett

Ibza Consulting, Managing Partner

Workday® Rising was in Orlando from October 14-17.  By now you have probably heard from colleagues or read something about it somewhere so, allow me to share some insight into things you may have missed.


  • Rising 2020 will be take place September 21-24 and it is back in San Francisco.
  • Workday® is building a best-in-breed procurement product to add to their existing platform.
  • Accounting Hub makes sense for those who have a system that is not a true accounting system by nature but is required to generate journal entries.
  • Product Managers for Financials consists of a lot of new faces with an impressive breadth of talent.
  • Workday® seems to be focused on bringing reconciliations, account certifications, and all month end close activities right into the system.
  • Fixed Assets has had a framework rebuild.

Key Takeaways

#1 Rising 2020 will take place in a different month and locale.

Unlike 2019 Rising which was in Orlando from October 14-17, Rising 2020 will occur September 21-24, prior to quarter close, and it will be back in San Francisco.

#2 Workday® is elevating its procurement product to the equivalent of Financials.

At Financial Analyst Day, Workday®’s CEO mentioned Coupa and trying to take them head on for the first time that I can remember. This coupled with this week’s announcement that Workday® is buying their partner Scout RFP the overall strategy is clear; Workday® is going to build a best-of-breed procurement product within their overall platform.

When Accounting Hub Really Makes Sense

Workday® tried to really emphasize Accounting Hub and I think many people walked away trying to figure out if it really is a huge change for them. I concluded that if you have a system like a claims system for insurance, or a customer system, or health billing system, or any other system that is really not an accounting system first but is required to generate journal entries Accounting Hub might really help.

The goal is to just pull all the raw data into Workday® and let it do all the debits/credits. The purpose is that these other systems often poorly implemented their accounting functionality and this move will allow you to let these systems do what they do best and leave the accounting to Workday®.

On the Financials Front

There were three big things I took away from the multiple sessions I attended with key product managers specific to Financials. First, the current group of product managers has a lot of new faces (if you’ve been around for a long time). They really all understand accounting in great depth, and understand the product very deeply. It was very refreshing seeing people who could instantly take complex accounting questions and begin to converse with how system components interact with them, I believe the Financials product is in great hands.

Second, Workday® is doing great stuff to bring reconciliations, account certifications, and all month end close activities right into the system. They are clearly gunning for BlackLine, and I’m hopeful their generation 2 close checklist (maybe 24 months out) is really the last step in a journey that started about a year ago.

Third, that poor orphan fixed assets, which had seemed just empty of updates. Workday® finally revealed they’ve been rebuilding a lot under the hood. Their goal, to combine all types of changes/adjustments into 1 task instead of half a dozen, should really improve the product and I think this framework rebuild will enable many more changes.

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