How Elementus overhauled its spend management with Ramp

80 hours
time saved per month via Ramp's expense management
$1.2k
amount saved in cashback last month
$2k/quarter
amount saved in accounting fees
“The fact that I can have an expense, match it with a receipt immediately, upload it, and then integrate it into QuickBooks is a godsend.”
Matt Austin, Vice President of Operations, Elementus
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Company name
Elementus
Industry
About the company

Elementus is a blockchain data analytics company that has created the first universal blockchain search engine. Founded in 2018, Elementus is growing quickly; in 2021, the company raised a $12M Series A led by Velvet Sea Ventures.

The problem
Fragmented spend management stymied spend visibility

As an early-stage startup, Elementus runs a lean operation. When Vice President of Operations Matt Austin took over Elementus’ finances, the company was setting up a wire to pay for each invoice as it came in. “There was no centralized hub to manage all of our payables,” said Matt. Matt knew he needed to create that central space, gain visibility over the company’s spend, and convert as much of Elementus’ invoices to card-based payments as possible. 

“I needed a solution that could easily integrate into QuickBooks, sync all the data in real time, and give me the latest visibility into my cash flow,” said Matt. “I wanted to understand where we were spending our money.” 

Moreover, Elementus needed a better solution for reimbursing employees. Historically, Elementus employees paid for company expenses out-of-pocket, then submitted invoices manually and were ultimately reimbursed via wire. 

“It was very time-consuming, incredibly inefficient, and from an employee experience perspective, it was just awful,” said Matt.

The system wasn’t working—and what’s more, it was beginning to waste employee talent. “Because we didn’t have a ton of finance resources, other people were having to set up and take time away from their day jobs to focus on this,” said Matt. “The opportunity cost was becoming more evident.”

The solution
A single centralized hub with automation and spend insights

Matt knew he needed to create a more efficient, more strategic approach to spend management. “We were leaving a ton of money on the table,” he said. “We were using a lot of software applications that take cards. Why were we not leveraging that for cash back or points? We needed some sort of strategy about how to turn payments into a profit center.”

To help institute that strategy, Elementus decided to partner with Ramp. Within 24 hours of applying, Elementus was approved. 

Matt began instituting a better process immediately. “Immediately after the application closed, I was on Ramp spinning up virtual cards,” said Matt. In addition to moving payments to virtual cards, Matt centralized the company’s invoice management quickly and easily within Ramp’s platform.

“The fact that I can have an expense, match it with a receipt immediately, upload it, and then integrate it into QuickBooks is a godsend.”

The result
A more efficient and cost-effective, spend management process

Implementing Ramp allowed Elementus to create a more efficient spend management process that reduced friction for Matt and his colleagues, optimized capital management, and improved the employee experience. Ramp has allowed Matt to gain that visibility while reducing the overall amount of time he allocates to managing company spend. “Ramp has already saved me approximately 80 hours a month.” 

Ramp hasn’t just saved employees time—it’s also saved the company money. Ramp’s duplicate spend feature has helped Elementus identify spending inefficiencies and enabled the team to consolidate licenses for various products and services. Matt immediately moved the majority of the company’s payments from wire-based transactions to card payments, and as a result Elementus has already received thousands of dollars in cash-back. 

“We had maybe $5,000 of card-based spend in the past,” said Matt. “Now we’re moving well over a hundred thousand dollars in card-based spend on a monthly basis. And the cash back is no joke. In August alone, we received $1,200 back.”

Ramp’s speed and efficiency has also helped Elementus reduce the company’s accounting fees. “We were getting a decent quarterly fee from our accounting firm, because they were chasing me down to get invoices and spending extra time on our quarterly engagement that wasn’t in scope,” explained Matt. “With Ramp, our fee actually went down $2,000 per quarter. And because I’ve set up rules and automations for expense categories, I also don’t have to spend a ton of time reconciling transactions on the back end.” 

Shifting to Ramp has been helpful for company morale as well as for its bottom line. “People really love Ramp. It’s a powerful engagement tool, and it’s fantastic to have those types of programs for our employees, in addition to the real-time spend insights and savings.” 

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