How Fi scaled its finance function with Ramp
Fi is a SaaS and hardware company that creates smart dog collars supported by GPS subscriptions. The company, which was founded in 2017, has sold its products since 2019 and experienced tremendous growth since going to market. Thanks to a pandemic-related surge in dog ownership, Fi has seen increased demand in recent years and has sold hundreds of thousands of collars to date. The company’s revenue more than doubled between 2020 and 2021 and employee headcount is on track to double by the end of 2022.
Traditional credit card options couldn’t support better audit control
As Fi experienced rapid growth, its lean finance team needed to implement systems that could provide better control, improve time management, control expenses, and tighten security. The department, which hopes to add three additional team members this year, has a lot on its collective plate.
“The accounting team takes care of anything from reconciliation transactions, making sure that everything is being booked correctly and according to the company policy, to checking that our financial statements comply with GAAP requirements” says Van Dinh, Deputy Controller at Fi. “We do a lot more than just the traditional accounting team.” For that reason, leveraging tools and processes that reduce reliance on manual effort and enable time for higher-level critical functions is essential for Fi.
Historically, Fi had used other credit card systems, which “didn’t really provide a solution in terms of any of the issues that were most pressing”, says Van, including audit control, time management, expense and budget control, security, lack of automation, and frustratingly low credit limits and cashback options.
“The biggest pain point for us is the audit issue,” explains Van. “We were collecting and reviewing receipts manually, and so there were a lot of things we couldn’t review in time or carefully because of how lean our team is.” That manual system strained the team’s time resources, as team members needed to check expenses and follow up with executive cardholders multiple times per month.
That led to another pain point: expense control. “Expenses were reviewed reactively,” says Van. “Managers did not have the tools to easily & quickly review their expenses. Limited card numbers led to card info sharing amongst team members in order to empower them to make purchases, which jeopardized security."
Existing credit partners had limited capabilities to solve these problems. “We still had to chase people month after month for receipts,” says Van. “There wasn’t too much control, either.”
Fi needed a tool that could alleviate these problems and help the finance team implement a better overall system.
An automated corporate card management platform that helped Fi improve its spend auditing
Fi decided to partner with Ramp to automate corporate card management, gain better, more proactive oversight of corporate spend, implement tighter security controls, and benefit from higher credit limits and 1.5% cashback.
“After talking to [Ramp], I felt like somebody was working in finance and accounting, knew all of our pain points, and built software that addresses our exact needs,” says Van. “Honestly, after the initial setup and configuration, and learning how to fully utilize Ramp’s features such as creating transaction rules and limits, we were just amazed by how thoughtful the development team is. They think about everything and offer a great tool that’s super easy to use.”
Fi was able to get Ramp up and running quickly. “We started in early November, and we’ve already spent over several millions with Ramp,” says Van. “Everything was quick. It was very easy to invite people on the platform. People love it.”
Ramp has helped Fi improve its spend auditing and reduced reliance on time-intensive manual systems. The platform issues automatic reminders that ensure cardholders submit receipts in a timely manner, and it allows the finance team to review spend in real time, which leads to better control over expenses and budgets. What’s more, the finance department can easily issue virtual cards with predetermined spending limits and controls to multiple users, which both simplifies operations and improves security.
Immediate cost savings and a long-term cultural shift
Implementing Ramp, with its 1.5% cashback offer, immediately saved money for Fi. “With the cashback, we’ve accumulated so much already.” says Van. What’s more, Van sees plentiful opportunities for future cost savings thanks to Ramp. “I think this is definitely going to save us even more money in regards to implementing expense reimbursement software, which is very costly,” she says. “I think [Ramp] has a lot of potential to help us save more money by empowering people to review their expenses every month. With Ramp, if somebody spends above a certain threshold, their manager’s aware, we’re aware. If you know how much money you spend every month, you will naturally scale back.”
Indeed, Ramp has contributed to a cultural shift when it comes to spend management at Fi. “If people don’t know how much they spend, cost-saving will never be on their mind,” says Van. “[The benefit of Ramp] is larger than how much money you guys save us; it’s more about creating a mindset that people need to be conscious about money. People need to be aware of what they spend on, if they’re close to exceeding their spending limit, and identify areas they can scale back on.”
Implementing Ramp has helped create a culture of savings: not just of money, but also of time. According to Van, the finance team saves a couple of hours each month by no longer needing to follow up with rogue spenders and a couple additional hours by no longer needing to check receipts. “It also saves a lot of other teams time, too, because they don’t have to manually save all those receipts and send them to us,” says Van. “Card holders can submit receipts by auto-forwarding them to a dedicated email address, or texting them to a phone number, without having to log in to the platform. Overall, everybody saves a couple hours every month, so that’s great.”
At a fast-growing company like Fi, saving time and money is critical. By implementing Ramp, the Fi team has quickly been able to do both.