How Walther Farms switched from Expensify to close books 10x faster
Walther Farms is a family-operated farming business headquartered in Three Rivers, Michigan. For 75 years, the company has grown potatoes and other crops for customers across the country. With operations in 14 different states, Walther Farms employs 300 full-time employees and remains committed to offering high-quality service, solving problems for customers, and remaining a low-cost producer.
An expense management system that necessitated time-intensive manual reconciliation
Walther Farms plans its operations on an 18-month cycle, which means data accuracy, transparent spend oversight, and the ability to plan ahead for increased costs are crucial. On the finance team, manual, error-prone tasks interfere with each of those objectives.
“We try to reduce monotonous, mundane tasks as much as possible,” says CFO Josh Reeves. “We want to reduce either keying errors in the accounting system or mis-bucketed expenses and bring the data to light as quickly as possible to solve those issues.”
The company’s legacy expense management system didn’t optimize the pursuit of these goals. “Back in the day, it was all manual—all on one spreadsheet,” says Josh. “We shifted to Expensify back in 2014, but then they deprecated some features that we were reliant on that made the credit card cycle reconciliation very difficult.” With those features gone, Josh spent hours each month manually reconciling expenses that were duplicated when Expensify integrated with Chase’s credit card system.
Walther Farms needed a reliable, all-in-one credit card and expense management platform that would reduce the need for manual reconciliation each month.
An all-in-one corporate card and expense management platform that saved employees time
Ramp’s all-in-one corporate card and expense management platform removed the need for Josh to conduct manual reconciliation, which created a more efficient process and reduced potential errors. Historically, much of the duplication Josh saw each month originated from mis-scanned and duplicated receipts when they were uploaded to the expense management platform from a separate credit card platform.
“Ramp’s being all-in-one helped resolve those [issues] for us,” says Josh. “There’s really not much reconciliation that has to happen, because all direct expenses get exported into the accounting system.” Now, Josh and his team simply need to manage the approval process and confirm accurate coding rather than conduct a full-on reconciliation of the credit card statement. With Ramp, the finance team can easily export a CSV file of expenses directly into the company’s accounting system.
Getting started was easy, with minimal training required. “It’s pretty self-explanatory for people to get in and start working with it,” says Josh. “There was not much of an onboarding process, which is a good thing.”
Automatic reconciliation, faster access to information, and better rewards
Since implementing Ramp, Walther Farms has recognized material time savings for both card users and the finance team.
“Because Ramp is the actual card processor, employees get texts when they swipe the card, so they can respond with the receipt,” says Josh. “That workflow works a lot better than saving all the receipts and uploading them to Expensify at the end of the month.”
The ability for employees to easily upload receipts in real-time has resulted in real-time insights and information for the finance team. “We can start exporting those transactions as soon as they’re cleared on the Ramp side of things,” says Josh. “They can go right into our GL reports versus having to wait until the end of the month. That actually helps the speed of information too, so I can run our P&L and see a receipt from two days ago as long as it’s been posted into Ramp.” Those insights allow the company to maintain a real-time understanding of its spend, which is helpful for long-term planning and oversight. It also saves time for the finance team.
“From the system side of things, if all the users were done [uploading and coding their receipts], it would take us two days to close [the books], compared to the approximately 20 days it took after the end of the cycle to be able to close things up with Chase and with Expensify,” says Josh.
In addition to saving time, Ramp has also resulted in better rewards for the company. “A big [bonus] is the rebate,” says Josh. “We’re actually seeing a pretty positive net gain from dropping the [Expensify] subscription cost and getting Ramp’s full 1.5% cashback rebate across all transactions.” That has resulted in a net gain of more than $80,000.
Ramp has also helped Walther Farms find cost-saving opportunities in other ways. “We’re able to put utilities for $40,000 a month onto the credit card and get the 1.5% back without any fees from the utility provider,” says Josh. Additionally, Ramp has automatically alerted the team to duplicate or excessive subscription costs. “I saw one just the other day with Adobe subscriptions,” says Josh. “I ran a report in Ramp and saw that we probably have too many subscriptions.” That kind of knowledge ultimately helps Walther Farms reduce unnecessary or redundant costs.
Ramp’s ease of use and automatic benefits work together to help Walther Farms’ finance team achieve its overarching goals. “We’ve grown the business while maintaining a small headcount by automating,” says Josh. “With Ramp, I know the data is tracked well, and that we’re empowering our leaders by providing high-quality information all the way into their P/L that they can drill down and review. It allows me to run a pretty small team by empowering the rest of the leaders in the organization. Ramp helps finance become not a control function in the business, but a support function in the business."