Alexandra Lozano Immigration Law is the largest immigration-focused law firm in the country. With 600+ employees spanning five offices in the U.S. and back offices in Colombia and Argentina, the law firm is fast-growing, and revenue is doubling every year. The firm’s mission is to become the most trusted and recognized provider of legal services for the Latino community in the U.S.
The finance and accounting team at Alexandra Lozano Immigration Law was frustrated by its existing bank corporate card system, which required hours of manual work, failed to offer virtual cards, and inhibited the fast growth the firm was experiencing.
“It could take two weeks to get a card physically in hand from our legacy providers,” says CFO Wayne Robinson. The firm didn’t have a true corporate card system. “The owner and a few people had an AmEx, but it became clear it would be a lot more convenient for people to be able to do certain things when authorized.”
“A lot of employees were using other people’s cards, because requesting cards from our bank takes more time,” adds Delmarie Torres, Accountant.
This system became unsustainable as the firm added 1,300 new clients per month and a commensurate increase in employees, who now average 5,000 credit card charges per month.
“I was getting very frustrated,” says Wayne. “There was no way we were going to be able to manually code everything, and the only way to code with our legacy providers was manually. There was no way we could handle that kind of volume with our existing credit card solution.”
The problems extended beyond work for the accounting team. “The person managing payroll had to remember who needed to be reimbursed during each payroll period,” Wayne said . “It would take employees two-plus weeks to get paid back for every transaction they might personally pay for.”
“With the kind of volume we have, we need both productivity and quality assurance as we try to remove as many manual parts as we can,” says Wayne. “I started looking for an automated solution, because I couldn’t hire enough people to code 15,000 transactions a month.”
The firm partnered with Ramp to roll out an automated spend management system that empowered employees with virtual and physical cards while protecting the finance team’s oversight. “I think right now the biggest benefit is the ability to have more control over where the cards are used and for what kinds of expenses,” says Wayne. “With our explosion of employees, Ramp has enabled us to set up a lot of virtual cards for specific purposes or for vendors we use daily, like FedEx, USPS, and the FBI for identification records, which has greatly reduced time spent coding.”
The visibility Ramp provides enables the finance team to track firmwide spending more closely and allocate budget more easily. “We can see transactions by department real-time and set policies and restrictions on all the cards,” says Delma.
Ramp has also facilitated easier bill pay, which frees up time for Delma. “I’m able to drag and drop an invoice into Ramp and the platform populates all the necessary information for me if it’s a new vendor. For existing vendors, it’s great that I can just select from my existing vendor list, and all the ACH information is already there,” she says. “That’s pretty amazing.”
Instituting Ramp has allowed Wayne and his team to develop a true corporate card and spend management platform—a critical step on this fast-growing firm’s journey.
“We were having a large amount of fraud activity on our legacy cards” says Wayne. “In six months with Ramp, we’ve had just one fraud incident. Probably because we restrict so many merchant categories and even limit some cards to only work with one vendor. A card number is likely useless if it gets in the wrong hands.”
That doesn’t just make spend safer and more secure—it also saves time for the finance team, which no longer needs to commit hours each week to dealing with a bank card customer service. “I used to have to call our card provider and sit on the phone for a couple hours a week,” says Wayne. “I don’t have to do that with Ramp.”
Regaining that time has allowed Wayne to focus on more strategic initiatives and to devote more time to evaluating complex financial decisions for the business. “Any important strategic thing, I’m now able to spend a little more time on it,” Wayne says.
Ultimately, Ramp has facilitated a culture of speed and accountability when it comes to corporate spend. “Before, people needed to share cards, which could get confusing,” says Delma. “Now, everybody can use their own card, and everybody is held accountable for their own spend.”