How Betterment manages corporate spend for five entities with Ramp

1-2 hours/week
4-5 hours/week
50% faster
“With Ramp, we can save rules directly to the card. Transactions from any of our monthly vendors come in already coded, so that’s been a huge time saver.”
Marianne Hawes, Senior Accountant, Betterment
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The problem
An inefficient corporate card program and reimbursement process across five subsidiaries

Betterment issued corporate cards to each of its five subsidiaries, as well as to its engagement team and corporate IT team. The finance department needed to review each expense report manually—and doing so with its legacy expense management provider was challenging. 

“Our previous system lacked efficiency. Everything automatically went to our parent subsidiary,” explains Betterment Senior Accountant Marianne Hawes. “We could save coding rules there, but if we moved any transactions from our parent subsidiary to any of the individual subsidiaries—which was actually quite a lot of the spend—the rules would get erased.” Marianne and her team found themselves manually coding each purchase, which took nearly a full workday each week. 

Not only was the expense management process a hassle for the finance team, it was also frustrating for employees who found themselves waiting a month or more to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. The interface of our previous solution wasn’t intuitive, leading to a lot of delays. “We had a number of employees who were frustrated that their manager hadn’t approved a reimbursement. They didn’t realize their manager hadn’t gotten their request because they never hit submit,” explains Marianne.

As their contract with their previous platform drew to a close, the Betterment finance team sought a better solution. The team needed a provider that could handle  multiple subsidiaries, natively integrate with NetSuite, and offer an improved employee experience.

The solution
An automated expense management platform with multi-entity NetSuite integration

Drawn to Ramp’s ability to issue multiple prepaid cards to various employee groups while maintaining high levels of visibility and control, Betterment partnered with Ramp for its expense management needs. “We definitely wanted to move toward a prepaid card system, so the company would be out the money as opposed to the employees,” says Marianne. “But we didn’t just want to be issuing cards. We wanted to have a lot of specific controls in place to prevent spending abuse. Ramp definitely offered that.”

With Ramp, employees have shifted from spending out-of-pocket to spending via Ramp’s cards. That, in turn, has led to a better experience for employees and expedited reimbursements when they do occur.

Ramp also eliminated the need to manually code transactions across individual subsidiaries. “With Ramp, we can save rules directly to the card,” says Marianne. “Transactions from any of our monthly vendors come in already coded, so that’s been a huge time saver.”

By syncing directly to NetSuite, Ramp has also helped Betterment save time at month-end financial close. Prior to partnering with Ramp, the team had to upload and reconcile a file into NetSuite and frequently troubleshoot lost or dropped transactions. 

“We used to do an accrual for any reimbursements that were pending in our old platform, which was a pretty heavy exercise during our close process,” says Marianne. “With Ramp, so much employee spend has been prepaid on the cards, so we have a much smaller volume of reimbursements coming through. It’s not uncommon for us to realize we don’t actually need to do the accrual. That’s another few hours saved.”

The result
Better visibility, faster close, and improved employee experience

On a vendor level, Marianne says, she and her team can find answers more quickly, better, and more accurately thanks to Ramp’s NetSuite integration. “We utilize NetSuite as a source of truth for a lot of our reporting,” she says. “The frequency of our syncing with NetSuite and Ramp is better—the reporting is more accurate, because it’s more up to date.”

That real-time visibility that Ramp provides has also helped cut costs across the company. “It helps save a lot of redundancy, where a vendor has existed forever and was on a corporate card in perpetuity. We’ve cleaned a lot of those out since switching to Ramp,” says Marianne. The ability to set monthly limits has added another layer of control that helps the team keep spend in check. 

Ultimately, Ramp has improved the employee experience for finance team members and general employees alike. The finance team used to spend 1-2 hours each week reviewing what teams were spending versus what they had budgeted, and Ramp has helped regain that time. “If marketing needs something for a photo shoot, we can issue a Ramp card right away, and they can use it only for that purpose and only up to that amount,” explains Marianne. “Ramp has been very helpful in terms of giving people access to a set amount of funds that can’t be overspent.” 

Marianne has personally saved 4-5 hours each week tracking, reviewing, and uploading receipts. “Now, employees own the cards and payments, and they can easily upload receipts themselves,” she says. That’s a huge time-saver for Marianne—and a better overall experience for employees.

Company name
Fintech & Financial Services
About the company

Betterment is a fintech company that provides digital financial advisory services to individuals and businesses. The company’s mission is to make lives better through easy to understand investment advice and tools. Betterment strives to open doors to saving and investing for people who might otherwise be intimidated by larger, legacy financial institutions. Founded in 2008, Betterment is a fast-growing, multi-subsidiary organization.

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