Beyond, formerly known as Beyond Pricing, is a revenue management solution that helps short-term rental managers get, grow, and keep revenue. Founded in 2013 with a single pricing algorithm product, Beyond has expanded to a multi-product company that supports more than 340,000 listings in 7,500+ cities.
According to Senior Staff Accountant Jake Steele, Beyond is in a growth phase. With exciting new innovations and products comes a commensurate need for smart, sustainable scaling. “We’re trying not to burn all our money and grow as fast as we can, because that’s not how you sustain the business long-term,” says Jake.
Part of growing sustainably meant reassessing and optimizing inefficient processes, including a manual, time-consuming spend management system.
Historically, Beyond granted Chase credit cards to 10 employees and used Expensify for employee reimbursements -- a time-intensive, multi-step process. “It was just a really roundabout way to get all that information into NetSuite,” says Jake.
That roundabout process was all the more challenging when it came to non-US employees, who could not be reimbursed through Expensify. Jake and his colleagues needed to conduct manual interventions and input different inter-company transactions in order to move spend out of the US entity and into the correct international one. “It was a lot of additional work that didn’t really need to be done,” Jake notes.
The Beyond team decided it was time to make a change. They sought an all-encompassing expense tool that would integrate well with NetSuite and reduce the inefficient manual work that was monopolizing much of the finance team’s time.
Beyond chose Ramp as its expense management system. The centralized platform immediately made the team’s work more efficient and streamlined.
“It’s been great just having all of our spend in one place,” says Jake. Beyond began using Ramp’s corporate cards and expense management functionality and has since transitioned to use Ramp Bill Pay as well. “Now, all of our reimbursements and credit card spend come through Ramp. It’s been really helpful to have all that reporting,” he says.
With the Ramp platform, the finance team can view all relevant information in one central place, find the information they need, and generate different reports. What’s more, Ramp integrates automatically with NetSuite, which eliminates the need for a clunky, manual importation process. “All that spend automatically flows into NetSuite,” says Jake. “That’s hours we save during month end.”
The team saves even more time by setting up automations: for example, expenses from Uber are automatically categorized under “ground transportation.” “It’s very easy to review and approve expense reports in Ramp,” says Jake. “You click into the reimbursement, you can see everything on the main page and approve from that main page, which is really helpful just to be able to see all the details.”
That centralization has made Jake’s work much easier. “Before, on a daily basis it would take me 30 minutes to an hour to go through expense reimbursements,” he says. “Now, I can combine expense reimbursement and submitting invoices and that kind of stuff. I’m doing more all in one platform instead of bouncing around to three different things, so it’s really helpful.”
Partnering with Ramp led to immediate time-savings for Beyond, particularly regarding expense reconciliation and month-end close.
Prior to using Ramp, it took Jake 2-4 hours to complete the reconciliation process. “Now with Ramp, it’s an automatic NetSuite connection. We’re able to tie that one-to-one, so it takes 30 minutes, max, to do the reconciliation.”
Likewise, Ramp has expedited the time it takes to complete end-of-month close, which used to take a full week. “Now, we close in 5-6 days, which is pretty quick for a company with four different subsidiaries,” says Jake.
Ramp has made it much easier to reimburse employees within these various subsidiaries. “Now our Spain and Portugal employees can have their credit card spend directly out of Ramp,” says Jake. This makes it easier for international accountants to complete transactions directly in NetSuite, and it further reduces the numerous platforms Jake and his team need to use to complete their daily work.
In addition to saving time and streamlining processes, Ramp has increased visibility over corporate spend -- both for individual managers and for the finance team as a whole. The legacy corporate card system necessitated card-sharing among multiple employees, which was time-consuming and opaque. “With Ramp, an individual employee can request a virtual card, and it gives so much more visibility into the spend,” says Jake. “Ramp has definitely changed our relationship to the different spend that is going on in our company.” For example, Beyond recently implemented a new process for a home office budget. The visibility Ramp offers has added more rigor around that process and consequently saved unnecessary expenses.
“With the virtual card and the ability to customize the different approval flows, we can flex a finance muscle and say, no, we’re trying to reel in some of our spend and make sure it’s not frivolous,” says Jake. “Ramp has helped a lot with that.”
Ramp has helped promote cost-savings in other areas, including by reducing recurring spend. “It’s been easy to see, for example, that five people have a Loom subscription,” says Jake. Beyond can gain these insights directly on the platform, which leads to smarter, more data-driven decision-making.
Ultimately, Ramp’s centralized platform has enabled Jake and the rest of the team to truly go beyond. “Before Ramp, with all the task-switching, it was easy to get distracted,” Jake explains. “That can take away a lot of your time. I’ve now had a lot more time to actually sit and review our accounts and make sure they’re ready to go. And that saves me hours at month-end trying to figure out if we’re missing costs or trying to cram in a review. I’m able to be a lot more proactive and not get bogged down by the day-to-day.”