How Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains saved 20+ hours per month with Ramp

20+ hours saved
Instant card issuing
"With the time we've saved with Ramp, we can do more of the analysis work and speed up essential processes like month-end close."
Stuart Rothberg, Finance Director, Girl Scouts, Green & White Mountains
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The problem
A traditional banking model led to a time-consuming, highly manual process

Girl Scouts relied on its banking partner for its legacy credit card management, which yielded a highly manual process. 

“The system itself -- input, coding, etc. -- was manual, and in addition to that, all of our employees were handing in their receipts taped to 8.5x11 pieces of paper,” says Kristel Rigoli, VP Revenue & Operations. “That was if we were lucky enough to get the receipts. It was a very messy process.” A certain number of select employees had credit cards, which only had very simple controls. “Doing something like changing a balance limit took a lot more time and effort and was much harder to track,” says Kristel. 

Setting up a new card or replacing an old one was also a cumbersome process that could take upwards of a week. “Everything was done via email,” explains Kristel. “We’d need to send an email to authorize the close of the card, receive confirmation of the closure a day or so later, then receive the new card within 7-10 days.” The finance team would then be tasked with setting up the cardholder’s information. “That didn’t always happen in a timely way, so sometimes there were issues getting the card up and running.” 

All of those manual processes took time. Issuing new cards could take 1-2 hours of finance team work, and chasing receipts, tracking expenses, and closing the books took 20-30 hours each month. The organization needed a system that would reduce manual work while providing better visibility and control over spend. 

The solution
An automated, cloud-based platform with real-time visibility and analytics

Girl Scouts partnered with Ramp to modernize its outdated, highly manual expense management system. The team has taken advantage of Ramp’s virtual and physical card options, which have eliminated the lengthy card issuance process and enabled faster activation and utilization of corporate cards. 

The finance team has streamlined reconciliation and end-of-month accounting by leveraging Ramp’s automations. The real-time visibility Ramp provides into corporate spend and reporting functionality the platform offers have also enabled the team to derive more granular insights and conduct more robust reporting. 

The result
Faster, better reporting, more control and visibility, and quicker month-end close

Girl Scouts’s legacy process wasn’t just manual and time-consuming -- it also lacked control and visibility. 

Kristel notes that under the previous system, compromised cards meant that affected employees were out of luck for 7-10 business days. “Ramp gives us a lot more flexibility and allows us to respond to any kind of fraud issues immediately.”

In addition to this control, Ramp offers improved visibility. “Toward the end of the month, we can take a look and see who might be forgetting to upload receipts, so we can remind them,” says Kristel. “We definitely have more visibility, which allows us to be more proactive.”

That proactivity extends to the research projects the finance team is now equipped to undertake. “When any kind of research project comes up, it’s a lot easier to cut right down to the data you need,” says Finance Director Stuart Rothberg. “Everything was manual before: you’d have to run the entire GL for the account and manually filter to find credit card transactions for hotels, for example, to try to find out what hotels we stayed at or whatnot. With Ramp, we can just run a quick query or ask directly through the Teams integration.” That ease has resulted in significant time saved for the finance team. “For bigger projects, like Census reporting, it would take weeks for us to gather all the information together,” says Stuart. “Quicker requests would take 30-45 minutes. Now, every request just takes a matter of minutes.” 

The ease of accessing information has bolstered the organization’s compliance confidence. “In terms of an audit, it’s wonderful to have those receipts easily available,” says Stuart. “It’s nice to have those world-class features available to us as a smaller organization. We didn’t have that before.” 

Those world-class features have also saved material time for the accounting team as they complete month-end close. The employee responsible for reconciling various expenses reduced her month-end accounting timeline from 20-30 hours per month to 1.5 hours. 

That regained time has yielded strategic benefits for the organization. “With the time she’s saved, she can do more of the analysis work: looking for errors, oddities, things to point out to management,” says Stuart. “And we’re now able to turn around our month-end that much quicker and get that data over to the finance committee sooner, which allows them to review month-end financials prior to meetings.” That, in turn, leads to better, more productive, and more data-driven outcomes.

For the small but mighty team at Girl Scouts, these efficiencies truly matter. “We don’t have as many staff as a for-profit organization would have, so we wear a lot of hats,” Stuart says. “The staff that are approving these credit cards are doing it all themselves -- there’s no admin to help them.” That equates to a lot of work -- and Ramp has significantly reduced that burden. 

“We really talked it up, so we were glad that Ramp actually delivered what we promised,” says Stuart. “We said this is going to be amazing, you’re going to love it.” Ultimately, Stuart and his team were right. “They did love it,” Stuart says. “So that was nice.” 

Company name
Girl Scouts of the USA, Green & White Mountains
About the company

Girl Scouts of the USA strives to provide girls across the country with the opportunity to build courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains serves nearly 6,000 girls in New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition to selling its iconic cookies, the council runs four camps that help member girls learn, do, and grow.

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