5+ days
faster month end close
8-16 hours
saved/week coding and tracking receipts
Ramp has helped promote a culture of awareness and accountability, there's no swipe your card and forget about it, people are more attuned to why and how they are spending.
Derek Arnette, Controller, Rustic Canyon Restaurant Group
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The problem
An inefficient, fragmented accounting process
With eight independently-operated businesses under the Rustic Canyon Family umbrella, the group’s finance team grappled with frustrating, inefficient accounting and spend management processes. Each restaurant is its own business entity, which means none of the restaurants shared bank accounts, credit cards, or even accounting systems.

“When I came on, we did our best to standardize,” says Controller Derek Arnette. “We were using three different payroll companies. We were using two different POS systems. It was not efficient at all from the perspective of a centralized operation that needed to report back on how each restaurant was operating and performing.”

The existing system didn’t empower the accounting team with real-time information that could influence business strategy, and it resulted in hours of additional time spent by the finance team -- including three part-time staff bookkeepers -- tracking and coding receipts and closing the books each month.
“Everyone who does administrative work -- not just the accountants -- has to be involved in the month-end close process, between doing inventory and submitting payroll,” says Derek. “With our legacy system, that took 10-15 business days.” The Rustic Canyon team needed a centralized spend management and accounting platform that would have the dual benefit of simplifying operations and yielding better real-time visibility and control over organizational spend.

The Rustic Canyon team needed a centralized spend management and accounting platform that would have the dual benefit of simplifying operations and yielding better real-time visibility and control over organizational spend.
Company name
Rustic Canyon Restaurant Group
About the company
Rustic Canyon Restaurant Group is a California-based restaurant group. Founded with just one initial restaurant in December of 2006, the group has expanded to include eight operationally independent businesses linked by a commitment to high-quality, in-season ingredients, incredible craftsmanship, and sustainability.
The solution
Streamlined financial operations lead to real-time visibility, better control, and gained efficiency

Rustic Canyon partnered with Ramp to streamline spend management with one standardized platform it could easily deploy across the entire restaurant group. “Being able to standardize means you can standardize training manuals, you can cross-train employees, you can use one set of accounting codes for every single group,” says Derek. “It’s become a lot more streamlined.”

Now, the finance team has instituted spend limits and controls over the various cards they issue across restaurants, and employees are required to code transactions as they make purchases, -- which gives the team better visibility over the entire operation and saves them hours each month in follow up and manual coding. With Ramp, the finance team has also streamlined its vendor onboarding process despite multiple different bill pay software systems across restaurants.

Under the new system, the team has instituted several process changes to drive efficiency, including weekly bank reconciliations and mid-month vendor statements. “We do a lot of mid-month soft close stuff,” says Derek. “It’s nice to be able to do it on the fly now, and Ramp helps with that.”

In addition to streamlining operations for the finance team, Ramp has enabled Rustic Canyon to launch new programs that delight and empower its staff. “We set up a wellness stipend through a virtual Ramp card,” says Derek. “The ability to roll out that program as another feature has allowed us to show our employees that we want to invest in their health and wellbeing. Plus the added benefit for the business of retaining great employees and keeping them happy. Less turnover is good for our bottom line.”

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

Streamlining financial operations with Ramp has helped the finance team gain much-needed efficiencies, which have resulted in reduced headcount and faster time-to-close. “Before Ramp, we basically had a small army of part-time bookkeepers,” says Derek. Now, Rustic Canyon can complete its accounting work with just Derek, a staff accountant, and one part-time outsourced accounts payable assistant. That’s due, in large part, to the time savings Ramp’s automated coding has yielded. Whereas it used to take the finance team up to two hours per restaurant per week to track and code receipts, Ramp now automates that process in mere minutes. Likewise, the month-end close process, which used to take 10-15 business days, now takes just 5-7.

In addition to providing time and cost-savings, Ramp has also helped the team gain greater real-time visibility over operational spend, which has resulted in better control.

“The integration with QuickBooks is pretty clean,” notes Derek. “The data falls in. One thing I’ve instituted is that now everyone puts a memo on their transaction, and that memo gets pulled into QuickBooks. Now, at P&L meetings, we can call out those specific transactions more easily.”

In general, these types of processes have helped change the organizational mindset around spending. “It’s no longer just ‘swipe and forget it,’” says Derek. “People are now a bit more attuned to how much they’re really spending. Ramp has helped promote a culture of awareness and accountability.”

The efficiencies Ramp generates have had ancillary benefits. With the time he’s regained, Derek has been able to take on a new additional position as Director of Venture Growth. In this capacity, he directs the organization’s investment in restaurant-focused startup businesses. “I don’t think it’s something I would have had time for before Ramp,” says Derek. “We’ve restructured the team in general to streamline the accounting function.”

Streamlining accounting, thus, does not just have the benefit of shoring up processes, saving time for Derek and his team, and gaining control over corporate spend. It also enables the team the time, resources, and insights necessary to take on exciting new strategic initiatives.

For a fast-growing restaurant group, that gain is priceless.

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