How Ampla automatically reconciles cash flows across hundreds of bank accounts with Ledge

How Ampla automatically reconciles cash flows across hundreds of bank accounts with Ledge
Ledge Team
February 26, 2024
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5-6 working days saved every month

100s of bank accounts monitored in one place

99%+ automation of real-time transaction matching 

About Ampla

Ampla is an all-in-one financial platform that powers commerce across the consumer brand ecosystem. Built for omnichannel consumer brands, it offers banking, bill pay, analytics, growth capital, and corporate card solutions.  

Ampla recently raised $258 million from Goldman Sachs and Atalaya Capital Management along with $275 million from Citi and Waterfall Asset Management, has surpassed over $1.5 billion in originations, and processes a run rate of $6 billion worth of transactions via its platform. 

The challenge: Time-consuming & only partially automated cash flow reconciliation

As a fintech company that offers revolving lines of credit and processes revenue-based collections, Ampla faces significant complexity in its day-to-day finance operations. 

Ampla’s finance team manages a high volume of transactions across hundreds of bank accounts, many of them large, making the reconciliation process of tying out cash flows to their respective revenue entries extremely cumbersome, time-consuming, and high-stakes.

The Ampla finance team initially outsourced this bookkeeping to a third-party accounting team that manually performed bank reconciliations and journal entry preparation. This slow and laborious work consumed more than 60% of the month-close effort. 

To improve efficiency, the Ampla team then brought operations in-house and partially automated the work with Alteryx, an analytics platform that cleaned the data, parsed memos, and determined where different cash flows should be allocated. Alteryx also helped to manage the customer mapping and respective account numbers to cross-reference with transactions in the bank. 

While this process provided a degree of automation and shaved about two days off the month-end close, Ampla’s still largely manual reconciliation process remained time-consuming, tedious, costly, and a hindrance to company growth.

Time-consuming manual work

Kate Reasons, accounting manager at Ampla, estimates that she spent about 3 working days every month on Ampla’s only partially automated reconciliation processes. Running the Alteryx routine took 12 hours, and the team then spent another 12 hours on the rest of the manual reconciliation processes.

Vulnerable to a single point of failure

Kate was most familiar with the Alteryx routine, and it often required maintenance because Ampla’s fast-growing business was constantly evolving and changing. Further, the Alteryx license was single-user desktop access.

“If I got sick during the month-end close, we would have had serious delays related to financial reporting of cash.”

Month-end surprises

Because the Ampla team could only run the full reconciliation process at the end of every month due to the time investment it required, it sometimes resulted in delayed detection of one-off outliers such as duplicate or missing transactions or bounced checks.

Further, when new bank accounts were opened to support new products, the product team had to notify accounting so that the team could identify the account, determine which kind of cash flows were going through it, and match it to the relevant revenue data. While the finance, operations, and engineering teams meet routinely to implement controls and system audits, Ampla’s finance team needed a tool to enable them to proactively identify and respond to challenges in real-time and in a way that required less cross-functional inquiry and lift.

Difficult audits and audit preparation

Though it is standard in the financial services industry, especially for companies moving high volumes of cash, Ampla’s use of suspense accounting made it very difficult for them to meet auditors’ requirements and build a transparent audit trail to account for timing differences, especially at the end of the month. 

“The balance that we’ve had in suspense has luckily not been super material, but Ampla is growing like crazy and with more transactions and higher balances, that suspense amount will only grow. Our auditors wanted us to have a clear and transparent audit trail for that,” said Kate.

Significant opportunity costs

Kate is a highly skilled CPA with knowledge and experience in complex accounting topics. The time she spent on the tedious, mundane tasks of cash operations significantly detracted from her ability to do higher-value, more strategic work. The same was true for everyone else on the accounting team.

“Cash reconciliation activities are incredibly important for a business to get right, but the actual activity of reconciling doesn’t take a high level of expertise,” said Kate. “I was spending hours and hours on this simplistic work instead of being able to focus my attention on more creative and advanced work like accounting for new products or creating new strategic workpapers.”

“Ledge is a no-brainer for high-volume transaction management.

The shift from manual to automated reconciliation has been a game-changer, saving us countless hours and boosting our strategic focus.

Ledge has transformed our cash operations, automating the reconciliation process end-to-end. It has freed our team to focus on strategic and higher value-adding initiatives.

We can now navigate growth confidently, backed by a continuous close and a fully auditable data trail.

I highly recommend Ledge for any team buried in manual processes that’s seeking efficiency.”


– Harley Pasternak, CFO & COO at Ampla

The solution: Ledge’s automated cash reconciliation & journal entry booking

Real-time, continuous transaction matching

Ledge connects directly with Ampla’s data sources and pulls from their banks and financial institutions, automating transaction matching, reconciliation, and journal entry preparation. Ledge instantly matches revenue transactions to bank transfers, including ACH, wire, and checks. It’s an end-to-end automation of the entire cash reconciliation process.

5-6 working days saved every month

Manually reconciling Ampla’s cash would take 40-45 hours every month. With that now fully automated, the team now only needs to monitor Ledge’s exceptions queue, update Ledge with any new flows of funds, and review and approve the journal entry posts at the end of every month.

Suspense accounting made simple

With Ledge’s automated journal entry booking, the Ampla team is not only able to automate mid-month matching; it also solves the timing differences and accounts for discrepancies between when the revenue transaction event is recorded and when the funds land in the bank account.

Improved audit readiness

Ledge provides the Ampla team with the transparency and data trails they need to effectively report their cash activities to auditors and investors. They can easily trace the entirety of transaction journeys and account for timing differences.

Flexible, customer-oriented approach

While many finance and accounting tools have rigid infrastructures that are difficult to customize, Ledge’s workflows are built to adapt to Ampla’s constantly changing needs.

“I love how customer-focused Ledge is. The team is always working to build and further improve its solution and add new features,” said Kate.

Ampla has a dedicated Ledge account manager who is very responsive to their needs and takes a hands-on, personalized approach to the partnership.

Real-time transaction monitoring

Instead of belatedly discovering issues at month-end and scrambling to fix them, Kate and her team are now alerted to issues when they happen and able to handle them in real-time. 

Centralized exception management

With everything centralized in one platform, the team can more easily collaborate and solve problems. Rather than moving back and forth between files and emails, when they’re alerted to an issue, the Ampla team can simply copy and paste the transaction URL from Ledge and send it to the controller or treasurer and work with Ledge as a team to investigate.

Straightforward, user-friendly interface

Kate appreciates Ledge’s consumer-grade user interface that’s very intuitive and user-centric. 

“Being in the fintech space, I'm around a lot of other competing fintech products. Ledge is a product that really prioritizes functionality while also having a beautiful user interface,” said Kate. “I can easily click in and drill down. I can do a manual match if I want to. The user interface is very straightforward and easy to use and there are no frills there that don't add value.”

Zero engineering required

Because Ledge connects directly to Ampla’s data sources and pulls from their banks and financial institutions, the roll-out did not require any of Ampla’s R&D resources or any system implementers to quickly get up and running.

More time for higher-value, strategic work

Now that Kate and her team are freed from tedious and labor-intensive cash-related tasks, she’s been able to devote more time and thought to strategic work, such as working on accounting for new products and building new Netsuite automations.

“Automating our reconciliation processes with Ledge has allowed me to shift from being the in-the-weeds preparer of every single cash flow to a high-level reviewer. 

I now have a deeper understanding of our operations, what the outliers are, and why the money moves the way it moves.”

Kate Reasons, Accounting Manager at Ampla

Readiness for scale

Ampla is in a state of hyper-growth, and with Ledge, that success no longer spells trouble for Ampla’s finance team. Automating cash reconciliation with Ledge enables them to face future growth with confidence, handle a high volume of transactions, and manage complexity with ease.

Results

  • 5-6 days spent on manual cash operations saved every month
  • 99%+ automation of transaction matching
  • Hundreds of bank accounts managed in one place
  • Real-time cash flow visibility and transaction monitoring
  • Dramatically improved audit readiness 
  • Freed time and resources to devote to higher-value tasks
  • Better and faster collaboration as a team

Ledge

We're on a mission to automate and simplify finance operations for teams working at scale.

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