Whether you’re working as part of an internal finance team, or as an accountant in practice, we understand how important it is to be able to close books quickly and use accounting data to maintain compliance obligations and regularly gather insights into business performance.
Ramp integrates with your accounting system to ensure that all of your company expenditure, whether bills, reimbursements or card charges, are all correctly classified and accounted for, so that you can generate timely financial reports. Ramp provides powerful tools to automate the process of classifying your company’s expense transactions and reimbursements, including classification rules and suggestions, so that you can close your books faster.
Ramp’s philosophy is to attempt to use multiple data points, rules, card policies and your prior classifications to speed up the process of getting the data right, while being conservative enough to eliminate the risk of getting anything wrong. We want to ensure you are always in control, so that when data is synced to your system, it is written correctly every time.
For an overview of how Ramp accounting works, please reference this article.
- Automate Coding
- Bulk Editing
- Provider Specific Overview
Ramp offers you the ability to automate coding through setting up mapping rules, pre-coding cards, and requiring employees to code transactions / reimbursements themselves.
How do we rank the automations?
- The most broad rule is an accounting rule (Ramp input field -> ERP output field)
- Layered on top of that is a Card Rule (Specific Ramp Card -> GL Account) This will override mapping rules
- Manual edits and submission policy coding by the employee are both "manual" and will override all rules
Ramp's Suggested Coding feature streamlines the expense categorization process by offering AI-driven, context-based transaction suggestions to employees and accountants, reducing manual coding and increasing accuracy.
Simplifies expense categorization: Helps employees with limited accounting knowledge to easily select the appropriate general ledger account, based on the context of the expense.
Increases trust and accuracy: By assisting employees with transaction categorization, accountants gain more confidence in the coding process, leading to fewer overrides and corrections.
Saves time for accountants: By collecting data on correctly coded expenses, the feature can help accountants prioritize their reviews, focusing on transactions with a higher likelihood of errors, and ultimately reducing the time spent on closing books.
How does this work?
The Suggested Coding feature works by leveraging historical data on how expenses were categorized and synced, using this information as the source of truth. The feature ingests various inputs associated with an expense, such as memo, receipt, user, and location, to predict the appropriate General Ledger (GL) account. It then ranks expenses based on their similarity to previously synced expenses and presents these suggestions to you in a dropdown menu.
Both employees and accountants can view and select from these suggestions, making it easier to categorize expenses accurately. If a suggestion is accepted, the system can use this information to increase the confidence of similar transactions in the queue, further refining and improving the suggestions over time.
Admins and bookkeepers can automate the closing process by creating rules that map any Ramp field to any ERP field!
- Select Accounting Rules icon in the Accounting page or head to Accounting settings and select "Manage Accounting Rules" - or use this link
- Here, you'll see all of your current mapping rules as well as the ability to create a new one
- When you select "Create Rule", you'll have the option to map any Ramp input field (Category, Merchant, Location or Department) to any ERP output field.
- Once you select "Go to Rule", you'll be able to create these 1 to 1 mappings
- Note: mappings won't apply until you save the rule
- Once you save the rule, we'll apply them to all un-synced transactions and reimbursements, this will not update any synced transaction already in your ERP
Lastly, you'll be able to easily audit what rule was applied to a transaction by hovering over the lighting bolt icon and selecting "View Rule". This will take you directly to what rule was applied to said field of a transaction.
With Ramp's Advanced Accounting Rules, you can now create customized workflows tailored to your business. Similar to above, head to Accounting Rules drawer and select "Advanced Rules". There, you will be able to create IF this AND this THEN that. Click here to get started.
To create a rule:
- Select "Create an Advanced Rule"
- Select the Ramp inputs you'd like to use such as Card Merchant
- Add any additional Ramp inputs (can have multiple) such as Ramp Department
- Note: within the same Ramp input, it is OR logic (i.e. Seamless, Grubhub, or Doordash) whereas across inputs its AND (i.e. those merchants above AND Growth)
- Next, select what you would like to code to
- Below is a completed example coded to Meals and Entertainment as well as Fringe Benefits
Pro-tip: if you have a GL thats separated by departments or departments / locations are a strong input in what the outcome is, then you can create 1 rule across all departments. To do so, once you select a department or location for the first time, you'll get an option to code across all fields (image below)
Once you click "Yes, Set Up", you'll have a menu like the below to code for all departments.
Once you've created the rule, the last step is to name it. We suggest making it as informative as possible. You'll then be taken back to the Create a rule drawer where you can see all of the rules you've created thus far. Additionally, by clicking the carrot, you can see a preview of the rule.
Similar to the rules above, any field that was satisfied by these rules will have a lighting bolt icon and by clicking on it, we will take you directly to the rule that was applied.
Accounting Rules Hierarchy
- Card and Card Program rules take priority over all other rules
- Next are Advanced Rules
- These take priority over regular "Rules" that are mappings
- Within Advanced Rules, we prioritize the rules based on how detailed it is. For example, a rule that has a category and department as an input is less detailed than one with merchants, departments and locations. Thus, the second rule will take priority over the first
- If the ramp input fields map to the same output field (i.e. mapping Category to Category AND Merchant to Category), we will pick the more specific one to apply to a transaction. This will vary depending on the output field.
- Output = GL Account (Accounting Category) -> we prioritize Merchant mappings, then Category Mappings, then other fields
- Output = ERP Vendor -> we prioritize Merchant mappings, then other fields
- Output = Other ERP output -> we prioritize Department mappings, then Location mappings, then Merchant mappings, then Category mappings
Note: More than one rule can apply to a given transaction
Default Values for Tracking Categories
For tracking categories (ERP output fields), you may want to set a default value that is applied to all transactions in case a rule or user doesn't input a value for that transaction. This can be especially useful if:
- Most of the time, a field is coded a particular way except in certain circumstances. Suggestion is to set a default value and then create rules for the exceptions.
- You don't want Ramp to create vendors for transactions for you within your ERP. Vendor is a required field for QuickBooks Online, NetSuite and Xero, therefore we must send a vendor for every transaction. If you would like us to not create any new vendors for you, then we suggest setting up a default vendor such as Misc. Ramp Vendor for us to use this as a fallback if a vendor is not already in your ERP
To set default values,
- Navigate to Accounting settings
- Manage Accounting Fields
- Select the Expand icon
- Set a default value from the drop down menu
- Note: you must create the default value within your accounting provider before selecting it here
Require Employees to Code
You can require employees to code their own transactions and reimbursements similar to how you can require a receipt or memo for any transactions and reimbursements. This is especially powerful when used in conjunction with filtered accounting fields by department (for more info, navigate here).
Additionally, when business users and managers code their transactions and reimbursements, the first one's shown in the list will be the recent tracking category options they have used for that merchant. If they haven't coded any transactions dealing with that merchant before, then we will just show the most recent ones the employee has coded. This will allow them to quickly select the correct tracking category option.
- Expense Policy: Require accounting fields in the Expense Policy.
- How to find: Settings (bottom left) → Expense Policy → edit expense policy → select “Require” on necessary accounting fields
Another very powerful tool is the ability to pre-code cards. This is especially useful when you create cards for specific purposes or merchants. Additionally, you can automatically mark transactions that go through these cards as "ready". The requirements are all mandatory criteria by the ERP is selected + expense policy requirements are fulfilled. This will allow you to speed up your workflows while maintained a high degree of confidence that the transactions are coded as you would code them.
Common use cases include:
- If you have a per diem card, you can automatically code all those transactions to meals & entertainment (or your relevant GL account)
- If you’ve created a card for a merchant (i.e. Slack), you can automatically code the Category to Dues and Subscriptions, Merchant to Slack, and any other classifications you may have.
- Existing Card
- Cards → click an existing card → click Edit Card → scroll to Card Rules (under Expense Submission)→ click Add → select accounting information (example below)
- New Card
- Cards → click Create Card → scroll to Card Rules → click Add → select accounting information (example below)
- Card Programs can also be pre-coded and can make closing the books much quicker
- Settings -> card programs -> Create New Program (Or edit existing one) ->Expense Submission -> Card Rules
On Ramp, you also have the ability to bulk edit or bulk mark as ready any field on the accounting tab. This dramatically speeds up the process of coding individual transactions.
If you select the checkbox on the top left, it will select every transaction on that page. You can then edit the Category for all of them at the same time (bottom pop-up), or edit the Location + any other field by selecting the 3 dots to the right of “Mark as Ready”.
Additionally, you can select across multiple pages to mark transactions as ready.
Once you have coded those transactions accordingly, you can mark them all as ready by pressing the “Mark as Ready” button.
When using the bulk edit feature, we also recommend using the filtering capabilities at the top to narrow down the search (i.e. filter down to only Amazon transactions) and then you can select all of them and change location for all of them at the same time. Note: you can filter by pretty much anything on the Accounting tab (transactions with missing fields, by statement date, with receipts attached, by merchant, by location, by cardholder, etc.).