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How Graduation Solutions Leveraged Spending Cards to Transform Their Spend Culture

About Graduation Solutions

Graduation Solutions is a leading provider of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions in the education sector. With more than eight years of experience as educators and technology providers, they’re an organization that finds creative solutions to future-proof operations for their clients.

Graduation Solutions oversees several of their own educational organizations and employ approximately 125 employees, many of whom are spread out over several different businesses. The Graduation Solutions umbrella has two online education platforms and one on-premise location, serving more than 2,000 young adults who are primarily looking to get their high school diploma.

Even before COVID-19, the Graduation Solutions team worked remotely (with the exception of faculty and staff at the on-premise location), and they needed a purchasing solution that could support decentralized operations.

 
 
Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Controller

Jeremiah is the Controller at Graduation Solutions, where he handles a large variety of financial responsibilities including managing company expenses, budgets, preparing financial statements, and creating corporate accounting and finance policies.

His career at Graduation Solutions has come full circle, first landing an internship with the organization and later returning to Graduation Solutions as a full-time team member. Jeremiah is dedicated to finding ways he can continuously gain more finance experience while sharing his financial knowledge with his organizations, his team, and the community around him.

Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Controller

The Challenge

Graduation Solutions’ student base was (and still is) rapidly growing, and they needed to expand their personnel. While ad-hoc processes can work for smaller companies, these unstructured and ambiguous workflows often cause operational headaches for larger teams.

As the Controller, all purchases within Graduation Solutions eventually find their way to Jeremiah. But, before Procurify, there wasn't a formalized requisition process that the staff could follow when it came to employee-initiated purchasing. "A lot of expenses would come in as an after-the-fact purchase," explains Jeremiah. This made it difficult to check that purchases were within budget.


Jeremiah knew that with the organization expanding, it was time to implement a better process.

“In order to foster a good culture of responsibility with finances, everyone needed a structure they could follow to get what they needed approved without slowing anyone down,” he explains.

A lot of reimbursements were being processed for the team members in the field. And managing that process became a real hassle. Being able to proactively track those expenses was almost impossible.
Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Controller, Graduation Solutions

The Results

Jeremiah was looking to find a way to move Graduation Solutions’ purchasing from a reactive ad-hoc process to a proactive automated solution. What he needed was a solution that could:

  • facilitate different approval workflows so people had the autonomy to approve requests under a certain dollar threshold;
  • ensure that larger expenditures went through proper approvals; and
  • track all purchases and record them against budget lines.


Procurify became the software of choice for Graduation Solutions because it lined up with the type of proactive Spend Culture they wanted to foster – control and autonomy don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

“I got really excited,” Jeremiah explains. “There are many areas that I saw where we're deficient that Procurify could step in and help us with right away.”

After finding success implementing Procurify for the internal requisition and approval process, Jeremiah also signed up to be part of the Procurify spending cards Beta program and introduced virtual spending cards. By combining a purchasing process that manages larger purchases and that uses virtual cards to facilitate ad-hoc purchases, Jeremiah turned Graduation Solutions’ Spend Culture from reactive and unorganized to proactive and efficient.

“It’s been a very helpful software so far,” Lee remarks, “and I do like the spending cards a lot and that's what I hear very frequently from our employees as well who use Procurify.”

Empowering team members through Procurify spending cards

For Jeremiah, there are three tangible benefits that come with Procurify and Procurify spending cards:

1. Increased visibility into expenses

Like most businesses, Graduation Solutions has employee-initiated spending, and team members pay for event registration, travel expenses, and expenses when meeting with partners. Before Procurify, receipts flowed into finance without warning only after expenses were made. Now, funds are approved before spending has happened allowing departments to forecast expenses against their budgets.

“It’s important for our directors to be able to see and especially for myself to be knowledgeable on where we are with the budget,” explains Jeremiah. “When people need to spend money on trips or events, I can see what’s being allocated ahead of time instead of getting receipts later. The proactive visibility has been really great."

2. Improved accessibility

When organizations start to implement processes without taking into account the end users, it can become bureaucratic. Retaining control of spending often comes at the expense of agility, but Graduation Solutions found a way to balance fiscal responsibility and team member autonomy.

“With Procurify spending cards, we've been able to give Procurify spending cards to anyone who needs them,” Jeremiah explains. “I know that team members like the simplicity of Procurify and being able to get the notification on their phone and then just approving or denying it right there. Being able to see all the purchase information is very clear and organized.”

3. Cost reduction through accountability

One of the major benefits of fostering a proactive Spend Culture is how people start thinking about expenses.

“A lot of the directors are now using the cards. They’re now spending lower amounts of money, especially on auxiliary charges,” remarks Jeremiah. “For those lower expenses that aren't necessarily recurring, it is so much easier to have insight into them and to hold the employees and the directors accountable for what they're spending.”

While Procurify spending cards empower teams to find ways to save the organization money, they also reduce the liability that comes with handing out credit cards and offer context around individual payments.

“Procurify spending cards are much more secure in my opinion,” explains Jeremiah. “They remove the liability of a credit card, make it easier to manage fraud, and improve visibility into what is being spent. I definitely recommend Procurify spending cards, especially if there are a lot of lower or smaller transactions that are being made.”

Graduation Solutions is one of the first to sign up for the Procurify spending cards Beta program, and they’re getting ready to graduate.

A lot of the directors are now using the cards. They’re now spending lower amounts of money, especially on auxiliary charges. For those lower expenses that aren't necessarily recurring, it is so much easier to have insight into them and to hold the employees and the directors accountable for what they're spending.
Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Jeremiah Lee, CPA

Controller, Graduation Solutions

Streamline your purchasing with spending cards

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COMPANY

Graduation Solutions is a leading provider of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions in the education sector. With more than eight years of experience as educators and technology providers, they’re an organization that finds creative solutions to future-proof operations for their clients.

INDUSTRY

Education

LOCATION

Mesa, Arizona

SIZE

51-200

WEBSITE

www.iwantmydiploma.com

CHALLENGES

  • Rapid Growth
  • Spend Visibility
  • Budgets

RESULTS

  • Increased Spend Visibility
  • Budget Visibility
  • Cost Reductions
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