The Ultimate Trade: Coinberry Leaves Amex for Float Spend Management
We sat down with Jerry Lin, VP of Finance at Coinberry, a crypto trading platform that gives Canadians a safe and reliable way to purchase and sell their cryptocurrency.
March 15, 2022
Coinberry is the first-ever Ontario Securities Commission-registered and regulated crypto company, which is a reflection of their commitment to abide by all anti-money laundering, KYC and customer protection requirements. After implementing Float in 2021, Jerry shared that Coinberry experienced a noticeable shift in the way the company handled their expenses and spending processes.
Here’s what Jerry had to say about us.
Q1: When did you start using Float and why did you choose us?
I began using Float in my previous role as VP of Finance at FlipGive – I believe we were one of the first clients Float onboarded at the time. Even though I joined them in their early days, using Float was such a seamless experience compared to all the other credit card providers out there. From the moment I joined Coinberry, it was a no-brainer for me to reach out to Rob, Shawn and the rest of the Float team. The driving factors included the ease of onboarding, control, customization and the ability to structure prepaid cards to our liking.
Q2: What did the company’s spending and expense management process look like before Float?
We didn’t have any corporate credit cards. Instead, we had a central bank account that we used to pay vendors and wire money – it was a total headache. Using this method made it harder for us to settle invoices. Not only that, we were paying more to wire money and we were only able to send funds in Canadian dollars. If we wanted to pay our U.S. vendors, we had to find a way to do it through personal PayPal accounts. At that point, we decided to get three AMEX cards, however, we weren’t allowed to issue subcards to our employees. So while this fixed the challenge of paying our U.S.-dollar expenses, it provided no solution to improve our spend approval and expense management process. Employees were still emailing or messaging via Slack for permission to use the credit card with no other paper trail after that. We would see the charges come through and sometimes have to chase people down to find out what the charge was for and if there was a receipt for it. It was far from streamlined and more importantly, we just didn’t know who was spending what. With everyone sharing the same card number, it was really hard to understand our corporate spending from a control perspective.
Using Float, employees get their own card and it’s theirs. They don’t have to share it with anyone but of course, they’re accountable for it. And all they need to do is email or upload the receipt. It’s incredibly simple. Now that we’re all set up, we have specific cards for certain purposes, we have better control and our visibility into spending is crystal clear.
“From unwanted monthly subscriptions to unauthorized transactions, the level of control we now have with Float is saving us approximately $10,000 a month.”
Q3: What would you say were the biggest pain points that Float solved for Coinberry?
One is simply the transaction capturing between both ends – input at the spending level and expense reporting at the senior management level. Before, the bookkeeper would go through the statements, manually input the transaction (the spend, the HST, the expense, the invoice and the receipt) and would often have to chase people down for missing information.
“Using Float, our bookkeeper can track expenses throughout the month, instead of waiting for employees to submit their receipts at the last minute. By the time month-end comes along, 80% of the work is already done.”
Being able to categorize cards for specific spend types like Facebook ads has been a game changer. It’s fully integrated with our Quickbooks platform and we have the insight to know when a transaction on a particular card is related to Facebook marketing.
From a savings standpoint, the cashback feature is also very helpful. With Float, you get 1% cashback after every month. The best part is I don’t have to account for that any differently because you just earn the cashback and the system takes care of all the nitty gritty manual labour. Another piece that really saves us time is the speed to settlement and the speed to fund. We spend thousands of dollars per month on Facebook, Google and Apple advertising. By using Float, we’re able to maintain our critical spending categories for both advertising and acquisition without interruption. When we were using AMEX, it was incredibly time consuming to do this – I am talking two or more days – and it often put our ad campaigns on pause and we would lose users every day.
“Float makes this process seamless for us and always puts us in a position to win so we can move forward on our daily tasks without any roadblocks.”
Q4: How has Float impacted processes within your teams and how did employees respond?
It has definitely impacted the way we handle all our payables. Since Float has a 1% cashback, we’ve actually done a complete overhaul on how and when we pay our vendors. We do weekly pay runs and I’ve actually created a new process to identify all our vendors and determine who we can pay through Float.
Our spend process is also much more centralized and streamlined than it used to be. Before, employees were either using one of our three AMEX cards or spending on their personal cards. This made reimbursement complicated, expense reports were a hassle and there was a lack of control and visibility into what we were spending. Today, there’s no friction. Before money is even used, I have the ability to increase or limit spending and can consolidate as much of our AP, invoices and employee expenditures as possible. Instead of having to rely on 10 to 20 employees, Float allows us to put these processes in the hands of three people at most. And that’s saved us a tremendous amount of time and stress.
“We’ve saved our senior management team nearly 5 to 10 hours a month on expense reports alone and can give employees more responsibility and accountability when it comes to their spending.”
Our employees responded really well to Float – I remember feeling like Santa Claus when I was handing out everyone’s corporate cards! It was a great feeling to see everyone so excited because our old process really bottlenecked our teams’ daily tasks. Before Float, our employees constantly found themselves asking for permission and waiting for approval on minor purchases like signing up for software or paying for conference tickets. Giving them their own card immediately removed those roadblocks and really allowed me to empower the team, which made all the difference.
Q5: What particular features were the most useful to your team and why?
The number one for me is being able to issue as many cards as you need and the speed of doing so. We have a card for Canadian one-time account payables, another card for U.S. payments and one dedicated for marketing – all categorized for a particular spend. We enjoy the flexibility to issue multiple cards quickly, with the ability to code and create processes and structures for each one. We can also set our own limits – from as low as $10 to as high as $100,000 a month — and have the ability to customize and adapt each card based on our requirements. Nothing in the market really compares to that.
If you meet Rob, Shawn or Natalie, they’re some of the most wonderful people and you can tell. They are passionate about the business and constantly working to resolve the pain points for all their users. On a personal and professional note, the best part about working with Float is the people. But as a platform, it’s the technology behind it – which has come a long way as well. If you’re considering Float, don’t hesitate. If you have bills to pay and more than five employees, it’s a no-brainer experience.
Coinberry is a Canadian digital asset trading platform that provides users the easiest and safest way to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Stellar in Canada.
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