“Abacus provides insight into our T&E spend, which helps our leadership team better understand where our team is spending time and money. The streamlined submission and approval process provides visibility without adversely impacting operations.”
–Ronalee Balog, Director of Operations, Movable Ink
About Movable Ink
Founded in 2010, Movable Ink helps digital marketers deliver personal experiences in email campaigns at scale. The company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in London and San Francisco.
Growing into the need for a clear policy
Ronalee Balog was brought into Movable Ink to implement policies that would help the company standardize and scale. She joined a dynamic team that was often more concerned with growth than financial controls. After starting her finance career in two of the world’s largest organizations—the U.S. Army and General Electric—Balog looked to apply her enterprise-level experience without disrupting the speed of start up operations. “We didn’t have a T&E policy,” she recalls. “There was no formal guidance issued to employees who were traveling. There was no accountability with corporate card purchases. We had expenses without any support or justification.” In order to grow, Movable Ink needed to put guardrails in place.
Aligning culture with compliance
Balog developed an expense policy, as well as training and Q&A to drive adherence. She leveraged Abacus, the expense solution Movable Ink had in place, to automate controls and expense policy requirements. “My first reaction was that Abacus was an impressive solution. The UI was great. We just needed to use it to its full capacity.” She integrated the team’s corporate cards with Abacus and drafted budgeting rules.
As Balog crafted her expense policy, she tapped Abacus Customer Support to provide industry best practices. “At that point, I knew what worked at the enterprise level, but I wanted to ensure our policy was in line from a cultural standpoint, for a company of our size in the tech industry. The Abacus team was critical in helping us dial in those controls. They even sent me best practices from similar companies.” Those recommendations, such as integrating Abacus with the messaging platform Slack, helped achieve wider buy-in for her policy.
Control becomes automated and easy to understand
Nine months into Balog’s project, the feedback from employees and executives has been great. “We’ve been very methodical in how we’ve rolled out our new policy. The team understands there’s been a lot of change going on, and we have an open line of communication. So far it’s been a positive acceptance.” Some of the results Movable Ink has seen with Abacus have been:
With Abacus, Movable Ink has a system that can ensure policy is enforced consistently and accurately. “We train individuals to adhere to policy, but we also want to use our tools to enforce it. That’s where I turned to the Abacus team,” says Balog. “We spent time creating rules and warnings, and now Abacus gives me a systematic and automatic way to enforce it.”