Employee Cards & Claims
Advance Cards

How Grain Supercharged Expense Management At Scale With Aspire

Published on
March 20, 2024
— Aspire Journey
saved per year
saved per year
Before Aspire
  • No real-time, consolidated, expense tracking
  • Limited access to credit for larger business expenses
  • Multiple apps and manual processes used for bookkeeping
After Aspire
  • Unlimited virtual cards to track spending at a scalable rate
  • Used Aspire Cards for interest-free supplier payments and extended credit terms
  • Aspire's direct integration with Xero automated bookkeeping instantly
Company Size
Yi Sung Yong, Ernest Sim, Gao Rifeng, Isaac Tan
Professional Services
Case study focus
Expense Management

The Company: Online restaurant and catering

Healthy can be delicious too, at least according to the Grain team. Empowered by the mission to improve lives through meaningful food experiences, Grain leverages technology and data to deliver food to customers. Since their explosive launch in 2013, the Singapore-based company has expanded to Thailand with plans to further grow their operations across the Southeast Asian region.

The Challenges: What pain points were Grain hoping to solve?

#1 Difficulties when consolidating and tracking employee spending

Grain faced several challenges when it came to managing employee spending. Employee expenses were not restricted and purchases would often be made on personal cards.

This made it challenging to keep an eye on overall spending as a company. In addition, as expenses could only be consolidated at the end of each month, there was a lack of information needed to make adjustments to the budget in real-time.

#2 Leveraging credit

Fast growing companies like Grain need that extra financial push to keep up with their growing pipeline of customer orders. Enjoying economies of scale from ordering in bulk or making other long-term commitments with suppliers often require more than cash reserves一this is where Aspire comes in to help businesses do better.

#3 Managing multiple apps impacted efficiency

Grain’s finance team had to maintain accurate records of each payment that comes through their payment gateway, Stripe. While Stripe allowed payouts to their local bank account, the bank account could not be integrated with their accounting software, Xero. Consequently, in order to keep Xero updated, extra steps had to be taken to ensure each transaction was accounted for through manual processes.

This proved to be a big undertaking for the finance team as they had to juggle two different apps at the same time. Moreover, the extra man-hours consumed due to manual processes further impacted the agility that’s essential for fast-growing businesses like Grain.

On top of being an online restaurant, Grain also provides food delivery

The Solution: Unlocking New Opportunities and Optimising Spending 

The Grain team was limited by a lack of credit access and blindspots when tracking spending and bookkeeping. These issues were foremost on their minds when the team implemented Aspire’s all-in-one OS.

Here’s how they did it.

#1 Unlimited virtual cards for different spend categories

Using Aspire, Grain was able to keep track of their spending at a scalable rate. They achieved this by issuing a total of >10 virtual cards一 linked to their Advance limit and debit account. 

The combination of the two gave the finance team the control they needed to delegate spending without draining the main debit account. Grain was also able to keep their spending in check by allocating cards and assigning different approvers for specific categories, across: 

  • Logistics 
  • Marketing 
  • Packaging 
  • Food supplies
  • Subscriptions 

By using Aspire cards, Grain team members are empowered to make individual purchasing decisions and plan them out ahead of time with the spend limits allocated to them. This also proved useful for the department heads delegated as approvers for the above categories.

To ensure that everything was smooth sailing, the team turned to Aspire’s all-in-one dashboard. Approvers now had the bird’s eye view they needed for maximum clarity on spend. They would also be promptly notified if a certain card was nearing its spend limit.

#2 Pain-free supplier payments with Advance cards

As a fast growing company, suppliers were key to maintaining operations. After tapping on Aspire’s Advance cards, Grain now had extra interest-free credit to extend their credit term with suppliers by 21 days.

The team found that they were able to make use of this extended time frame to develop positive relationships with suppliers and negotiate better terms that could provide them with better savings. Best of all, with Advance cards Grain never had to worry about payment delays as credit would always be available.

#3 Seamless Xero integration

Achieving efficiencies was another highlight since onboarding Aspire. Fortunately, Aspire has the capabilities to sync with Xero, saving the team hundreds of hours (as well as eliminating human error). Bookkeeping is no longer a chore that required opening two different apps as customer payments were automatically updated on Xero.

This handy integration also gave Grain a boost as they could now access revenue to fund spends on their Aspire debit cards一right at their fingertips. At the same time, they utilize Aspire to keep tabs on spending patterns to ensure every dollar spent was accounted for.

Overall, the team couldn’t be happier since implementing Aspire as their main finance OS. Automating workflows from expense management to bookkeeping gave them the confidence to dedicate more time to doing what they do best: crafting spectacular food experiences for their customers.

"Big fan of Aspire. If we could invest in Aspire, we would!"
Yi Sung Yong
CEO and Co-Founder of Grain