Following the post Anyone Who Goes Traveling Has Stories to Tell that introduced the topic of modern business travel tools and standards, this post specifically looks at Concur Travel & Expense.
Concur is an SAP company and Concur Travel & Expense is used globally within CSC. CSC implements Concur globally based on its ‘Customer Zero’ initiative.
Bill McDermott – SAP CEO – says that “travel is the 2nd largest and most difficult to manage budget line item.” Concur Travel & Expense is a cloud solution that supports the management of this important budget item.
Research carried out on behalf of Concur by Forrester Consulting in 2014 found that real-time information is the key to optimizing the T&E spend. The findings are based on input from 348 global financial decision makers. These companies highlighted the lack of mobile capabilities, as well as the need for more capabilities in the area of T&E analytics.
The study highlighted a number of key points:
Data is entered manually.
80% of companies receive data, that has been entered manually by travelers after the event. This is prone to error and it is time consuming.
Reporting is inaccurate.
42% of companies were unable to import date from systems that had no commonality. As a result, T&E analytics and reporting are time consuming and the results are questionable.
Real-time view of is T&E missing.
25% of companies stated that they had real-time visibility, however the study found that this was restricted and often did not include automatic processing of travel expense invoices, such as hotel and car hire etc.
Forrester recommended that a travel and expense system should provide:
- Reports that help cost center managers monitor and control T&E spend
- Tools that encourage cost savings on T&E
- Oversight of complete supplier spend
- Integration of all data sources
- Mobile applications
Concur Travel & Expense is a global cloud solution that streamlines the T&E processes from start to finish. There are multiple apps that provide additional support and input that enable accurate and automatic capture of expenses.
Employees can easily book travel from smartphones, tablets or desktop computers. Itineraries and credit card charges are automatically updated. Receipts can be photographed and imported, thus reducing the need for paper. All this provides accurate and timely information for reporting. Concur also offers a large number of standard reports as well as the functionality for custom reports.
Concur Travel & Expense calculates currency exchange rates, per diems, mileage allowances and tax calculations. These are based on country versions providing country specific implementation templates. Content is also provided from multiple global distribution systems e.g. Amadeus as well as direct links e.g. Lufthansa.
Concur provides solutions that speed up processes to enable cost savings and increase control through accurate real-time reporting.
The benefits to CSC of using Concur Travel & Expense are:
- Streamlined end-to-end process from the request for approval up to payment of expense
- Real-Time reporting
- Workflow throughout all process steps
- Reduction of travel cost
- Adherence to travel policy
- Ease of use
- ‘State-of-the-art’ Smartphone/Tablet to increase mobility
- Large number of apps available
- Cloud receipt storage – reduction of paper usage
 The Power of Real-Time Insight”, by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Concur.
Read more in the blog post, Anyone Who Goes Traveling Has Stories to Tell
Mark A. Dowds is a Management Consultant working with CSC Germany since 1985. His expertise covers the area of Human Capital Management. Since starting with the company, he has worked with a number of international customers as well as involvement on numerous global SAP implementations for CSC financial systems. He has extensive experience in travel management, time management and personnel administration.