By Carmen Stinson on Nov 06, 2018
4 min read
Do you remember your flip phone? The one that makes the same call that your Smart Phone makes today?
Why do you pay $1,000 for a phone now, which makes the same call your flip phone did? Concur Travel & Expense, by SAP, is your Smart Phone of travel & expense. You can’t deny the efficiencies your Smart Phone brings to your life such as calendar, camera, address book, apps, etc. This exemplifies today’s Corporate Program when you integrate Concur’s solution.
Imagine this: you book an airline ticket and a hotel in Concur Travel platform, which provides a live feed from vendors, just like what you see online anywhere else (and cheaper at times). Your Airline receipt is automatically sent to your Concur Expense electronic ‘folder.’ Once you land and take an Uber/Lyft, before you even exit the car, the receipt appears in your ‘folder.’ Upon checking into the hotel, all your preferences and loyalty program are listed, since they came from your Concur Travel profile.
At check out, an e-Receipt magically appears in your Concur Expense ‘folder’. In addition to the Uber/Lyft receipt for your return trip to the airport (ps: your rental car receipt may also show up). While you are waiting at the airport to board, that coffee receipt is added to your expense report ‘folder’ as you took a picture of it. You file your expense report through the App, and before you take off on your next trip, you have been paid via direct deposit.
Concur/SAP is a leader in SaaS; however, they stick to that. They are not a travel agency. Again, thinking of your Smart Phone as a piece of equipment, Apple does not provide the ‘line’ or data that makes your phone work. You need an agreement with cell phone providers like AT&T or Verizon.
Forest Travel is that provider, sending the ‘data’ into Concur Travel platform, as well as providing Agent-Assisted services and Account Management.
Some of the benefits of integrating Concur Travel & Expense into the organization are:
Productivity increase from both travelers and accounting team
Productivity is a priority on many businesses’ agenda. In the end, laziness could result in penalties that damage bottom line and reputation. Using an automated solution empowers faster updates to the company’s policy when necessary. It can also highlight exceeded spend thresholds to employees.
When expenses are included in a digital platform, managers can access them anywhere at any time. The accounting team can also see all required but unapproved expenses in the software, giving them visibility of their incoming cash flow. In addition, they can easily inform each department about areas of excess. As everything is organized to be at hand, on time, levels of creativity and productivity rise.
Automation, linking your current accounting software to Concur Expense
Automating travel services anchors the company to explore travel integration too. Once the process is done, it’s much easier for employees to quickly and accurately deliver claims for reimbursement.
SAP Concur Travel offers a mobile app that allows employees to manage travel expenses lightly and easily on the move, including capturing e-receipts and attaching them later to their expense dashboard. Time once spent on calculating expenses becomes time spent on useful activities towards business.
Visibility on real-time spend, especially travel costs
Cloud solutions provide affordable implementation prices, where ROI can be made sooner. Mobile and e-commerce tools replace all additional infrastructure needed in other instances. Concur Travel and Expense platform manages maintenance and functionality optimizations too, meaning less workload for the company.
Data accuracy is essential in corporate travel. Using an alternative that imports feeds from travel suppliers and corporate credit card providers mean that information is increasingly precise. The integration creates an accurate audit trace that guard organizations when the taxes need to be paid.
Scam and Fraud mitigation
Expense fraud costs U.S. businesses nearly $3 billion per year and the number keeps increasing. A lot of this can be avoided by reducing the potential for detached, duplicated or inflated expense items to be submitted for approval.
The very business politics engine that automates corporate travel policy compliance can also be used to prevent employees from trying to submit an expense receipt that isn’t selectable for reimbursement (such as passing off lunch with a relative as one with a client). It can also identify if an expense claim has previously been submitted.
Including an expense management solution with a corporate credit card system can further strengthen a company’s hand in the mitigation against fraud. The examples of how entrusting the use of a corporate card can decrease fraud include removing the accessibility for employees to submit an expense and then receive reimbursement for the purchase. As well as removing amounts submitted for reimbursement match those on a credit card statement (such as an inflated tip at a restaurant).
Decrease overall travel spend
By leading travelers to stay in hotel chains where a negotiated deal is set, interlacing various sources of expense data, and reducing the traditional way of manual data entry, the cost of processing expense claims can be cut by as much as 78% per transaction. Additionally, with precise and consolidated data, companies are able to make smarter business decisions. Rental car costs are also open to be reduced, integrating corporate discount programs with pre-selected providers prevents add-on products like upgrades, pre-paid fuel, and insurance.
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If you want to lear more about this platform, contact me for a free consultation.
By: Carmen Stinson
Director, Global Corporate Travel Sales & Operations