We have previously written about SAP Concur functionalities around spend governance and how organizations can enhance structure, compliance, and transparency in their Travel and Expenses (T&E). In this blog, we are going to explore the T&E process from an employee experience point of view.

As we all know, employees are the most important assets for an organization, and improving their wellbeing and satisfaction should be one of the most important goals for the employer. Many organizations, if not all, measure employee satisfaction with industry standard frameworks, where one of the standard questions is always: How well the current tools and processes support the employees’ work?

T&E as a process, as well as the technologies around it, is probably one of the most widespread processes within any organization, involving a significant portion of employees in one form or another. Either you are in a role that requires a lot of traveling, resulting in numerous T&E claims, or you are in a role receiving, approving, or processing the numerous claims submitted through the solution. Regardless of your role, you can feel the frustration towards unharmonized processes and inadequate solutions causing delays and errors throughout the process.

Multiple benefits for the traveler and the approver

All functionalities making travel bookings and expense claims more simple, intuitive and faster are welcome, as they enhance the employee experience for a business traveler. SAP Concur offers smart functionalities aimed at improving just that. For example, incorporating your travel agency’s online booking platform to Concur enables you to quickly pick and book the best flights with your corporate rates via the SAP Concur’s intuitive solution, which guides you through the booking process (according to organization guidelines)

SAP Concur’s mobile app allows not just easy access to the T&E solution on the go, but also, for example, to load receipts to the solution by taking a picture of them with a mobile phone. This ensures that all receipts are readily available when it is time to create the expense report. Similarly, corporate credit card transactions get automatically loaded to the solution, ensuring that accurate payment details are available.

The OCR technology called ExpenseIt available on the mobile helps to translate receipt images into Expense lines easily, without any extra effort. It is also an enabler for moving towards to a more paperless process solution. Travelers can use the mobile app anytime, anywhere in the world, on the go, which brings full flexibility into preparing or approving expense claims. SAP Concur’s mobile app allows not just easy access to the T&E solution on the go, but also to take pictures of receipts and send them to Concur Expense so expense entries can be automatically created, categorized, and itemized thanks to ExpenseIt’s OCR service.  Similarly, corporate credit card transactions get automatically loaded to the solution, ensuring that accurate payment details are available. It is an enabler for moving towards to a more paperless process solution. Travelers can use the mobile app anytime, anywhere in the world, on the go, which brings full flexibility into preparing or approving expense claims.

SAP Concur enhances not just the end user experience, but also eases the responsibility of the manager as the approver, while reviewing and authorizing expenses. Approvers nowadays face the challenge of reviewing a huge amount of expense claims manually, without any automatic control. SAP Concur provides a full visibility with expense entries and receipt images side by side on the screen, which makes the review easier. By enforcing company policy rules via validations implemented in the system, it helps the approvers to focus on out of policy items more easily. The tool also provides a comprehensive reporting solution for approvers, which helps to keep track of the travel spending.

A harmonized T&E process reduces the accountants’ workload

Another aspect that is often neglected is the employee experience of the T&E accountants, who are in charge of handling the numerous claims submitted by business travelers. When the process is unharmonized and does not guide the travelers through the claims submission, the work falls on the accountants' shoulders. They are forced to manually check each claim and ensure that all receipts, expense line items, taxes, tax codes and other cost objects entered and calculated are correct. As with all other manual tasks, these steps are slow and prone to human errors, resulting in higher risks related to fraudulent behavior, audit risks and inability to claim all the VAT back, all of which could be mitigated with a modern T&E solution.

Another issue that causes delays in the processing and payment of expenses occures when a claim must be sent back to the traveler due to missing documents, receipts and approvals. Within the SAP Concur solution, organizations can easily define the necessary quality checks to ensure that all required documents are submitted correctly in the first place, which improves the efficiency and throughput time of the claim process.

SAP Concur offers all the necessary functionalities for harmonizing and streamlining the overall T&E process, and for improving data quality and processing time for all stakeholders participating in the process. Improving the end-to-end process results in a faster settlement of the claims, which leads to quicker reimbursements. Furthermore, the elimination of manual steps and processes results in an improved employee experience and simplifies T&E accountants’ work.

This sounds like a win-win situation for our clients. However, we at BearingPoint can enhance the employee experience even further, especially during transformation projects. Our project management and process experts can drive your project to meet the targeted goals and tailor the solution to support your company’s specific needs. Our change management experts can be the success factor when launching new solutions. We can customize the communication and plan targeted trainings to enable a seamless adaption to new ways of working within the T&E process.


If you have any queries related to BearingPoint and Concur, please get in contact with our subject matter experts: 

Kaisla Pakkanen
Senior Business Consultant, Business Transformation & Services
BearingPoint Finland

Annukka Tirronen
Director, Business Transformation & Services
BearingPoint Finland

Edit Molnar
Business Advisor, Concur Center of Excellence
BearingPoint              

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