Travel and Expense

Six Essential Criteria for Comparing Expense Management Software

SAP Concur Team |

We’ve helped more than 53,000 businesses of all types and sizes worldwide to modernize and streamline spend management through digitalization and automation. What we’ve learned along the way are the essential criteria they used to evaluate and compare expense management solutions and solution providers.  

Refer to the criteria below to more confidently choose a solution that will meet your requirements today and for wherever the future takes you. We also have a handy Comparison Checklist you can use to track your comparison research—make sure to download it. 

Criteria #1: Solution Features & Capabilities 

With so many solution providers and technology platforms available, it can be easy to lose sight of the reasons you’re looking for an expense management solution in the first place.  

A best practice is to first evaluate your current finance processes and system. 

Ask yourself: 

  • How many of our current expense management processes are manual versus partially digitized versus fully automated? 
  • What are the gaps and pain points that manual workarounds are trying to overcome, such as having to use manual data entry or complex spreadsheets? 
  • What do our employees, IT team, HR team, finance team, and senior leadership team think of our current processes? Are they frustrated? Losing valuable time to inefficient admin tasks? Lacking specific data needed to be effective in their roles? 

With these questions in mind, next review the main features and capabilities of the solutions you’re comparing.  

The top must-have features of a future-ready expense management solution include: 

  • Native mobile app (not requiring a website) for creating, submitting, and approving expense reports. 
  • Advanced OCR technology (Optical Character Recognition) for accurately capturing receipt data. 
  • Automated expense report tool for adding, analyzing, and categorizing each claim item along with receipt images and approval notifications. 
  • Automated import and categorization of corporate P-card transaction data. 
  • Custom audit rules plus fraud and error detection using AI and machine learning.  
  • Smart dashboards for a consolidated view of all spending companywide, plus customizable reports for in-depth analytics. 

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Learn more about Concur Expense, take a self-guided tour, and try it for free

Criteria #2: Integration & Scalability 

The #1 question from your IT team will likely be: Will it connect to our existing business systems? 

To answer this and other important integration and implementation questions, consider: 

  • Does the solution have versatile integration options, including Web Services, Secure FTP, pre-built connectors, and on-demand file upload? 
  • Will the solution integrate with our ERP, CRM, and HR solutions, such as Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Dynamics 365, ADP, and SAP? 
  • Does the solution provider have a large ecosystem of solution and service extensions, along with a network of third-party technology and service partners? 

Learn about integrations for SAP Concur solutions and what else is possible with the SAP Concur solutions ecosystem

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Criteria #3: Innovation 

Has your company already had a negative technology experience? Now more than ever, investments in technology must deliver long-term value. To avoid costly regrets further down the line, ensure the solution provider you choose has the innovation track record, R&D investment, and industry expertise needed to continually advance technology in your favor.  


  • Is the solution provider on the forefront of technology innovation and what proven track record do they have? 
  • What additional solutions and service extensions are available right now? 
  • How often are product updates issued and how are they issued? 
  • What level of technology development investment and resources does the solution provider commit to annually? 

Learn more about where SAP Concur and AI are heading

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Criteria #4: Security 

Security standards and protocols are always evolving, so it’s crucial to involve your IT team or an IT consultant in reviewing solution platform options.  

Minimum security capabilities of cloud-based software platforms currently include: 

  • One-click, SAML-based Single Sign-On (SSO). 
  • Data-at-Rest and Data-in-Motion secure data handling and encryption. 
  • Industry accreditations and annual security audits, such as PCI DSS, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, SOC1 / SOC 2. 
  • Policies and practices that adhere to global privacy standards, including GDPR, PIPEDA, and CCPA. 

Find out how SAP Concur solutions offer data security you can trust

Criteria #5: Support 

Yes, real people still matter. In fact, we believe the expertise and availability of sales, implementation, and support personnel are a true indication of a solution provider that is committed to your company’s ongoing success.  

When looking at a solution provider’s level of support, ensure that they offer at minimum:  

  1. Live rep 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email for your administrators, ideally also in multiple languages. 
  2. Breadth and quality of online knowledge base and forum, on-demand webinars, and user guides. 
  3. Option for on-call support for your employees. 


Visit the SAP Concur Community

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Criteria #6: Reputation 

With the variety of new solution platforms and providers flooding the market, one evaluation criteria that can help clear the playing field from the outset is reputation. 


  • How long has the solution provider been in business, specifically with providing automated expense management solutions? 
  • How many users does the solution platform have and in which countries? 
  • Is the expense management solution highly rated by users and third-party technology reviewers? 
  • Is the mobile app highly rated on different app stores and by a large number of users? 
  • Has the solution and solution provider earned any industry accolades and awards, especially in recent years? 

Curious about what our 85+ million users think about SAP Concur solutions? Read our reviews 


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Still the one to beat. 

Get the Comparison Checklist to learn more about why our customers– and competitors – all say SAP Concur is still the one to beat. 

If you have any questions or are ready to get started, reach out to us today

1. 2022 Analysys Mason, Travel, Expense, and Vendor Invoice Management Study. 
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