Gonzaga University

University Implements SAP Concur to Save Time and Resources

In 2012, Gonzaga University identified the need to improve travel and expense processes and move away from a paper expense report process to support their strategic sustainability initiatives. The university needed a modern digital cloud travel and expense system to streamline and improve data visibility for expense processing and collect accurate data for insights that can be used to drive business decisions. Gonzaga University chose SAP® Concur® solutions to gain efficiencies in how they support the thousands of faculty, staff, and students who book and manage travel and expense reports each day.

SAP Concur solutions help Gonzaga University improve data visibility, shorten processing times, and support the university’s sustainability goals.

In 2012, Gonzaga University recognized the need to gain greater visibility into their travel and expense processes, which touches nearly every person on campus. The university was looking to move away from a paper expense report process and chose SAP Concur solutions to streamline and shorten expense processing time and improve approval transparency. Gonzaga University also needed the ability to collect clean data and consolidate spend through their travel and expense program.

“The introduction of SAP Concur has increased efficiency, decreased processing times, and minimized the issue of lost receipts. Perhaps the biggest benefit of implementation is the reporting capability. Expenses that used to be strung across multiple budgets and accounts can now be easily aggregated and reported in any number of ways depending on need.” – Director of Budget & Graduate Operations, School of Education

SAP Concur has a solid track record of working with customers to bring their innovative ideas to life. The Gonzaga University finance team is responsible for three areas of innovation: personal expenses tracking and repayment; booking guest travel from an approved request; and modifying workflow to ensure travel segments are ticketed when requests start from travel.

The team is also implementing Concur Locate to focus on traveler safety as an important commitment to duty of care within their travel program, as well as Concur Invoice to streamline the university’s accounts payable and purchasing processes, and to create transparency and provide data analysis to leadership. The finance team discovered they can solve business challenges using SAP Concur solutions.

“SAP Concur is so highly configurable – if there is a challenge presented, we seek to solve it using the tool,” said Linda Wilson, Director of Finance Systems and Services at Gonzaga’s Controller’s Office. “If we determine that no fix currently exists, we offer solution suggestions, collaborate with peers, and consult with SAP Concur administrators and developers.”

For example, the finance team at Gonzaga recognized cardholders occasionally used their corporate card on personal expenses. The expenses hit department budgets without a way to track reimbursement to the university. To solve this, the team applied the balance due tracking feature within Intelligence to create a record in Concur Expense.

The team created a new expense type, “Personal Expense,” and modified other expense types to drive adoption. They also built an audit rule linking to the site directing cardholders how to repay the university before they even submitted their expense report. The tracking record also triggers email reminders to cardholders to repay the university. As a result, the team can manage previously invisible funds and increase the speed of repayment by cardholders.

On the travel side, the team needed guest travel for their academic departments that booked using the Concur Request module. By integrating with Concur Travel and Concur Expense, they gained budget insights and projected cost analysis for more spend control and accurate cost forecasts. Despite configuring both Concur Request to Concur Travel and vice-versa, they couldn’t identify a set way for a user to book guest travel starting in Concur Request. Then, while offering a hands-on training session, a team member succeeded in booking guest travel after the Concur Request was approved using a customized “book” button. The team replicated this discovery several times, much to their excitement. Now, users booking guest travel must first click “booking for a guest” to be assigned permission to create a request before booking the travel.

The simple solution allows users to complete the process in a way that gives the finance team the visibility and control they need.

Wilson said implementing SAP Concur solutions was a catalyst for developing a Travel and Expense Office that supports the entire university. The office is proud to be a trusted resource for policy and procedures via a consistent message to all campus partners.

• Reduced expense processing time from 7–15 days to less than 3 days
• Negotiated travel discounts up to 10%
• Saved more than $9,000 in four months by monitoring unused ticket credits and securing air refunds
• Increased the rebate earned on corporate cards by 82% in one year

The benefits of SAP Concur, related to our old process for corporate card and travel management, are incomparable. This tool has saved me so much time in my various roles that it has, in fact, allowed me to take on additional duties to further support the mission of the university.

-Assistant to the Vice President of Policy, Planning, and Administration, Gonzaga University






Spokane, WA


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