Rochester City School District Automates Travel, Expense, and Invoice Management

The Rochester City School District (RCSD) in New York identified the need to modernize travel and expense management processes to support their staff and faculty across 57 schools. The district chose SAP® Concur® solutions to gain visibility into spend, meet industry and government regulations, mitigate risk, and inform business decisions.


In 2014, with steady growth over the years, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) in New York identified the need to modernize travel and expense management processes to support their staff and faculty across 57 schools. The district needed to move away from a paper-based legacy IT system and streamline spend management. The RCSD chose SAP® Concur® solutions to gain visibility into spend, meet industry and government regulations, mitigate risk, and inform business decisions.

The RCSD has a small Accounts Payable (AP) team that manages approximately 3,000 expense reports each year. Before implementing SAP Concur solutions in 2014, the team manually reviewed reports, which involved identifying errors to mitigate potential fraud and risk – while carefully navigating through complex industry and government regulations to ensure compliance.

“We became increasingly concerned about visibility into spend and having the right data to make more informed business decisions that can have a positive impact on my district,” said Derrek Blair, Accounts Payable Supervisor, Rochester City School District. “The sheer amount of AP labor made it impossible to shift work – as the team needed to spend their whole day identifying and addressing compliance requirements.”

Since implementing Concur® Travel and Concur® Expense, the district gained visibility into spend and reduced compliance failures. This capability eliminated 60 percent of travel and expense errors in reports. With built-in controls to meet compliance, the team can enforce existing policies – which results in fewer rejected expense reports and more successful audits.

Integrating travel and expense also increased visibility into non-purchase order expenses like employee mileage and credit card charges. By streamlining previously disparate sources of spend, the team can better plan, as well as accurately track and account for public funds. The district is now able to allocate resources more strategically and foster a culture of accountability and transparency.

In 2019, the district’s AP team faced a growing demand in invoice processing. The team processed $120–$130M per year in paper invoices, which required significant time in managing data entry errors, duplicate invoices, and invoices that were not received in the proper fiscal year.

After realizing the benefits of Concur Travel and Concur Expense, the AP team decided to leverage the same capabilities for invoice management. The AP team added Concur® Invoice to automatically capture invoice data and help forecast and adjust budgets with confidence.

By automating and integrating expense, travel, and invoice management, RCSD enhanced their ability to analyze spend. Previously, spend data was decentralized and prone to data entry errors – making it difficult to provide metrics and gain insights. The reporting capabilities in Concur Invoice allow the AP team to view late invoice submissions, ensure negotiated contracts are being leveraged, and spot inefficiencies that may result in unnecessary costs to the district.

“Now we can develop metrics and see how we’re doing, and then address problem areas. You can see the bottlenecks when you have a start to finish electronic process,” said Derrek Blair. Automation has also shortened employee reimbursement time. Prior to adopting Concur Travel and Concur Expense, reimbursement took an average of 30–90 days. Today, staff are reimbursed within an average of 11 days, making it easier for educators to travel to support students at events and purchase supplies for the classroom.

“The team’s review process is so easy now. All they need to do is log in and hit submit. It’s almost effortless,” said Derrek Blair. “I can see an invoice in Concur immediately. As an accountant, that helps with accruals and budget. Then we can better plan.”

The simplified invoice experience allows staff to spend more time on mission-critical tasks, while providing visibility for the AP team. Overall, the RCSD realized cost savings by adopting a paperless invoice management system. The storage and processing involved with paper invoices cost the district approximately $6 per voucher. With 3000 vouchers per year, the district immediately saved $18,000 – using Concur Invoice.

By driving more automation and integration into expense, travel, and invoice processes, Rochester City School District saved time and gained efficiencies in how the AP team views and manages spend and meets compliance. As a result, the district can focus more time on its mission – to support each student, each school, and the community.

“Using SAP Concur has automated our district’s travel and expense, and now invoice processes,” said Derrek Blair. “As we run more efficiently, our focus and investment can stay where it matters most: our students.”

STATS: • Reduced expense processing time from 30-90 days to an average of 11 days • Saved $18,000 by implementing an automated invoice management system • Reduced travel and expense errors by 60 percent

ABOUT SAP CONCUR SAP® Concur® is the world’s leading provider of integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. With SAP Concur, a top-rated app guides employees through every trip, charges are effortlessly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to audit 100% of transactions, businesses can see exactly what they’re spending without worrying about blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur eliminates yesterday’s tedious tasks, makes today’s work easier, and helps businesses run at their best every day. Learn more at concur.com or at the SAP Concur blog.

“The team’s review process is so easy now. All they need to do is log in and hit submit. It’s almost effortless.”

– Derrek Blair, Accounts Payable Supervisor, Rochester City School District



Industry

Education

Employees

6,000

Location

Rochester, New York

Deployed

Available downloads