Resolve to Make Expense Management Easier in 2012

While Dick Clark was busy dropping that bedazzled mirror ball on yet another year, some of Concur’s clients were toasting resolutions designed to make their expense management easier in the New Year.

January is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the challenges and successes in 2011, while keeping an eye toward efficiency, education and maybe even a little rockin’ New Year fun in 2012.

“I resolve to cut T&E spend.”

When Janet Yuan was thinking about changes in her management process in 2012, she figured some training on the benefits of Concur’s travel booking technology would combine nicely with her new expense reporting tools. But as a senior accountant at Forward Management, what she’s really resolving is to find ways to save her company time and money with some internal changes.

“I’m planning to modify the T&E policy or create some relevant audit rules in Concur for meal or airline ticket spending,” Yuan says. “This will help curb our spend and start the year off with a healthier bottom line.”

“I resolve to teach my staff new tricks.”

At T-Systems, Martin Lagler is on a New Year’s mission to pay it forward. As head of accounting, Lagler plans to educate and train his staff with an internal workshop to set 2012 goals while maximizing the benefits of Concur’s solutions. While T-Systems has purchased Concur’s travel and expense management tools, his staff have yet to implement them fully.

“The phone workshop I have in mind will be between the finance and administration staff, as they have the best insight on internal customers’ issues,” Lagler says. He also resolves to be more influential in travel negotiation, and stricter in auditing reports.

“On one side, I want to utilize our negotiation power in pricing among airlines, hotel and car rentals. My plan is to use that data to better ‘push’ employees in the preferred direction,” Lagler says. On the flipside, T-Systems needs to utilize reporting as an audit tool to analyze patterns that could result in fraudulent activities.

“For example, two employees are on a trip and both are expensing meals for the same time and date… we want to catch that quicker in 2012.”

“I resolve to grow professionally.”

“My goal in 2012 is to educate myself and my staff on the products and services we use every day,” says Tricia Neal, a senior analyst from Piedmont Natural Gas “That’s why I’m attending Fusion in Orlando.”

Neal will be joining Lagler and other industry colleagues at Fusion in May to network with thought leaders and keep abreast of the trends and innovations in the field.

Growing professionally also means keeping up-to-date on what peers in the industry are saying.

“I am going to make a new habit of dedicating 30 minutes a week to community boards, blogs and forums to find out not just what’s happening at Concur, but what’s happening in my industry,” Neal says. “In order to help our users benefit, I have to educate myself. It’s the resolution that usually falls through the cracks – well, not this year!”

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