Guest Post by Acquis Consulting When it comes to modern business and T&E, everyone talks about having an integrated travel and expense solution – but what goal is your company trying to achieve by integrating the two?Are you trying to make things easier for your users to increase adoption or productivity?Maybe you want to ensure that your company’s open booking policy is followed?Or perhaps you’d like to report on booked vs. billed data to understand if your vendors are meeting their contract obligations.Maybe it’s all of the above.
What do you need to look for in an integrated solution so that is helps your organization achieve its goals?Below are some quick ways to achieve the benefits of using Concur’s integrated T&E solution.
Increasing User Productivity/Adoption
It might seem obvious that using the same tool for travel booking and expense reporting improves user productivity and system adoption – after all, travelers can access their itinerary and expense report in one place and require only one login/URL.But Concur has some optional integration features that make the system even more beneficial:
- Activate eReceipts (only available with an integrated solution): eReceipt suppliers send Concur electronic versions of folio receipts for hotels and car rentals.The traveler can use this eReceipt instead of uploading an image of a receipt and most of the expense report detail will be pre-populated automatically.A company can also decide if they would like to accept an Air Ticket as an eReceipt.
- Allow “one click” expense reports: This setting allows you to quickly generate an expense report using the details from an air itinerary.The system looks at the dates of travel from your itinerary and your pre-populated card transactions in expense and automatically generates an expense report.
- Synchronizing corporate cards from expense to travel: Companies that mandate usage of a corporate card can make it easy on the traveler by allowing them to use the same card loaded in the system for expense reports, for travel booking, which eliminates manual entry of a card for travel booking.
- Mapping expense types to hotel folio information: Each company has a unique set of active expense types and can map these to the typical fields on hotel folios.By doing this, Concur can generate an expense report that is already correctly mapped to the right expense types.
Ensuring Open Booking policy is met
Many organizations are exploring the use of open booking policies as a result of business travelers often going outside of the preferred travel agency to find a better deal.One way to handle this leakage is to use Concur’s open booking functionality, which ensures this travel booking data is fed into Concur.
If open booking is not allowed at your company, an audit rule can check to see if the preferred travel agency was used for an expense by comparing the agency data on the corporate card transaction with the list of preferred agencies.
Reporting on booked vs billed data
An integrated T&E solution can help capture when the amount expensed for travel exceeds what was actually booked so that companies can follow up either with the vendor or the employee.
Audit rules capture these discrepancies which can be handled immediately or reported on:
- Booked travel is less than the amount expensed: For example, an audit rule can capture when a user expenses a higher hotel rate than what was booked – this could mean that the hotel vendor overcharged the employee or the employee upgraded the room after the initial booking.
- Checking to make sure travel itinerary is attached to expense: This rule ensures that employees attach a travel itinerary to the expense report so that the system can do a comparison check.
If your company uses pre-trip approval, there are even more integration options that involve the integration of Trip Approval with both Travel and Expense.For example, you can check to make sure the amount pre-approved/booked/billed all match so the manager can quickly approve an expense report.
All companies should take the time to evaluate the various features an integrated solution offers.The best features for a company will vary based on its open booking policy, corporate card strategy, and overall goals.
Acquis is a consulting firm specializing in strategy and implementation.Acquis helps ambitious organizations solve business challenges that enable sustainable growth and healthy efficiency. They do this by not just designing strategies but also putting them to work.Concur and Acquis have partnered to bring the very best experience in Travel & Expense Management. Acquis has been assisting clients with Concur implementations for more than 15 years and is proud to be the first official strategic partner in Concur’s Certified Implementation Partner program.
Joanna Sears is a management consultant with more than 10 years of experience leading large-scale projects involving strategic planning, process improvement, cost reduction, project management, change management and systems implementation. She has led Concur travel and expense management system implementations across the globe.