Business Continuum

5 Ways to Improve Your Concur Experience for Better Expense Management

Concur is a terrific cloud-based spend management software platform comprising three core elements: expenses, invoices and business travel. It’s the global leader in streamlining spend management processes and can be linked to almost any back-end finance system, including Xero.

However, with Concur, some users may find themselves not getting exactly what they expected. Concur can be configured for any size of business, from large multinationals to SMEs. If an implementation is rushed, it can be difficult to align it with your specific business processes and mistakes at that initial stage can hinder your long-term results and devalue your investment. Furthermore, if key internal staff have moved on, there can be a skills gap that hinders a firm’s ability to extract maximum value from the solution.

Our Concur Health Check service helps you get a better return on your Concur investment. We identify opportunities for more accurate and efficient processing, lower processing costs and faster turnaround times. We fine-tune the system, the data, the business processes and deliver additional training—all in order to achieve better outcomes for your business.

Implementing software can be challenging

The common hurdles that users can experience include:

  • lack of efficiency with the process—it’s still slower and less accurate than desired
  • variance in user adoption across the business—staff using it in different ways and in different levels of engagement
  • low quality of data within the system, such as account codes or project codes, leading to inaccuracy of output
  • lack of tailoring the expense management process to company policy in areas like submission and approvals
  • inability to effectively manage the solution on an ongoing basis due to staff turnover

Encountering these kind of problems may tempt you to rely less on Concur than you should and supplement it with manual processes. But we’re here to encourage you to seek expert help as the tuning required is often straightforward and can yield excellent results.

As a certified Concur Solution Provider, we’re continuing to invest significantly in our skill and the Concur relationship. It is an outstanding platform and we know how committed Concur is to ensuring their customers have a great user experience.

Our five step Concur Health Check process

Concur Health Check step one: broader business objectives

Businesses that get the best from Concur align it with their cold-hard business objectives. There’s no point in executing change to a system that doesn’t support your goals. During our Concur Health Check process, we will ask questions such as:

  • what does success look like?
  • how do you know you’re not successful with Concur at present?
  • what’s the adoption level of Concur at the moment?
  • what would it take to achieve better outcomes from your Concur investment?

Concur Health Check step two: application administration

If your expense management process and policy are not as structured as they could be, then your results from Concur will reflect that. It’s important to consider the policies and procedures that will align with your use of Concur. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, and communicated appropriately to staff. The administrator should be able to resolve most issues internally, and be aware of how to escalate issues externally. All change management processes should be documented and followed according to policy.

We also find that when a Concur administrator leaves a company, there’s a significant knowledge loss. Good documentation will help mitigate this risk, but sometimes additional on-site administrator training will be required—especially if new staff are involved.

Concur Health Check step three: training and support

Like any software solution, Concur is only as effective as business processes and staff behaviours allow it to be. Like any change in procedure, it’s important to get staff buy-in. If they haven’t learned how to use the features properly, they’re more likely to make mistakes or avoid using them altogether. New staff need a solid induction process, and everyone needs periodic refresher courses. Manuals and tutorials should be widely available to empower staff to be able to resolve their own minor issues. If issues can’t be resolved, it’s essential to give staff access to internal support and online help.

If one staff member is struggling with the application or process and shares their opinion with others, a negative sentiment can spread throughout the business. When working with organisations that strive to get the best out of Concur, a key element of our Health Check process is to increase user satisfaction and adoption.

Concur Health Check step four: input, processing and output

Data capture must be accurate. If you haven’t already, creating a policy document for staff around data capture and their responsibilities is a good first step. Establishing positive habits such as submitting expenses on time and communicating deadlines will ensure that expenses are accurately allocated within a reasonable time-frame. Costs can blow out if expenses are reviewed months after a project’s conclusion. Taking the time to make the expense process as easy and user friendly as possible can deliver big rewards.

Concur Health Check step five: integration

You may experience hurdles with Concur if its expense function isn’t adequately integrated with other relevant systems. The import/export process should be seamless, easy, cost-effective and accurate. If your integration isn’t correct, any time-saving benefits are negated with cumbersome exporting or importing processes. It’s important to regularly reconcile between Concur’s expense function and external applications to ensure they’re aligned.

Need help with Concur?

If you’re considering Concur, or you’re less than thrilled with the results you’ve had so far, then consider our Concur Health Check service. The investment made in improving your Concur processes will certainly bring returns in efficiency, time saving and better processes. Contact us to find out more about our Concur Health Check service today.