Get the most out of your spend strategy – 10 Tips and Tricks

Mar 16, 2023 | SAP Concur, Travel & Expense Tools

At the Concur Fusion in Houston, we’ve snapped up some tips from SAP Concur and other companies about how you can optimize your spend strategy. Here our favorite 10 tips and tricks:

1 Communicate the vision

Driving change and adoption throughout an organization can be difficult. Make it easier on your end users and your leadership team by communicating the vision.

  • Share why you’re rolling out SAP Concur solutions to inspire users to become power users or, at a minimum, abide by your policies.
  • Executives are most effective at communicating the vision – and the most persuasive to end users (also keep executives involved since they can help you with policy adjustments and – importantly – anticipate future organizational growth)

2 Support your end users

Have a backup to support end users when you’re not available, or create an e-mail alias strictly for internal support of user questions (for example, concur@yourorganization).

  • Consider the User Support Desk service to free up more of your team’s valuable time.
  • Consider holding regular training (virtual or in person) for new and existing users to cover the basics, new features, and policy changes.

3 Use the sponsored guest user feature

Empower guests to file their own expenses and book their own travel with the Sponsored Guest User feature. This will improve efficiency in managing guest expenses and help you meet your duty of care obligations. (Note: this feature requires configuration.)

  • With employee recruitment at a high, bringing in potential new employees could open a door for wasteful spend. Keep the guests within policy.
  • With the outstanding features in SAP Concur solutions and employee adoption being so easy, you could make a great impression on your recruit with the use of the app.

4 Improve delegate efficiency

Allow delegates to easily email receipts to receipts@concur.com on behalf of a user by adding in the user’s email address in the subject line (both must verify in their respective profiles). This practice drives efficiency by promoting attachment of receipts at the line item level. Delegate Administrator (Professional edition) should remove inactive delegate assignments.

  • Allow delegates to quickly and efficiently submit all expenses on behalf of their sponsor.
  • Gain full access to all spend by gathering receipts easier.
  • Improve the employee experience by streamlining processes.

5 Set up personal processor homepages

Processors can set up their own personal home page in system settings so that they go directly to the processor page upon login to increase efficiency.

  • Like this, processors can spend more time reviewing the spend as opposed to searching for items to review which will save time and money.
  • This tool also includes a lot more practical features to make daily work more easy and efficient.

6 Targeting employees based on exceptions

Review the “Employee Exceptions – Details” standard report to view how many exceptions triggered for each employee and what exceptions those were by code and level.

  • Use the data to create targeted training for or communication with those employees.
  • Using the Intelligence service, you could create a report for a specific timeframe to get a summary view and see which employees are your highest “offenders.”

7 Keep your travel and expense policy up to date

Your travel and expense policy should not be stagnant, but an evolving document.

  • Review your policy at a minimum once a year.
  • Adjust your policy or better manage employees by reviewing the list of users that violated your travel policy in Concur Travel based on “violation code” and “violation reason.”
  • Include in your policy the “why” to increase understanding and compliance – why is the guidance important?
  • Make your policy easily accessible.

8 Implement send-back codes

Implement send-back codes to help processors track and report on why reports are sent back to users. Then, set up audit rules or drive targeted training and communications to help address and reduce issues. (This is available for the standard edition with custom workflow.)

  • This allows for identification of policy or communication deficiencies to address within your program.
  • Consistent messaging when rejecting reports reinforces policy and improves compliance.

9 Enable the split expense report approval

Consider turning on the split expense report approval feature in Concur Expense.

  • This enables your organization to reject a single line item on an expense report, allowing the remainder to be paid to the corporate card or reimbursed to the user.
  • This reinforces good education for the end users, so they know why an expense line item was rejected.

10 Remove line-item manager approval from low-risk expenses

Proper controls can alleviate the need for manager approval in most cases.

  • Using AI and machine learning in your audit process can increase review to 100% and improve effectiveness.
  • Having manager review for all expenses can lead to inconsistent application of policy, with some having more strict interpretations than others.
  • Clear and defined policy improves policy compliance and removes the need for additional approval on common expense types and circumstances.
  • Leverage burst reporting to update budget owners on spend.

Contact us for more help and tips with your spend strategy.

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