Case Study of a Project to Integrate Concur and an SAP System

  • by Darrick Arora, Consultant, SAP FI/CO, Infosys Ltd.
  • May 17, 2016
Learn how to integrate Concur’s travel management solution, which is now a part of SAP, with your SAP system. See how to replace the conventional travel management (claim management) solution with Concur and the best practices to follow during the implementation.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will know:

  • The analysis approach and implementation strategy followed to integrate Concur with an SAP system using various interfaces
  • The various options considered for implementation and how to drill down to a particular option depending on your system landscape and with minimum business change management
  • The software components required, especially from an integration perspective
  • The best practices to be followed
Key Concept
Concur is a travel and expense management solution you can integrate with your SAP system to automate and integrate travel and expense and ERP data. It provides a new level of visibility and control over financial data.

My client wanted to enhance and transform the company’s travel and expense process, including, leveraging mobile device platforms to capture expenses using smartphones. The number of users was around 18,000. The company was using an old application for travel and expense. It had a customized front-end portal to provide the user interface for expenses.

The previous solution was available only for desktop or laptop users and there was no mobile interface, which in some cases delayed the submission and approval of claims. Employees were not able to access submission, approval, and error reports.

The client conducted a study of commercially available solutions and decided to replace the system with Concur to provide a travel and expenses solution via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Concur, which is now an SAP company, provides integrated travel and expense management solutions via a cloud-based service that updates and upgrades automatically. It provides a suite of tools on the web for employees, including use of a smartphone or a tablet. Concur offers a desktop as well as a mobile-based application that can book expenses and claims and manage them. It has an in-built approval workflow mechanism and provides a range of reports.

Implementation Options Considered

The most confusing and time-consuming part of the implementation was to formulate the implementation approach. We compared two options during an extensive analysis phase:

  • Use Concur as a front end for booking expenses and claims and use the SAP system as the back end to manage the trips and expenses as well as the accounting tasks
  • Use Concur as a total travel management solution and the SAP system only for accounting

The research required to determine the implementation approach took a great deal of time in the analysis as well as in the implementation phase as the client has highly customized systems. Following is the process outlined for the two options:

  • Expenses created and submitted in Concur
  • Necessary business and financial approvals done in Concur
  • Standard accounting extract (SAE) interfaced. This has all the details regarding the claim created in Concur and it is considered as the master data file from Concur that the SAP system needs to create corresponding trips for Concur expenses. Option 1 has the claim replicated in SAP as a trip through a new custom program. The trip accounting entry is done in the SAP system by using the standard trip posting program. Option 2 has no claim recorded in SAP. No trip data would be recorded in the SAP system; only financial documents would be created in the SAP system through a new program.
  • Employee vendors’ payment and remittance advice sent through the SAP system
  • Expense-paid indicator sent to Concur from the SAP system

Darrick Arora

Darrick Arora is a consultant, SAP FI/CO, at Infosys Ltd. He has more than seven years of experience in SAP FI/CO and SAP Treasury and Risk Management. He also has worked in number of implementation and roll out projects for US as well as UK territories. He holds an MBA in finance as well as a bachelor’s degree in IT.

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