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How a Global Company Transformed the T&E Process


For many Shared Services/GBS organizations, after Payroll, Travel & Expense (T&E) is the most visible process to company employees, even though it might be the smallest process when measured by number of transactions, number of employees, and overall delivery costs. T&E is a process that directly impacts every senior leader in the company, and most if not all employees involved in sales and marketing efforts.  And, while Payroll might be the most critical process not to screw up, T&E is probably a close second.

Like most back-office administrative process, T&E is a process that evolves and changes over time, often in response to process bottlenecks that impact travelers, and isolated instances of fraud or employee misuse.  These incremental changes, while well intentioned, can create an inefficient and a poorly designed process. While implementing a new technology like Concur can help enable better work processes, a true transformation is a much more significant and involved effort.

Company Experiences

A Peercast discussion in Peeriosity-100’s Corporate Card research area featured a global company with over $50B in annual revenue discussing their multiple year journey to transform the Travel & Expense process.  The company described a nine-year journey, beginning with the implementation of Concur, but with processes that were not well documented, expense report audits that were entirely manual, a lack of strong controls, and poor quality and customer service.

After the Concur implementation, during the next three years the company focused on leveraging Business Process Management techniques which resulted in many improvements, including:

  • Implementing a Global process ownership model
  • Creating detailed process documentation
  • Defining process metrics
  • Implementing a change management process
  • A process for managing exceptions
  • Operational reviews
  • Process assessments completed using a Kaizen methodology
  • End-to-end process mapping

In addition, during this time Oversight was hired to perform post-payment expense audits.  Oversight uses AI to identify mistakes and possible fraudulent activity, based on the Oversight system rules and company rules.  This effort resulted in the automation of the audit process for 100% of expense reports, where on average 23% of exceptions were confirmed as being non-compliant.

After completing the steps required to optimize the process, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was implemented resulting in savings of over 800 work hour per year.  The most recent improvements included:

  • Online booking tools expanded to more countries
  • 99% of countries with digital receipts
  • Employee self-help videos, and improved content on the company intranet

Polling Results Review

To support the Peercast, a poll was created to look at the status of Peeriosity-100 member companies using Concur.  The first poll question asked about implementation status and the level of satisfaction if Concur was implemented.  The results suggest that 70% of member companies have implemented Concur, with 66% reporting that they are satisfied.  Of the balance, 9% have approved plans to implement, 4% are considering, and 17% have either decided not to implement Concur, or they have not considered the opportunity.  Here are the details:

The second poll question asked about how the implementation went for the 70% of the companies who implemented.  The results were overwhelmingly positive with 100% reporting either a good or very good experience.

Here are some of the comments from Peeriosity-100 members:

  • At my current company we use something different but have implemented Concur at other companies and it has gone smoothly. EMEA is a bit tricky with allowances and VAT (recommend to not bring in VAT and have a 3rd party recover it for you).
  • We have an interesting set up where we have Travel in one site via a 3rd party provider and upgraded to Expense in a second site. This caused some issues, but our Project Team is very proactive, quick and thorough.
  • Going good so far. Looking forward for improvements from Concur’s end.
  • Implemented Concur. Currently using the weekly GL extract file to interface expenses into SAP ECC and out-of-pocket reimbursements/personal expenses into SAP HCM.  This solution needs improvement.
  • I have implemented Concur at several companies and have always had good experiences. It is hard to have a great experience with any implementation but Concur is the closest I have had.

Closing Summary

The T&E process isn’t the most expensive or most complex process in your Shared Services/GBS organization, but it likely is one of the most visible to company employees.  While transforming this process often results in efficiencies and cost savings, the greatest benefit is improving the process for the hundreds  of employees who file T&E reports, and their managers who have approval and budget authority for their travel.

When was the last time your company closely evaluated the T&E process?  What efforts have you taken to transform the T&E process and make it truly world class?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“Peercasts” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity-100 member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity-100’s integrated email system, Peer Mail, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees.

“Polling” is available exclusively to Peeriosity-100 member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity-100’s integrated email system, Peer Mail, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in Polling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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