By Sam Fetchero on November 10, 2020

Posted in Expense Management

Expense management takes a lot of time and creates frustration for employees. Expense reports can take hours to fill out, and many employees save them for the weekends and then wait weeks to be reimbursed. Two-thirds of finance professionals know their month-end close process has room for improvement. And when the expense management process is broken, CFOs and controllers have less visibility into expenses.

These problems exist even for companies who have expense reporting software like Concur, where, as one controller explained, “automation stops at the back office.” 

Organizations are understandably loath to consider switching expense reporting systems. Many decide it’s easier to stick with the status quo. But with few employees traveling these days, finance teams everywhere are asking whether they continue to get value from long-standing software contracts, especially in light of minimum contract fees, broken corporate card feeds, and low-quality customer support.  

If you’re still using Concur, here are 10 questions you should ask yourself to evaluate if you’re truly getting value:

1.      Do employees and stakeholders like using Concur?

 Your internal metrics can speak for themselves here. What percent of expense reports are late? How many contain errors or are missing receipts?

2.      What about the finance team? Is Concur making their jobs easier?

How much time does your finance team spend reconciling the corporate credit card statement with the expenses in Concur? Do you manually create accruals each month because of data lags and unsubmitted expense reports? Does Concur get expenses right the first time, or does your team end up manually re-coding transactions?

3.      Am I getting the support I need?

The number one complaint about Concur is the customer service. If you've experienced frustrations with submitting a help ticket or getting a helpful person on the phone, know that you're not alone. Does the lack of responsive support impact your ability to do routine work and hit month-end deadlines? 

4.      How long does it take for transactions to appear in Concur?

Do you see what’s been spent immediately? Or do you have to wait for transactions to settle, then another 24 hours for the card feed to update? Does the card feed ever break? Does this visibility gap impact the finance team’s month-end close and your accrual or reconciliation process?

5.      How easy is it to make changes in the system?

Concur can be a powerful platform. Unfortunately, it usually takes professional services to customize Concur. Professional services engagements are pricey and can take 3 months or more to complete. Many organizations settle for a Concur deployment that isn’t customized to their organization’s needs, and even a “straightforward” implementation can take 3 months or more.

6.      What value have you realized from Concur’s acquisition by SAP?

The SAP acquisition was promised to bring more investment and expertise to Concur. Has product innovation accelerated with investment in new features and user experience? Or has the platform stagnated?

7.      How flexible is Concur on their contract, especially during COVID-19?

Business travel is down 80%. Most organizations aren’t using the volume of expense reports they purchased from Concur. How flexible has Concur been with you?

8.      Speaking of contracts, is Concur meeting their SLAs for support and uptime?

Check out open.concur.com to see the latest uptime for Concur. Last month, Concur had a 10-day stretch with six severe service disruptions. How are regular outages affecting your team and end-users?

9.      And what are your contract termination terms?

In this era of COVID-19, has Concur allowed you to downgrade or cancel your subscription without a 90-day (or longer) cancellation period? Does month-to-month actually mean month-to-month?

10.   Are there other next-generation solutions out there that you should consider?

If there was a solution out there that was better, at a lower price, would you consider switching? Have you done the research to check out other options? Have you checked out Center?

The Center Difference

Center is the real-time spend and expense management solution that delivers immediate visibility and flexible, streamlined accounting, all with excellent support.

Center is free. Center comes with no contract minimums or overage fees like Concur. And there are no up-charges to use features like reporting, audit, and customization. It’s all included. What could be simpler?

Center streamlines accounting processes and eliminates the headaches associated with legacy expense management software like Concur. Because Center includes an integrated corporate credit card, all transactions appear immediately within the Center platform. There is no card feed to maintain or data lag to account for. Real-time visibility eliminates the need for lengthy corporate card statement reconciliation and accruals. And Center reduces manual coding and re-coding of transactions through ML-driven expense categorization that learns from your behavior to code transactions more accurately.

It’s easy to optimize Center for your organization. You can add custom fields that are important to you, like job number or project number. You can create your ideal expense policy and automatically audit every transaction against it--no coding required. Dynamic approvals route individual transactions for approval immediately, eliminating the need for reviewing lengthy expense reports.

Center does all this with excellent, US-based customer support included for free. We’ll even train your finance team and team members. You’ll be up and running in just a few days or weeks.

If you're looking for a Concur alternative, now is the time to modernize your legacy expense management software.  Experience it for yourself with an on-demand or live customized demo.