SAP-Concur integration is something many customers and even more would-be customers in Europe have been waiting for. The old Dell Boomi based Financial Connector between Concur and SAP has never convinced anybody I talked to, but help is nigh!

The new integration package, hoped to be available early in Q2/2016 comprises:

Employee Master Data Synchronisation

  • Direct integration (no file transfer) as job
  • Concur fields can be mapped flexibly against SAP Infotype fields
  • No integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central yet. This is on the roadmap, but not yet clear when. To bridge the gap we recommend to work with file exports and imports.

Finance Master Data Synchronisation

  • Direct integration (no file transfer) as job. It is recommended to run it every 5 minutes or even more often to avoid usage of non-existent cost objects
  • Transfers cost centres, WBS elements, internal orders, network activities, sales orders for Concur Expense
  • Transfers Purchase orders and vendors for Concur Invoice
  • Best practise: keep all cost objects in Concur in one connected list with a 4-level hierarchy, but other set-ups can be supported

Financial Posting

  • It works for traditional SAP ERP. S4 HANA support is planned for later this year. Get in touch with SAP, if you need it.
  • Reports to be posted are selected by date, system, company code and cost objects
  • Double posting it blocked
  • If an error occurs, the respective expense report is stopped completely from being posted and receives a status to reflect that there was a posting error. It can then be changed in Concur and reposted.
  • Currently, expense repost can’t be changed after posting. This is going to change probably later this year and then the posting interface will be able to recognise changes and post the differences – similar to what you may know from the SAP on-premise Travel Management solution
  • Successful posting as well as payment info are sent back to Concur
  • Full audit trail is visible in Concur
  • Integration with Concur Pay is not yet supported

General setup of the Concur-SAP integration

  • The setup is much easier than it used to be between SAP Cloud for Travel and SAP ERP
  • The add-ons required can be downloaded from Service Marketplace and installed on your SAP Development system(s) to be transported to other system. Further setup is really quick and wizard guided and needs to happen on each SAP system involved.
  • All communication goes via APIs through one single RFC connection. Communication is always opened up by the ERP system, so the ERP is never ”talking to strangers”. Concur only ever replies to requests from SAP ERP. To establish a secure communication, certificates need to be applied according to SAP guidance.
  • There is no middleware required
  • Concur doesn’t know the concept of time dependency, so master data is only transferred, when it’s valid (i.e. open for posting).
  • There are BAdIs available for further customisation
  • The solution is supported for SAP ERP ECC 6.0 upwards
  • There is no payroll integration available yet, but it”s on the roadmap. If you need payroll integration now or if the new standard design doesn’t work for you for some reason,a pragmatic SAE-file based custom solution can be set up or is offered by consultancies (covering taxable pay, payment though payroll and other legal requirements like M-flag for Germany or P11D for the UK)
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  1. Nicola Buttaro

    Hello,

    is there any documentation or websites where can we get more detail on the logic of the posting and/or accounting model?

    How the mapping work? Is there any possibility to manage some transformation through ABAP?

    Thanks.

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    1. Sven Ringling Post author

      As discussed in the Article it will only be available at some point in Q2 (pilot customers first),?so no full doco yet, but there will be BAdIs for some custom logic, if need be. Proper consultants shoukd try to streamline the process to work with the standard, which in my experience is possible much more often then done and when integrating with a cloud solution even more advisable. But as akways, System Integrators will probably steer customers towards custom coding, because they don’t have the skillset to discuss process and because they need programmers to generate revenue…

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      1. Nicola Buttaro

        Hello Sven,

        Thanks for your prompt answer.

        I think that unfortunately is very difficult to totally follow the standard when your company has different legal entities in different countries, with different local regulations, different financial statutory compliances, different accounting models and different T&E legacy systems already connected to the ERP.

        This happen very often and you need to customize. It’s difficult when you are implementing a big change like Concur, also include the accounting harmonization. This should be done but do not happen very often.

        Thanks.

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        1. Sven Ringling Post author

          I appreciate that, Nicola,

          but multi-entity and multi-country is normal. So, sure it won’t always be possible to stay in standard, but a new T&E system and interface are an opportunity to review requirements for amendments in that spot at least. You might be able to use Concur differently.

          Not saying to reject amendments completely, but I also wouldn’t give up on Standard before really trying 🙂

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  2. Sallaud Anthony

    Hello Sven,

    I read a couple of articles from you regarding Concur Integration and really appreciated your inputs.

    I’m on a concur implementation with SAP-FI integration and wanted to bring some additional thoughts about Concur-SAp Integration.

    Dell Boomi is current Concur Solution to post Expense into SAP and, as you mentionned in your article, I’m not really impressed by the flexibility of the mapping connector.

    Our current biggest issue is that Concur’s connector is only posting to SAP Finance with following assumption : Finance will reimburse the employee.

    On the perspective, where Payroll will reimburse employees for their T&E, there is no Business Process proposed by Concur.

    Concur Project Team will easily claim this is an SAP Business Process but now Concur is an SAP Company, this argument is getting weak.

    We are currently working on a full integration between SAP HR (employees’ data)-> CONCUR  (T&E Management)-> SAP FI (Posting T&E)-> SAP Payroll (T&E reimbursment) ->SAP FI (Reconciliation between T&E posted to FI and Paid by PY).

    We have been searching infos for that kind of end to end integration.

    Any tips will be more than welcomed.

    Thanks again for your articles.

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    1. Sven Ringling Post author

      Hi Anthony

      unfortunately they are not great at pushing the latest infos to customers, once they’ve signed the contract, because their incentive is to close the project as fast as possible – not to bring the best value to the customer.

      The new integration for HR and FI add-on is going into general availability very soon, and I’d rather delay the project for a month than still use Boomi. However in it’s very first version, the new integration will also assume payment by AP.

      Amending the posting to accommodate payment through payroll, Concur pay or other channels is probably not a big issue and be solved soon – I’m confident you’s d also be able to to this with the 1.0 version with some clever tricks in FI or the BAdIs of the interface.

      Integration into payroll – for payment or taxable payments – is on the roadmap but further in the future. There are clever, reasonably priced solutions on the market that cover SAP payroll integration and more and which we know are working as used with customers.

      hope this helps a wee bit

      best wishes

      Sven

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    2. Nicola Buttaro

      Hi Anthony,

      due to the way of running of the process with Concur (daily SAE extraction), you may need a middleware to do some kind of totalization and aggregation if you want to pay or integrate through PY.

      What I saw on some companies is that they keep the integration with SAP FI-CO and, instead to have in credit side the employee/vendor code (debit side costs and VAT), have a payroll transitory account. Then they set e report in the Intelligence module (IBM Cognos) to be extracted monthly and uploaded in the payroll system.

      Then the posting to SAP FI-CO coming from the payroll will have as debit side the transitory account itself that will be closed with posting coming from Concur.

      You may use some reference key like employee ID and/or month of payment to help the reconciliation.

      Regards,

      Nicola

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      1. Sven Ringling Post author

        Hi Nicola,

        the new SAP-Concur integration (functionality as described in the article above) doesn’t require a middleware any more. You used to need one and the one used in the “Standard” integration Concur offered before as “Financial Connector” you’d use Boomi.
        But the SAP Concur Integration add-on 1.0 uses a single, direct RFC connection for HR Data, finance data, finance posting and payment feedback.

        If your particular scenario is not covered by the first version of the integration add-on, I would not recommend to invest money, time and know-how development in a middelware, but take a pragmatic approach with sftp-based (or maybe for smaller orgs even manual) scheduled file uploads to bridge the gap, until the add-on works for you.

        The biggest problem I see at the moment is that Concur’s implementation managers don’t seem to have even heard about the new integration (not surprised, really) and talk customers into all kinds of expensive and inadequate solutions 😥

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        1. Nicola Buttaro

          Hi Sven,

          I mentioned a middleware just to say that actually the Concur extraction for finance works daily and it is fine if you want to pay through AP, but if you want to pay through PY you need something that do totalizations and provide a final situation at the moment of the payroll run.

          Anyway as I’m managing different Concur projects also for me the topic is very cryptic because I read only on documents that these integrations exist but never seen a demo or printscreens.

          Thanks,
          Nicola

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          1. Sven Ringling Post author

            Hi Nicola,

            we tested the new integration on our Concur and SAP sandbox system, so I can confirm, that it really exists 🙂

            As for payroll:
            SAP payroll doesn’t have a problem with doing the aggregation. We usually fill the SAP on-premise Travel Management clusters from the SAE (have a template for this interface by now) and once it’s there all the standard integrations from the old on-prem solution including the Payroll integration (sub schema XREI or whatever the version of your country is) are available. So, very quick and pragmatic to bridge the gap until the standard integration covers payroll.

            What I try to achieve is discouraging customers from establishing complex, expensive and difficult to maintain solutions, when working standard solutions are available or will be available soon, just because Concur Implementation consultants don’t know SAP and don’t ask to give the right advice.

            of course, there will always be different answers right for the context and preferences of each organisations.

            best wishes

            Sven

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            1. Sallaud Anthony

              Thanks Sven, Nicola,

              I think you both have good arguments. It always depend on the complexity of the Customer. But when something standard exists, we should first look at it as due diligence, at least.

              I will be investigating this new integration and find out if this is easier to manage than the Boomi stuff.

              Sven, do you know where I can find infos on this new integration solution?

              Sincerely,
              Anthony

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              1. Sven Ringling Post author

                Hi Anthony,

                I’m afraid I haven’t looked for publicly available info much. We got it all directly from the product team at SAP or ia the Early Adopter Program JAM group.

                There should be more coming out, once it is out of the early adopter period – and we’ll also update our blog once we’ve finished out testing and are free to publish more.

                In the meantime your SAP account manager is probably a better place to start than Concur, unless you have a contact at Concur Germany.

                best wishes

                Sven

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            2. Benjamin Borja

              Hi Sven, were you able to test the scenario below in your sandbox system:

              1. Cash Advance approved and issued in Concur
              2. Advance posted in ERP
              3. Expense Report submitted & approved in Concur for the Cash Advance
              4. Advance is zero-ed out
              5. Advance is cleared

              Does #4 and #5 happen automatically?

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              1. Sven Ringling Post author

                Hi Ben,

                I spent,what feels liek half my life finding the process and culture changes required for customers to get rid of cash advances and hence never had to implement one in any system in the last 20 years.

                I feel it would be a bad omen, if I configured it now on my system 😉

                So, only comment I have:

                Make sure you are on Integration add-on 2.0, because 1.0 didn’t do cash advances at all. In 2.0, the only scenario that works is using a clearing account for cash advance, no other ways like vendor accounts.

                Just in cas ethese constraints triggered your issue.

                 

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  3. Carmen Lopez

    Hello Sven,

    Hello, I wanted to know if a company that have PI already, and staff with PI knowledge , in that case you’d still recommend, do not to use PI for this integration Concur – Sap?

    Regrads

    Carmen

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    1. Sven Ringling Post author

      Hi Carmen,

      no, I wouldn’t. It is just an extra step and extra source of error, when you use the new native integration, which is beautifully lean on infrastructure requirements.
      It would also fix another screw into the on-premise world that will make it more difficult for you to go full cloud late, but that’s a minor point in this context.

      The only reasons to go for a middleware would be:
      – you have a large number or live SAP systems to connect to your Concur instance. Then this may be worth while checking

      – you can’t use the new standard integration yet (it’s in “limited availability” now and will be “general availability” with an increased scope early September), because of your scenarios (e.g. you want to connect to S4 Hana rather than SAP ECC, which will only be available later).

      best wishes

      Sven

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  4. Raghavendra Rao

    Hi Sven,

    Hope you are doing well!

    Can you please list out optional and required fields that can be mapped between Concur and SuccessFactor

    Thanks in Advance for your help.

    Regards,

    Raghu.

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    1. Sven Ringling Post author

      Hi,

      there is no standard integration with SuccessFactors yet.

      I recommend to go by file upload as a temp solution until standard is available. If teh standard interface with SAP HR is any indication, you should be able to use all employee master record fields for mapping. But that’s criystal ball gazing for now.

      Fingers crossed teh standard solution will come mnext year.

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  5. Celso Jr. Francisco

    Hi Sven,

    Hope you are doing great. We’re in ECC6 on HANA. It will be our first time to implement Concur. Would like to hear your insights if should I go for using direct connection between SAP and Concur or to use a middleware? I cannot think of a more solid reason why should opt for a middleware.thanks & looking forward to ur comment.

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    1. Sven Ringling Post author

      Totally agree, unless you have a large number of SAP systems (>20) you want to integrate with, I’d definitely go direct.Middleware only adds maintenance and infrastructure cost, set-up cost and an extra potential point of failure 😥

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  6. John Rey

    Hi Sven,
    I’m also in the process of implementing a SAP-CONCUR integration.
    There is a middleware to connect SAP & CONCR. Are there any other components & sap notes that I need to install?
    By the way how were you able to test your settings knowing that concur doesn’t have sandbox.
    It would be a great help if you could guide me where to start with this implementation.
    Thanks,
    John

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    1. John Rey

      Forgot to mention above that the middleware we are using is Boomi/Atom. We just recently installed it to our Q system. Do we need to install this also in our Dev system?

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      1. Sven Ringling Post author

        Apologies for the late reply, John. Had issues logging into SCN for some time.

        If you are using Boomi, then you are not on teh new native integration and therefore there isn’t much I could comment on other than, if you still have the chance: run and get as much distance between yourself and boomi and any integrators, who push middleware at you to increase their level of work. Personal opinion.

        As for testing:
        Concur does offer a sandbox, but if you are on the professional implementation as most customers are, you can request one at extra cost. On premium implementation you have one included, but it goes away at some point after producstion readiness.

        However, you can test the financial integration very well using test users (users flagged as test users in their user profile). More difficult for HR interface, because it (at least the new standard integration) creates live users, which you can’t delete – you can deactivate them, but I wouldn’t encourage mass tests as you may not want thousands on inactive users in your system. If you ar estill in implementation: talk to your IM or TC: maybe they can purge the users befoe producstion rediness.
         

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  7. Meenakshi L

    HI all ,

    actually i am trying here the scenario  is

    “When the employee raise claims in Concur and it gets approved, all the claims raised and approved in a day are sent from Concur to SAP through PI interface in the form of txt file.”

     

    can anyone tell me please where exactly will find the claims in SAP PI system , T codes and is there steps to follow this

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    1. BTC FICO BTC FICO

      Hi,

      we use additional software to securely move SAE file from Concur server to company server, so you basically have to know and configure where topick up the file from.

       

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  8. Meenakshi L

    and one more scenario is below one

    .” SAP also send approver and cost center details to Concur system (though PI interface).”

    How SAP will send the approver to cost center , my analyse here

    1)source side i will use SAP (PI) here i want to know about PI interface where exactly send approve to other system

    2)target side i will use concur

    3)for sending data will use some middleware  system , please give us your valuable comments

     

    Thank you advance

     

    (0) 
    1. BTC FICO BTC FICO

      Approvers normally come from SAP HR (based on org structure) and cost centers from SAP Finance. In both cases we copied standard program and customised it to replicate what and how we need, but logic is very simple – we send IDOC which is then converted to text file for upload to Concur. For cost center replication we copied program ODTF_REPL_CC

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  9. Shaji Abraham

    Hi

    Do we have standard integration between Concur & SAP S4 HANA. We want to do FI Postings only in SAP, and it is for U.S based customer.

    Please share some link which offers technical information on how S4 HANA can be integrated with Concur. This is my specific ask.

    Regards

    Kapil

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