Business travel and expense management has not stopped, even though the world is managing through a global pandemic. While it is certainly not at the pace that existed a year ago, our customers continue to look for travel and reimbursement solutions that enhance their experience as they navigate these difficult times. This continues to be true especially in the expense area, where we still see a larger volume of transactions due to the need to reimburse home office supplies.
Within the Travel to Reimburse space, SAP Concur is at the forefront. SAP Concur works in conjunction with SAP SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA solutions to help businesses manage their end-to-end processes for travel booking and employee-initiated spend management. Through this integration, customers get automated and integrated travel and spend data regardless of where it happens.
Travel to Reimburse is a key part of every company’s finance priorities, and a part of a larger integrated end-to-end process called Recruit to Retire.
To give you a complete picture, the Recruit to Retire process enables organisations to understand, manage, and optimise all aspects of the workforce (employees and external workers) in line with business objectives, and with clear financial impact. Furthermore, organisations can deliver exceptional people experiences to transform their business results. This is done by a combination of technologies from SAP Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Fieldglass, and SAP Analytics Cloud.
This blog will focus on Travel to Reimburse, the holistic end-to-end solution for travel and expenses. With this solution, users have the ability to plan their trip, create a travel request or expense report and get reimbursed in a smooth, streamlined process. In addition, customers can:
- Process expenses quickly for faster payments reimbursements
- Get end-to-end, timely visibility into spending – from pre-trip plans to final settlement of payments
- Improve company travel and expense policy compliance
- Provide successful financial posting and full process transparency on both sides
- Save time, optimise resources, and future-proof their investment
- Create rich and consistent employee experiences for booking and expensing
- Managers can approve anytime, anywhere
- Reduce costs with improved integration capabilities
- Get deep insights to make intelligent spend decisions
The overall solution provides seamless integration both for cloud customers and for the complex needs of the hybrid landscapes, where clients have utilised both cloud and on-premise systems to manage their solution architecture.
The Travel to Reimburse solution encompasses seamless integration through SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to SAP Concur and SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4 HANA on-premise as customers look to consolidate employee and financial information across SAP.
How can the hybrid customers benefit today?
As part of Travel to Reimburse, SAP Concur natively integrates with SAP’s HR system to transfer employee information. This allows clients to create a similar identity for their staff as they get onboarded on SAP Concur.
SAP Concur also forms native integration with SAP S/4HANA on-premise. It replicates master data for cost objects, including work breakdown structures, into SAP Concur. In addition, the outbound data from SAP Concur, including expense reports and cash advances, are fed into SAP S/4HANA on-premise so the financial postings can be done most effectively. Several customers already benefit from this integration because of the reduced need to use flat files.
Clients want to ensure that their financial postings go through in the most efficient way. Hence, in addition to cost objects, the exchange rates can also be replicated from SAP S/4HANA on-premise to SAP Concur, which removes any financial discrepancies due to currency conversions.
Clients also benefit from improved SAP S/4HANA on-premise Inter-company posting logic. This includes document splitting, which enables the splitting of line items for selected dimensions like profit centre and usage of employee’s home cost centre.
Strategy and vision for hybrid customers
Typically, clients define their backend architecture to generate the most efficient running system. In order to do so, clients tend to use system integrators to ensure that the different systems can work in harmony.
As part of Travel to Reimburse, we intend to solidify our native integrations for hybrid scenarios. Our vision is to ensure our integration exists beyond just SAP solutions and we intend to create an open platform using our SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite where we can provide connections between SAP and non-SAP cloud and on-premise solutions.
As part of our strategy for future features, we look to expand our capabilities both vertically with professional services/consulting and public sector organisations, and horizontally with enhancing global capabilities. Here are some examples of features to look forward to
- The back-end SAP S/4HANA on-premise systems are living entities and forever changing. Whilst all efforts are made to replicate cost objects in near real-time, in reality when it comes to postings, some of the cost objects used in expense reports may have changed. Delta Posting allows a user to re-open an expense report and adjust cost objects so the posting can be done accurately. It also goes one step further. For users that may require adjustments to their expense reports e.g., where they may have missed a receipt, Delta Posting allows users to re-open the expense report, make an adjustment, and re-post in the SAP S/4 HANA on-premise system.
- The consulting vertical has a very dynamic application of Work Breakdown Structures (WBS). It is critical that the correct staff picks the most accurate Work Breakdown Structure as is applicable. In order to do so, SAP Concur intends to create a callout functionality into SAP S/4 HANA. The Enhanced WBS Element Search feature will look for WBS elements specific to the user and allow for user selection. This ensures that costs are always posted accurately. Although the search offering will be available to Cloud customers only, callouts can also be created to custom pages in an on-premise system
- Funds and Grants: For the public sector and higher education industries, costs need to be managed across different funds and grants. It is critical that these funds and grants can be embedded in the Travel to Reimburse scenario. As a result, we are working to ensure that the funds can be replicated in SAP Concur and necessary costs are obligated to ensure full traceability and auditability of the funds. Most of the organisations that are expected to benefit from the offering are on-premise customers.
- Predictive Accounting: For non-public sector industries, the expectation is to have an upfront indication of the costs that are likely to be incurred. Budget control allows for better management of funds. This offering will be available to Cloud customers initially and will possibly be extended to on-premise customers in the future.
- Every country has got their own sets of rules when it comes to data pertinent to taxes. It is critical that the taxes are managed in the most informed way in the financial system. To help manage taxes better for clients with instances in multiple countries, SAP Concur will ensure that the Tax Abroad feature will be integrated. In addition, the tax data for postings will continue to be enhanced in the future for multiple countries. This offering will be made available to both Cloud and on-premise customers.
Even as we collectively manage through the pandemic, SAP is committed to, and continues to create an unparalleled landscape in the world of Travel to Reimburse. To learn more about our solution innovations, visit the Concur Expense and Travel to Reimburse sections of the SAP Roadmap Explorer.