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Concur Travel and Expense Review: "Great for End-Users, lots of room for improvement elsewhere"
https://www.trustradius.com/expense-managementConcur Travel and ExpenseUnspecified8350101
Evan Trimble profile photo
Updated August 11, 2014

Concur Travel and Expense Review: "Great for End-Users, lots of room for improvement elsewhere"

Score 5 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
Professional

Overall Satisfaction with Concur

We use Concur across the organization, for expense management for all departments. This includes expense submission, review, approval, and reimbursement.
  • Employee expense submission: Concur does this very well. It's generally easy for users to understand and navigate, with little training.
  • Concur-Pay: This streamlines getting employees reimbursed. On whatever cadence you like, approved employee expenses are paid via direct debit to their account. It works really well, and we've never had issues with it in the US, and are in the process of rolling it out internationally. Similar functionality for paying expenses incurred via corporate cards is also great.
  • iphone App: They did a good job with this. Being able to snap a picture of the receipt is great. In fact, the receipt functionality (for capture of receipts, and attaching to expense reports) is really good.
  • Expense Workflows: While I don't love the Admin side of this, the flexibility is there: lots of ability to customize your expense report workflows.
  • Documentation: Concur's documentation is the worst of any SaaS app I've worked with. It's not that it's sparse, but that it's poorly organized, difficult to search, and has a lot of extraneous info (e.g. documentation revision info).
  • SaaS: I'd call Concur a mostly SaaS app. It still feels like an on-prem app in lots of ways, including UI logic and layout, and the unavailability of some Admin functionality (i.e. you have to go through support)
  • Integration: They seem to be improving here, with the release of more APIs. But when we started, they sold us in part on "we integrate with NetSuite", which turned out to be a Boomi integration, which they'd never done before. For such a widely used app, I'm generally surprised at the lack of maturity in this area (their salesforce connector is another example).
  • Application ecosystem: there's very little in the way of an application ecosystem, e.g. Salesforce's AppExchange or NetSuite's SuiteApps. I suspect this is in part because Concur doesn't bundle API access with a basic subscription. Even with the Professional Enterprise edition, API access is an add-on, which from the perspective of encouraging an ecosystem of 3rd party developers to create integrated applications that extend your application is daft, to say the least.
  • Support: the support SLAs are long compared to other SaaS apps, and in my experience are frequently missed. Filing a case is more difficult, with a far too complex system of menus and sub-menus, and responses aren't always helpful--again, this is compared to other SaaS apps.
  • Professional Services: Their approach to PS is outdated. As far as we can tell, you can get a PS engagement in only two ways: 1) buy an add-on module that requires implementation, and 2) a PS subscription (?!?!). Want to sign an SOW for a best-practices review, or some config updates? Nope, not without a subscription. This has lead us to look for 3rd party consultants. Again here, their partner ecosystem seems underdeveloped.
  • The "bread & butter" use case is submission, review, approval, and payment of employee expenses. Concur does this very well, with a relatively low cost. I haven't done comps so can't give ROI metrics, but it's certainly cheaper and better than doing the same thing with NetSuite.
Does the bread & butter well, and implementing a new system would be a pain.
I would look in detail at the various features Concur offers vs your requirements. I believe Concur still has the broadest feature set, and if you need what it's got, it's the way to go. But if another app meets your requirements, both current and on a 3-5 year horizon, seriously consider that app.

Using Concur

2 - Neither of these is full-time Concur. We have two financial system admins. Both have strong EPR implementation & customization backgrounds, including SQL, javascript experience, etc. One of these spends about 25% on Concur admin & projects, the other is a back-up.
  • Expense control (audit, review, etc.)
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Travel management

Evaluating Concur and Competitors

Wasn't present for the purchase.
I would like at how open or progressive the vendor is, e.g. do they encourage 3rd party development on their platform (are the APIs open and freely available), do they have prior experience integrating with your other systems, and what do other customers think of their support organization.

Concur Implementation

Our main problem was integration with NetSuite, which when we implemented was new to Concur. From what I understand (this was before I joined the company), it didn't go very well, classic case of sales promising something the software or organization couldn't deliver. Otherwise, the implementation seems to have been fine.

Concur Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
It's live (you can ask questions), it's free, it's good. What's not to like. Only reason it's not getting a "10" is breadth and depth, more would be better.
I'd recommend some initial training to get familiar with the lay of the land. Once you know the oddities, and are familiar with how they organize their documentation (or don't), it's relatively easy to learn. If you bought intelligence (reporting tool), and haven't used Cognos before, training is highly recommended.

Concur Support

Often challenging to find someone with sufficient knowledge to answer the question. And the email case functionality is annoyingly old-school: it's one of those "reply between these lines or your reply will not get logged". So last year.
ProsCons
None
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Not kept informed
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Support doesn't seem to care
Slow Initial Response
Not Sure - We have support, not sure if it's premium.

Using Concur

End-User rating: 9
Admin/Developer rating: 4

End-users can submit expenses with little or no training. This is huge. Supporting Concur would be a nightmare if this wasn't the case.

From a system configuration & customization perspective, Concur has the highest learning curve of any app I've used (NetSuite, Salesforce, Boomi, Xactly, Marketo, Zuora).
ProsCons
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Do not like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • No functions are easy or elegant, almost everything feels more difficult than it needs to be
  • However, it does many processes well, once configured
  • Picking one function that's relatively easy: the UI for configuring audit rules is pretty good, surprisingly so considering other parts of the application
  • Too many to list. . .administration feels painful across the board. Even adding a custom field is needlessly difficult
Yes - Excellent. Concur appears to have some great developers and product managers, and did an excellent job with the mobile app. Love the integration of the camera as a way to capture receipts, obviating the need to keep paper.

Concur Reliability

Uptime has been generally excellent, with the glaring exception of 3 weeks (yes, weeks) during 2014 in which Concur had repeated site-wide service disruptions affecting all users.
Uptime has been generally excellent, with the glaring exception of 3 weeks (yes, weeks) during 2014 in which Concur had repeated site-wide service disruptions affecting all users.
No general complaints here, though it's not a data intensive area.

Integrating Concur

I came into using Concur with an existing implementation that had an old-school SFTP batch file integration (built only 3 years ago). For a while, it appeared to me this was the only option, and I was annoyed. After some digging, I discovered that Concur does actually have a host of REST APIs. There's just little documentation about them in the primary documentation (API docs are on a separate website), our previous account manager claimed nothing else was possible (false), etc.. . .So I'm just now working on our first modern integration, now that we figured out API access was possible (just had to buy it). From the documentation, the APIs look good, they make sense and allow you to do a lot. So the "7" rating is based on APIs that look really good, but that I haven't used yet.
  • NetSuite
  • Salesforce
  • Workday (planned)
Concur-->NetSuite: Approved expense reports become bills and bill payments. From what I understand, the implementation of this integration was not easy, largely because it was new to Concur. However it works fine now. My only major complaint is that it's setup using a SFTP server that Concur pushes extract files to, which Boomi then grabs. Concur uses at white-list of something like 5 IP addresses, but Boomi can't be forced to restrict itself (unless you run the Atom locally), and so we get authentication errors regularly simply because we're using the wrong IP.

Salesforce: Concur sold us their Salesforce connector, but we've yet to implement as it only does Expense-->opportunity. (We want expense to account)

Workday: We're looking into this, will update.
  • Workday
  • Project management tool
  • Salesforce
Yes.
Workday - We're building our own using Boomi. Concur will try to push you on their preferred partner, TBoxCloud, but I'd recommend doing it yourself if you envision further integrations with either system.
Salesforce - Concur has updated their connector, and it now supports up to a 3-level multi-level list, e.g. you could get an Account > Oppty > Project list in Concur. Haven't dug into the cost yet, depending on that we may build internally.
  • File import/export
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
  • ETL tools
Buy API access, don't use one of the batch based "extracts".

Relationship with Concur

NA - wasn't present for initial sale.
Concur probably has the weakest account management and support organizations of any SaaS company I've worked with. In general, one gets the feeling that they're taking advantage of vendor lock-in, the reality that the cost/benefit of tearing out Concur, and implementing a new system, is likely in their favor. Account Managers (2 so far) have been generally unresponsive, and support is slow (for a SaaS vendor), and not very helpful.
Choose another vendor;) In all seriousness, we've found Concur generally inflexible compared to our other vendors. Perhaps we're too small relative to their other customers.

Upgrading Concur

Not Sure - We've purchased additional features but haven't done a version upgrade. Adding features is slow compared to other SaaS systems, in-line with Concur's general tendency to behave like a legacy on-prem vendor, taking advantage of lock-in.