Our client had decided to implement the Concur Expense Management system and wanted to integrate the software to their Enterprise Management software. Integration for them meant the ability to automate the dynamic selection lists in Concur, as well as send the approved expense claims and corporate credit card reconciliations for payment into the ERP. We were engaged to build the integration for them.
- The integration required both ingoing (from ERP into Concur) and outgoing (from Concur to ERP) data feeds.
- Our client wanted to keep the ingoing data feed simple, so that users of the Expense System weren’t overwhelmed with options. It was decided that some options would be limited and maintained within Concur tables, such as expense codes.
- One of the critical integration points was the need to have current and accurate job data from the ERP available to Concur. This allowed our client to match their current process of costing all expenses to jobs. The feed was limited to sending newly opened job data to Concur, while a “delete” was sent to Concur from the ERP when the job was closed and no longer able to be used.
- The more critical portion of the integration related to the import of the Concur data into the ERP Accounts Payable. Due to the timing required for the go live (by the vendor), not all scenarios could be tested prior to go live. This meant that while 90% if the integration occurred pre go-live, some tweaking and scenario adjustments had to occur post go live. Our work here involved interpreting the vendor data and mapping to the ERP, writing the integration software, and then testing and managing the different process scenarios.
- As part of the integration development, we had to also comply and implement the security requirements for both products, ensuring that the data would remain secure. This involved being able to encrypt and unencrypt the data streams, as required by Concur.
- Incompatibilities between tax management in the two systems caused some issues. A tax mapping mechanism was put in, to manage the need for one system to calculate tax at a total level and the other at the line level.
- The initial belief from the client was that the expense scenarios would be simple. However, they soon discovered there were many variants in the processes. A late addition to the project was the creation of an error management screen to handle Concur export/ERP import errors, allowing for users to self-correct and then re-process the data.
- Prior to implementation of the Expense Management system and the integration to the ERP, it used take a key staff member three to four days a month to process all expense claims. The business had been going through an expansion cycle, so this timing was increasing. With implementation of the new systems, the process timing reduced to error management in the ERP, or within Concur. This has been minimal.
- After the initial post-go live tweaks to the import into the ERP, the integration has been stable and has needed no further adjustment.
- The entire process has been handed to a junior staff member, allowing this more skilled resource to move onto more business-critical tasks.
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