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LisaS86
Occasional Member - Level 2

Expense Report Approver Training - Is anyone doing it?

Hi Everyone!

Recently, I have had quite an influx of requests for expense report approver training. Currently, we do not have any internal training documents or resources, and I haven't seen any on the Concur site thus far. I'm curious if this is common at other organizations as well.

Is anyone offering Expense Approver training, or do  you have any suggestions or resources for best practices?

Any feedback is appreciated!

Thank you!

Lisa Sturrock
Volkswagen Group
Expense Report Administrator and Auditor
13 REPLIES 13
RichardG
Routine Member - Level 3

Hi Lisa - your question strikes right at the heart of what is the actual role of the expense approver in the process!

At present we only use Expense for Corporate Card transactions. The use of the Corporate Card in my organization to purchase goods and services requires prior approval, therefore making the Expense Approver role more akin to that of a "checker" function.

My Expense approvers are generally high level staff and are time poor. Why should I expect them to know what constitutes a valid Tax Invoice under our legislation? That's where your internal audit rules coupled with Concur Audit takes away that burden and your approvers can simply check the exceptions that they should have intimate knowledge of - ie My trip to Bali last week was a legitimate business expense and not a personal vacation placed on the Corporate Card.

Kind regards

Richard Grigg
Assistant Director, Business Services
Australian Bureau of Statistics
svenex
Occasional Member - Level 2

As we're running a phased global roll-out, we also roll-out a global process. This process is new for a lot of our companies and therefore we also provide a "Approver Handout", where we describe and explain the tasks an approver needs to do. From log-on over delegation assignment to claim approval.

From our experience sometimes the approvers must be trained/educated better, than the "regular" claimant, so we've created specific training documents for approvers.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sven Externbrink

Implementation Lead

thyssenkrupp Business Services

SHAYSIM002
Occasional Member - Level 1

Would you mind to share your training documentation?

tjbmoreno
Routine Member - Level 2

Personally my thought is that approver training is more important! Otherwise you’ll end up with an approvalbeing no more than a rubber stamp. Since we have a limited number of approvers, our training is one-on-one. The most important thing I try to drive home is that by approving an expense, the approver becomes just as responsible for it as the employee submitting the expense.
Terri Moreno
Looking for new opportunities!
Anaren, Inc. - Travel Manager - Syracuse, NY
LisaS86
Occasional Member - Level 2

Thank you all for your feedback!

We use Concur for Travel and Expense and the expenses that are processed are all travel related. We have a separate process for large meetings or events which require the employee goes thorugh purchasing and obtains all necessary pre-approval first.

Our Expense Report Approvers are the direct leaders (Managers, Directors, VP's, etc.,) and as you know, the higher thier position is, the less time they have. We rely heavily on our managers to thoroughly review the expenses before approval and they must also verify that all receipts were reviewed. Once a report is approved by the manager, it is either approved by the Concur system and sent for payment or it is flagged for audit and comes to myself for thorough review. Many of the Executive Admins who are approving on behalf of the higher-level approvers are uncomfortable with some of the decisions that fall on them and have been asking for additional training.

I will definitely make it one of my objectives this year to develop some training materials for our approvers.

Lisa Sturrock
Volkswagen Group
Expense Report Administrator and Auditor
RichardG
Routine Member - Level 3

Hi Lisa,

If you haven't already, I'd seriously consider looking at adding Concur Audit and / or Concur Detect to your expense workflow.  You can tailor the receipt and policy rules that require checking before they end up with the approver.  The approver or their EA is then really only lookin for exceptions (things that do not fit the pattern of normal business related spend).

Kind regards

Richard Grigg
Assistant Director, Business Services
Australian Bureau of Statistics
LisaS86
Occasional Member - Level 2

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your suggestions, I really appreciate it.

We recently discussed the possibility of adding Concur Detect to our site. I definitely think it would be a great addition and would also take some of the pressure off the approvers and EA's.

Lisa Sturrock
Volkswagen Group
Expense Report Administrator and Auditor
svenex
Occasional Member - Level 2

In our global process we even switched the "usual" workflow order:

Claimant -> Compliance Check -> Manager approval -> SAE extraction

 

That means, that when the claim reaches the manager for final approval, policy compliance has already been checked. Possible policy violations and/or exceptions are highlighted by the expense processor for the approver.

So we're able to tell/teach the approvers, that they only need to check the highlighted line items and cost assignment.

 

Regards, Sven

afritz
Occasional Member - Level 1

It sounds to me as if your approvers need to brush up on your company's T&E policy.  Perhaps sending them a copy to read through.  If they don't have the time to read through it, then maybe they shouldn't be an approver.

CareBearStare
Occasional Member - Level 2

Hi Lisa, we have run into this situation recently as we have new sites and many new expense approvers. Our hierarchy is much like yours with the direct leaders responsible. We only have one expense processor at the moment so it is imperative the approvers are viewing the receipts, and making sure expenses adhere to the policy. I am in the process of making a separate training guide for approvers as well as an easy to read T&E policy matrix. Expense approver training sessions are scheduled for our new sites. 

jocelynfleur
Routine Member - Level 1

Hi Lisa,

If you would like me email me I could some training materials with you.

My email is jocelyn.smith@mhia.com

 

f2nelsj0
Occasional Member - Level 2

hi Lisa - I created a basic job aid for the approvers but don't hold any training classes. If someone wants 1on1 training then I am happy to provide it.

Have a great week

JenniferN

HRawlings
Occasional Member - Level 1

Hi Lisa,

Yes. We just recently implemented approver training. We did  a simple 5 minute overview video of the responsibilities for an approver. We have our training loaded on a training site we utilize. We can track the people who took the course and when they do not take it within the allotted time, we send them a reminder email. We've received great feedback by the people who took the course.