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ChrisSharp
Occasional Member - Level 1

Most horrible travel expense application ever!

Hello Concur community, Concur employees, and users!  My name is Chris, and I am a very, very frustrated Concur expense report user.  This concur expense software, is probably the worst app I've even worked with, in the past 5-10 years, if not forever.  How do you, Concur tool developers, figure out, that a person (such as myself, graduated from a top private university, with a BS and MS in engineering, and 25+ years in the aerospace industry) takes 3+ hours to fill out an expense report, worth approximately $1,000.  Your tool is NOT user friendly, it is NOT intuitive, and the silliness of details is astronomical (not unlike my frustration).  I could probably write a five-page white paper on how many silly steps and un-intuitive steps one must take, to complete an expense report.  Shame on you guys, at Concur, shame on you for maintaining such a dinosauric app in this modern world.  Anyone else feel the same way?  How my employer still does business with you will be one of the biggest mysteries of my career...

 

48 REPLIES 48
MichaelMü
New Member - Level 1

Amen. I just wasted 3 hours of my life trying to file 3 expense reports and i'm not even half way through. Nothing of this piece of software is intuitive - the amount of data i entered and had to throw away because i was missing some input for another required field or the system just doesn't take my input with no clear reason.... how many times at how many places do i have to add the same comment? SAP builds some horrible user-unfriendly software, but this one is the worst of the worst. It might be the worst piece of software i have ever worked with, so bad that i took another 15 minutes to create an account and vent my frustration on this site. Next i will write a mail to HR and maybe i write a review on glassdoor for my company explicitly mentioning Concur as one of the abysmal tools you are forced to use. Those sometimes ruffle some feathers internally. 

I traveled almost every week for 15 years, but during the last 3 years, we switched to Concur and man, I consider quitting the company now, if i have to travel more often again and use this tool. I start to really deeply understand why all our customers want to get rid of SAP software wherever they can. Last year i actually drove 4 hours (home and back to location) just to avoid staying in a hotel and have to use this crappy software again.

And before somebody asks, i would provide examples, but translating them from German to English is almost impossible, because multiple things have very similar names. But the "Travel plan" (Reiseplan) alone makes my blood boil. I have to create a new one because all the ones in the list belong to another travel, but if i try to save it, it tells me that the new address already exists. So after entering the whole plan, all i can do is throw that input away and start new or make up a new address in the target city. I'm sure, there is some logic in this crap, but i can't figure it out and i'm an expert in software archaeology. Why can't i save a travel plan, if the address exists? of course it does, i picked it from the list of addresses. The plan is a date and time bound transaction between two locations, why can i even reuse them, why can't i save a temporary one and edit it.

 

The worst part is that the system we used before was written by a small team (mostly students) 15 years ago and it worked like a charm. It took 5 minutes to do the same work for which i now needed 60 minutes. It did the exact same thing, but it required 10 clicks instead of a 100. and 2 sub-menus instead of 50.


And don't act like we are the exception. I work for a business consultant company, we all travel and there is not a single person who likes this software, most just suck it up and and bill our customers for the necessary time. But the day somebody creates an internal account to track the time spent with travel expenses, Concur is done.

Serskine
Occasional Member - Level 3

I have been a Concur admin for years. It sounds like to me that there may be different reasoning for the frustration. It might be company rules that are put in place that are causing road blocks for end users. It also could be some outdated policies that need re-vamping. It should not take 3 hours to do an expense report so something is wrong.  I also am curious if you have reached out to your Concur admin and expressed what exactly are your pain points? They should be willing to take time and look at the issues and see what could be done to solve them. I absolutely love Concur and all of its features and functionality as an admin and also as a user. 

russellsnow
Occasional Member - Level 2

The problem is that everyone is mesmerized by phone apps. This should not be a phone app. Assume a moderately sized laptop and a spreadsheet. Nothing a local admin can do about that.

JorgeL
Routine Member - Level 1

Are you aware that Concur has an online site where you can work from your desktop/laptop. You don't need to use the phone app to use Concur. I much prefer to use the desktop site. I don't know how you submitted your expense prior via spreadsheet, but in Concur all you need to do is fill in the necessary fields, and a picture for the receipt, itemize expenses if necessary, and send them for review. It sounds like your company may not have provided adequate training on how to use this system. Lastly, for our higher executives we have a person that is dedicated in preparing expense reports for the other execs. Perhaps this may be a route you could suggest to your company if you find Concur is taking too much of your time.

TPM2
Occasional Member - Level 2

I only ever use a desktop computer, no phone.

russellsnow
Occasional Member - Level 2

I have never used a phone to submit an expense report. They are trying to make the system act like a phone. I want a spreadsheet LIKE interface. The thirty-seven clicks required to do anything are what I'm talking about. It's especially annoying when you are on a slow internet connection.

xray
Occasional Member - Level 1

 

You are so correct Chris. I would like to speak about the brain trust that took away the weekly view of the expense reports.  You either cheat the company of cheat yourself from funds do to you. Only way around it is to fill out a spreadsheet to see the weekly expenditures, and if I need to fill out a spreadsheet to do Concur’s job why are we paying to use Concur when spreadsheets are free to use.

/lkjh oi6d75
KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@xray while you are correct that spreadsheets are free, spreadsheets cannot go into a payment batch to make several reimbursement payments at once. Also, spreadsheets would either need to be emailed or uploaded to a shared location for approvers to see rather than just submitted with one button or moved through a workflow with the press of one button.

 

It is also much more difficult to have a spread sheet automatically integrate with a company's financial system.

 

These are just a couple of things submitting spreadsheets cannot account for.


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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StaticBool
New Member - Level 2

I would agree as far as Spreadsheets are rarely a good thing to perform a corporate process, once the number of employees exceeds 1...

However it is applications like Concur, even in 2024, that make user still use this as a workaround.

TPM2
Occasional Member - Level 2

I found this comment thread when searching the Internet in hopes of finding a CONCUR User Guide that might actually help me with clearing some of the incessant alerts I get every time I enter travel for anyone in my department. I (like others who have replied previously) created an account here specifically so that I could add to all the replies/cries of frustration. When travelers are doing a mixture of business and personal, I get alert after alert after alert, and trying to itemize and separate things is a NIGHTMARE. Trying to clear an alert is fruitless. It's not clear (AT ALL) how to subtract out personal from business. Also not clear how to (on an overall report, not just line by-line items) separate the accounting allocations by percentage for the entire trip. Granted (in Kevin's defense, as I see he answers people regularly), companies and universities probably tailor CONCUR to their own company policies and reporting needs, etc., but still....it should NOT be this difficult to enter/submit a travel expense report. I've always been someone that is excited/happy to learn new programs and dig in and learn all about them, but CONCUR is just NOT user-friendly in so many ways that it is a regular source of anxiety. I, too, have a college degree, but of all the things I do in my current position, travel has now become my least favorite task, and it is because of having to use CONCUR. (Sorry/Not Sorry, Kevin, but it's true.) 

KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@TPM2 from the sounds of your post you are doing expense reports for other people, correct?

 

I do understand your frustration. SAP has over 1000, yes 1000 audit rules. Do I believe this is excessive, yes I do. While you are correct that many companies tailor SAP Concur, in my opinion, some companies over do it with so many rules. Submitting expenses should not be an arduous task. However, when companies implement so many audit rules themselves, there isn't much the interface can do.

 

Now, as far as allocating, you should be able to select all the trip related line items and allocate them by percentage.

 

As far as business and personal travel, the intent of SAP Concur is for business expenses primarily. When users mix in personal travel, yes it does make things a bit complicated.

 

Could you provide me some of the alerts you are getting when it comes to users mixing business and personal? Are these users extending their business trips and that's why there are personal expenses? Are they using a corporate card to make personal purchases? I'm just trying to get an idea of what your users are doing that is making your life more difficult.


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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TPM2
Occasional Member - Level 2

Hi Kevin,

 

This last time around I had someone using their corporate card for hotels and they charged meals to them as well. But since they get a per diem, I had to label that part of the bill as personal. It's just not always clear how to get the itemizations to add up and not throw alerts.

 

Ditto for airfare. For the airfare, our Director travels Business/First instead of the (allowed) Premium Economy. He gets approval for this, since we are charging it to our operations account, but sometimes he also travels on side trips that are personal. So entering his airfare is a nightmare, because not only do I have to provide a comparison quote for the seating upgrade, but also for a direct flight to the business location vs. the entire trip (some of which was personal). And again itemizing this and backing out the personal expenses is NOT straightforward. I would like to see fields such as: 

 

  • Entire cost of airline ticket
  • Business portion of airline ticket
  • Personal portion of airline ticket
  • Approval for upgrades to airline ticket
  • Amount traveler is requesting for reimbursement
  • Personal amount (not reimbursable)

And then there could be calculations done by whoever needed to do them. Instead I'm getting a ton of alerts. 

 

I know that auditors want to see EVERYthing, but really the three most important fields are the total amount of the ticket, the amount that is being requested for reimbursement, and the personal amount (and the last two should add up to the first).

 

As for the allocating.....I know how to do line items. But suppose they are traveling for three different purposes and I just want to say that I want to charge the ENTIRE trip as follows:

 

  • $XX.XX to Grant #1
  • $XX.XX to Grant #2
  • $XX.XX to Grant #3
  • $XX.XX to our general operating account (for any overages that were approved, etc.)

That is what I was looking for.

 

And yes, I know that they SHOULDN'T mix business and personal, but they DO. And that is where the end users (usually the administrative assistants, that are the ones using CONCUR to clear travel) get frustrated.

 

Hope this helps somehow with future renditions and upgrades.

 

Cheers,

--Terry

KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@TPM2 okay...you make a good point about the Airfare breakdown and technically, I think those fields could be added, but it would take a bit of work. Also, your company has customized the Itemization screen for airfare. It isn't the typical itemization screen, so it looks like it was customized by your company. Anyhoo, I went into your account (hope you don't mind) and did a test. I did an Airfare expense that totaled 3500. I counted the regular fare as 700, the upgrade as 2000 and the personal amount as 800. See below. You can see in the second screenshot how the personal / non reimbursable shows as $0.00. This was entered as 800, but the itemization line item for this shows as zero. In the third screenshot you can see that the requested amount for the airfare is only $2700. I'm not sure if this is what you are doing. I'm sure it is, but sounds like took some trial and error. Full transparency, it took me twice to get it to not throw an error.

KevinD_0-1706732460224.png

KevinD_1-1706732546094.png

KevinD_2-1706732814128.png

 

Now, for the allocations. If I understood you correctly, you would like to select multiple items and divide it (allocate) multiple ways by dollar amount. See my screenshots below. I used the select all checkbox indicated by the arrow in the first screenshot. Then click Allocate. On the Allocations screen, enter your first Grant number. When done, click Add. Enter the second Grant number and repeat. You will see the equal amounts on the far right column. These amounts can be manually adjusted as needed. This is shown in the second screenshot below.

KevinD_3-1706733349826.png

 

KevinD_5-1706733375901.png

Hopefully this helps you in some way. If not, then I probably just wasted as much time typing this as you do entering expense reports. 🙂

 

 


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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TPM2
Occasional Member - Level 2

Hi Kevin,

 

Fine to go in and act as me, I'm OK with it if it can help.

 

RE: Airfare - It kept throwing errors when I tried that. The system would try to subtract things out but then it would tell me I could not have a negative amount (which was the subtracted amount). Or, if I backed it off myself, then it would say that the itemizations did not add up and there was still a balance remaining. Not sure what happened there.  I finally just entered the ticket into the system with the amount I wanted to clear and put an explanation in the notes section. It will probably come back to haunt me, but I could not get it to go through.

 

AS for the allocations, we don't want to itemize in that manner. Because some of the items actually ARE specifically for a certain grant and some are not.  This was actually a question I had via an approver, who was hoping to just add percentages to the entire trip. The unfortunate part of this is that we aren't always told by the traveler WHICH expenses are which, thus the plea to just be able to say that the trip was split so many ways, between so many grants or general accounts.

 

It's complicated, at best, I know.  Thank you for the screenshots, though, I will keep them handy. I need an operations manual. Wish we had one, because that is part of the problem. Our HelpDesk is swamped quite often.

dp1
Occasional Member - Level 1

Just wanted to chime in and say I 100% agree with Chris!!!!!!

 

I have been using Concur for probably 10 years and absolutely seen this piece of software go from 'ok' to an absolute convoluted mess. Everything, in every way, in this 'tool' has been changed to be the most obscure, least intuitive, most time consuming way of doing anything.

It did not used to be so bad... but concur as a company, made a conscious decision to 'modernize' the interface and made a complete mess.

 

p.s. also sort of funny that this thread is getting hidden from the forums:  sort by most Kudos (this thread has the most of any thread) and this thread will never come up :).

 

MiserableUser
Occasional Member - Level 3

It’s a NIGHTMARE. So we opt out to save our sanity, but that generates out of pocket expenses, admin and tax drama for faculty. So this is neoliberalism that actually stops research and makes us sharply step back from revenue-generating undertakings that will cause us having to use SAP Concur—so lose (universities), lose (students), lose (faculty)—losses for all, perhaps, but for this behemoth of misery.l (SAP).

MiserableUser
Occasional Member - Level 3

The time spent on expenses’ stupid details is unbelievable. I had an inexpensive prix fixe 16 euro meal that included drinks options and  — so I chose wine. Now I have to reimburse the one euro fifty for that and potentially make a video appointment to so so. If I had chosen juice or soda it would have been the same — it was a fixed-price meal with a drink of your choosing (pop, juice, and coffee were the other options on a set menu including the drink). I just can't with this moralistic bull.

 

One euro and fifty cents, or even 16 euros, the full cost of the meal, is not worth it and I just end up hating the entire thing and out of pocket so often it makes me feel it’s an actual abuse of time and resources & very much uninterested in any activity that makes such ridiculousness touch upon any part of my life. It is so inconsiderate about time that I want to bill SAP for the waste of my labour and patience. And it would be for more than 16 euros. Even for the single stupid expense report. Good grief.

Jwrst1212
Occasional Member - Level 2

I have the same experience. I constantly get my reports kicked back to me for minute details or errors on their end. This last report has been kicked back three times saying I don’t have a receipt attached to my airfare when there’s clearly a receipt there with all of the details they need. I write that in the comment section and ask them to re-review it, and then a robot answers me back the same exact answer. They did this the last two times saying there is no receipt.  All of my coworkers get so frustrated with this. I’ve probably now put five hours into the stupid report, trying to get approved and passed the robots that are auto auditing it. Now my American Express is past due, and I’m paying all of the fees waiting for this report to get approved. I have finally contacted our financial support team my company to see if they can actually talk to a real human there and see what the problem is. Again. I DREAD hitting “submit” on every report because I know it’s gonna be another month-long battle with Concur. 

KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Jwrst1212 I went in and looked at your last four expense reports. Only one of those I saw was ever returned and that was by someone at your company,, not the Concur Audit Service. 


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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TPM2
Occasional Member - Level 2

That's just it, though. We, the end-users suffer with using this application. And yes, sometimes it has to do with how it was (locally) programmed, but it doesn't make it any easier or better.

KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@TPM2 have you mentioned this to those at your company who administer the SAP Concur system? They might be able to take a look at how the site is configured and see if any changes can be made to better streamline the expense reporting process. 


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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