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dlamont
Occasional Member - Level 3

Tips to get users to use Business Purpose field rather than Comment field on expense lines

Professional Edition:  We require Business Purpose for line items, but this defaults from the report header, so on multi line reports this isn't  typically the same for all lines.  User's tend to use the Comments Field rather than changing the Business Purpose.   Business Purpose imports to our ERP system, comments do not.  Also comments are very difficult to capture on reports, as you get all Concur, user, approver etc. comments and cannot specify user only.  I've had Concur report writers help with some reporting to include comment fields without much success, unless you want to see all comments!  But the most important piece is our ERP import, so that is outside of reporting.

 

Does anyone have any tips on how to get users to utilize the Business Purpose field better on line items?  We've tried training them, but it's about 50/50 successful.  The only thought I've had, was if we could stop the default from the Report Header to the report lines, but then we have a burden on about 50% of our users who submit reports by trip consistently with the same Business Purpose - and these reports have many lines.

 

Thanks,

DLamont 

DLamont
8 REPLIES 8
KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@dlamont I believe you can turn off the Header to Line item copy down so that each line item will have a blank business purpose field. You may not have access to update the Forms and Fields, so you will need to submit this to SAP Concur Support to have them get this updated. It is something that can be changed pretty easily and should clear up your issue. 


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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dlamont
Occasional Member - Level 3

Thanks Kevin, but as mentioned the default from the Header to expense lines is very helpful to most employees, but sometimes we need them to be more specific for certain expenses.  So most employees are benefited by the default, because of this we really don't want to change that.  Maybe we can get a custom field added, only triggered by certain expense types, and make it a required field?

DLamont
KevinD
Community Manager
Community Manager

@dlamont you can configure the system to do what you describe. I've seen it used with meal expense types where the user selects Meal which causes a new field to appear where they choose the meal type. 

 

I'm not sure how complex it is to do this and likely you'll need SAP Concur to set this up. 


Thank you,
Kevin Dorsey
SAP Concur Community Manager
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BLopez
Occasional Member - Level 3

one option would be to set up an audit rule (informational level) for the expense types in question, in the informational indicate the type of explanation required for the business field.  Our company does 100% audit, but if yours doesn't, flag the specific expenses for audit.  Review the business purpose, send it back if business purpose is not filled in correctly.  We are persistent with our audits, we benefit because the claimant learns to pay attention to the audit rules, also what is expected for business purposes,  We find the approvers pick up on this and send the reports back themselves to have the business purposes or other issues corrected.  The  effort at first can feel overwhelming and frustrating, but it is required to develop what you want out of your program.  It's amazing how quick this knowledge spreads within the organization. You will find compliance on this and other issues elevates to a point where very little effort is required.  Gaining momentum part can be tough, but afterward keep it up with a few taps.

dlamont
Occasional Member - Level 3

Thanks BLopez, great idea, and we do have that set up for the expense types.  But it is still getting overlooked by managers and accounting audit, probably because they see the information in the Comments.  I guess the trick would be to get them to start sending reports back when the items are missing!  

Thanks!

DLamont
BLopez
Occasional Member - Level 3

One caveat:  make sure your organization is tolerant for send backs of this type.  We have full support from top management, so complaints to our processes don't fly.  

 

Another option : your back-end processors should have their own email template set up about specific topics so that they can fire off a message to the submitter about this matter reminding them about why it is important to fill the field out correctly and  to take your message into consideration for future.  Be friendly and offer help for the next time they do their reports so they understand the requirements.  Friendliness and offers of assistance get you a long way and a great deal of reciprocal cooperation.  For those that don't conform, escalate to include their approver in the next email and then begin to send back reports.  An escalation procedure works, as well.  For the really stubborn submitters, in my experience, it takes about 3 times of sending back their reports before the message kicks, also, by this time their approver gets on board and sends the report back themselves before it arrives in back-end processing.

dmiller
Occasional Member - Level 1

We did turn off the Business Purpose to populate on the line items from the Header data.  We make it a required field.   We do return reports if business purpose is not populated as it should be per our internal audit.  However, if someone needs multiple line items populated with the same thing, we have shown them how to select multiple line items and do a mass change all at one time.  That has been a very helpful option for our employees.

BLopez
Occasional Member - Level 3

Hi.  Thanks for mentioning the mass changes.  When we first moved to the new UI, I couldn't make mass changes.  I haven't tried in a while.  This is a game changer for me.  Thanks again.