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Finance Departments Across Canada Brace for Busiest Expense Day

Expense Reports Spike on Dec. 19th, Concur provides Tips for Surviving the Receipt Dash

Redmond, Wash., December 12, 2012 – As many employees await the holiday break, accountants are gearing up for their busiest time of year, according to data from Concur (NASDAQ: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions. The company, which processes over $50 billion in T&E spend annually, has identified December 19th as the busiest day for submitting expense claims in Canada – with the main reason being that employees are eager to wrap up unfinished business and to claim out of pocket expenses to use for the holidays.

Based on Concur’s industry-leading expense transaction data – comprised of millions of expense reports – the volume of reports submitted on December 19, 2011 was 52 per cent more than the busiest expense day in 2010. This pre-holiday rush to claim unpaid expenses provides a striking contrast to the lowest volume day for submitting expenses, which was Christmas Day – with just 1.51 per cent of the volume seen less than a week earlier on the 19th.  

As expense reports generally peak towards the end of the calendar year, accountants and finance departments are rushing to process the large transaction volume ahead of the holiday season in advance of year end. While increases in client and staff entertainment spending contribute to the holiday season surge in expense claim activity, many employees also wait until the last minute to expense business trips taken earlier in the year. The result is an end-of-year spike in expense report volume that is almost as predictable as the winter solstice.

“We experience a high level of expense report activity in December, and it gets even busier just prior to the holidays,” said Russ Laird, Vice President of Finance, Techtronic Industries Canada Inc. “With Concur, we have successfully streamlined our efforts to lessen the workload and reimburse employees much faster. Given that corporate card charges are directly imported to our expense reports and the Concur accrual report, we’re not blindsided by expense report surprises in the last month of the year.”

The advancements of mobile technology empower employees to capture pictures of receipts with a smartphone and attach them to expense reports. In addition, Concur sees more and more clients leverage the smartphone to submit expense reports (67 per cent increase) and approve (53 per cent growth) reports on the road.

“Whether it’s the closing out of a calendar or fiscal year, the last thing a finance department should be worrying about is shuffling paper and locating lost receipts,” said Mike Hilton, executive vice president for Concur. “We process more expense reports than any other company in the world, so we are equipped to help minimize the impact to the business and ensure deadlines are met. Concur’s cloud-based services help corporate clients streamline their entire travel and expense reporting process, while our mobile app helps their employees quickly and easily capture expenses and receipts and submit expense claims from anywhere.”

Guidance for Surviving the Expense Receipt Dash

Together with Concur, savvy accounting teams are now providing a few tips to help alleviate the additional burden to the finance department during this busy time of year, including:

  • Send out company-wide reminder emails to submit expenses on time.
  • Ensure the expense report is complete by including required receipts and adhering to policies – an incomplete expense report can create more review cycles and increase the time it takes for the submitter to be reimbursed.
  • Leverage mobile technology to capture digital images of receipts and submit expense reports. Managers can also access expense reports in order to approve or reject right from their device.
  • Provide Concur training videos or create a Webinar for how to submit and/or approve an expense report.


“As an advisor to businesses of all sizes, we’ve found that an efficient accounting system is critical to managing cash flow – a top priority for all our clients,” said Andrew Presti general manager of Presti & Naegele and member of the Concur Advisor Program. “Employees who wait until the last minute to file expenses could be doing real harm to their company’s bottom line, so it’s imperative that business owners adopt the right solutions, like Concur, to empower their employees to be proactive in helping them manage cash flow and maintain a healthy company bank account.”