8 questions to ask when shopping for a T&E solution

A lot of companies are looking to automate Travel & Expense (T&E) right now – due largely in part to the proven ROI. With only 11% of Canadian organizations fully automated and a mere 4% reporting no plans to automate, that leaves an enormous number shopping for a solution.*


The T&E partner you ultimately choose depends on many things, from how many expense reports you process per month to how customized you’d like your solution to be.


To aid organizations in comparing solution providers, International Data Corporation (IDC) assessed T&E solutions from a wide range of vendors. Each provider was ranked based on capabilities and a detailed report is now available on every vendor, including SAP Concur.


While the IDC vendor rankings and reports can help hasten the comparison phase, once you have a shortlist of right-fit vendors, a long list of questions to ask each one still remains. IDC recommends including the following eight questions on your list for any prospective T&E provider you may be considering:


1. Do you have experience with my type of product, service and company size?

It is non-negotiable to ensure the T&E partner you choose can demonstrate how organizations similar to yours implemented their solutions and how success has been measured. It’s also critical to ensure solutions are effortlessly scalable as you continue to grow.


2. Are you knowledgeable about financial regulations and guidelines both locally and globally as they affect my company?

Do you operate in a single province? Nationally? Internationally? Any provider you choose should be able to offer you a true one-stop solution. That includes demonstrating region- and industry-based experience with differing regulations and tax laws.


3. What levels of support are available and are they geographically available for my business?

Both proactive and reactive support should be robust no matter where you do business. Ideally your vendor will actively offer new ways to improve your product experience as updates become available while also providing prompt and knowledgeable support for your queries as they arise.


4. Are you committed to this market for the long term?

How long has the vendor been in T&E? How have they evolved? How many clients do they have (and how happy are those clients)? Consider the past and present first and then ask about the future to ensure your prospective T&E partner’s long term focus will continue to align with your own strategic direction.


5. Are the T&E applications available on mobile devices? 

Any progressive vendor should be able to offer anytime, anywhere Travel and Expense solution functionality. For instance:


6. Is the ROI achievable? 

Always ask for relevant case studies where ROI has been measured. SAP Concur also offers a Travel & Expense ROI Calculator that can provide you with an instant estimated annual ROI specific to your organization.


7. What new innovations are you considering?

Does the vendor have plans to implement new services or enhancements that may benefit you? Are they investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning? Ensure the T&E partner you ultimately choose is making investments that will continue to benefit you.


8. Do your solutions integrate with my company’s other IT systems?

Always verify that the T&E solution you’re considering will work seamlessly with your current ERP, HR and accounting systems.

For more IDC-recommended vendor questions and to see how the SAP Concur solution fared versus other solutions providers (spoiler – we ranked first), download the full IDC report: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Travel and Expense Management Applications: SAP Concur Excerpt.


*Northstar Research Partners: Expense Management Automation in Canada

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