eExpenses preparation

Before SAP Concur eExpenses goes live it will be populated with certain data, for example codes against which claimants can claim expenses.  It is important that this information is accurate and non-sensitive, so departments and colleges adopting eExpenses had the opportunity to review their information in advance.

Finance staff working in departments and colleges adopting eExpenses can also play an important part in preparing claimants for the change. The three key areas of involvement are outlined below.

COST CENTRE AND PROJECT DATA

Claimants will be asked to allocate costs to where they should be charged. The aim is to make charging costs to the right place first time as easy and efficient as possible. Claimants will be able to select most frequently used codes from the top of their list and they can search for other cost allocations by the cost centre or project code or by the first word of the cost centre or project name.

To ensure that there are no sensitivities in cost centre or project names, and to provide an opportunity to consider whether they are easy to search on, departments and colleges adopting eExpenses were sent a list of cost centre names, project short names and sub task names to review. 

Key questions they were asked to consider were:

  • Which cost centres and projects should be available for charging expenses to? 
  • Are the names of these cost centres sensitive? If so, rename them to something else because they will be searchable by all who can claim expenses against your cost centres
  • Will it be easy for claimants to search based on the first word of the cost centre name?  If not, consider renaming so the first name is intuitive for claimants
  • Who should sign off this data before it is submitted for inclusion in eExpenses?

Updates will be possible after eExpenses goes live and between now and go-live.  See the GL amendment process webpage on the Finance website.

APPROVER DATA

It is essential that details of the right people are input into SAP Concur eExpenses so that claims can flow through the process seamlessly.  Departments and colleges adopting eExpenses have undertaken the following activities:

  • Checked that top task managers in Oracle projects are appropriate to undertake the budget-holder review for project expense claims, and provided an alternative if they are not. Budget-holder review is mandatory for project claims.  [Project approvers do not mimic the purchasing hierarchy.]  
  • Provided names of budget-holders for GL (general ledger) cost centre codes, if these are required.
  • Advised who will have delegated authority to approve expense claims at each of the levels in the approvals hierarchy as listed below.  These are mandatory within eExpenses.
    • Approver level 1: (approval limit of 1 pence): checks and approves all claims before they progress to authorised signatory approval
    • Approver level 2: (approval limit of up to £1,000): authorised signatory for claims of up to £1,000, approves claims above £1,000 to progress to next approver
    • Approver level 3: (approval limit up to £10,000): authorised signatory for claims of up to £10,000

Within eExpenses master accounts are set up for each approver level within each department.  This means that multiple approvers are delegated authority within the system. All of these approvers will receive an email notification when an expense claim needs attention and it will be dealt with on a first past the post system.  In other words, once one approver has actioned the claim, the others will not be able to access it although they will still be able to view it.  It is possible to manage notifications so that, for example, only one person receives the email.

Updates will be possible after eExpenses goes live and between now and go live.  Further information is available at Maintaining roles and data in eExpenses.

 

 

PREPARING YOUR CLAIMANTS

The project team has a communications and training strategy in place but finance and administrative staff within departments and colleges that are adopting SAP Concur eExpenses will have a role to play in assisting claimants as they move to using the new system.  A series of webinars were run in November for HAFs (Heads of Administration and Finance), or equivalent, or their delegates at which further detail was given about materials being made available to colleges and departments to support their move to eExpenses.  This included:

  • Change Impact Assessment: an aid to help colleagues assess the impact on their department or college and identify any potential issues or resistance that needs addressing
  • Change Readiness Checklist: an aid to allow departments to measure their achievement on a series of 'people-related' activities, for example engagement and communications, that are required for a successful go-live of eExpenses

 

Go-live communication pack 

A go-live communications pack has been distributed to HAFs, or equivalent, and other key contacts.  The purpose of this is to support them when they decide to introduce SAP Concur eExpenses in their department or college.  The pack contains:

  • Email text for customising and to be distributed to staff and postgraduate students to introduce eExpenses, advise them what actions need to be taken before their first claim can be created and advising them where to get help and assistance
  • Posters: editable PowerPoint version for virtual display (and a Word version for physical display where departments have people working on site)
  • Draft text for departmental and other local communication channels, for example newsletters, updates
  • Link to PowerPoint slides that can be used as a whole or piecemeal at staff meetings, team meetings and similar 
  • Link to introductory video (4 minutes duration) that can be shared with colleagues.  This is available via the central Finance YouTube channel
  • Email text for sending to people who continue to use the paper expenses claim form when eExpenses is live