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Expenses Hub

Frequently asked questions on using of specific aspects of Concur 


Frequently asked questions on the roll out and implementation of SAP Concur for expenses

Captured below are some of the questions that the project team have received regarding the implemtation and roll out of the SAP Concur system.

What is the new digital expenses management system called?


Why are we changing our expenses management system?

Concur will provide a range of benefits for users, finance teams, and the University:

· It will provide a secure and way for staff to claim expenses, with the option to use our phones to photograph receipts and submit claims, eliminating the risk of lost paperwork and delays with misplaced claims.

· It’s more automated and efficient than the existing expenses management system, and more closely linked with existing finance system. It provides better management information and presents a clearer picture of the University’s carbon footprint, which will help us to understand how we can achieve our sustainability goals.

· It gives us a compliant, secure expense claim process, which captures structured data with an auditable, secure workflow. This helps to ensure that the University can fulfil its obligations on statutory and funder reporting, as well as assist with monitoring and safeguarding University funds.

· It also gives us a much more efficient way to evidence, code and approve spend on University Barclaycards. These transactions are now processed in a way that is consistent with out of pocket expenses.

Will users have access to clear instructions on how to complete a claim in Concur?

Yes, comprehensive training materials and guidance will be easily accessible within the system.

Some departments have amended the current expenses process. Will Concur meet the needs of these departments?

Following a successful, year-long pilot, we’re confident that Concur is the right expenses management system for all our needs. By adopting a standard approach to claiming expenses across the University, we’ll be more efficient, and claimants will be reimbursed sooner.

When Concur is live, what will happen to shared services?

Shared services will continue with business-as-usual activities. One of the aims of the Expenses project is to reduce the amount of time that staff spend on lower value tasks, so they have more time for value-adding activities and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge within their roles.

Why are you asking for detail of the expenses? Is it needed?

We aim to only ask for information that is required, so as not to burden claimants unnecessarily. However, some information is required and capturing this in a structured way we can report on makes this system compliant in a way the old process was not. Capturing the data upfront should also avoid queries from auditors and sponsors later on.


Reasons for information being required include:

  • Satisfying sponsors and auditors that the expense was required for University business
  • Ensuring staff members do not incur tax costs unnecessarily. Reimbursement of expenses is deemed taxable on the employee unless we can evidence it was for legitimate University activities. Additionally the system can help identify and track claims that are taxable so that the proper tax can be paid and penalties avoided later on.
  • Tracking carbon impact. The University has committed to being Carbon neutral by 2038, and to achieve this we must be able to monitor the carbon impact of our travel and activities
  • Giving our Procurement team visibility of spend. This can help them to ensure they focus their work to negotiate rates and contracts on the areas that matter to the University
  • Monitoring adherence to the University’s expenses policy and to the travel and subsistence rates. The system alerts the claimant so some spend outside policy and asks for an explanatory note. This alerts claimants to policy breaches, and also helps us understand reasons for going outside the policy and assess whether changes to policy and rates may be needed. Additionally, spend outside our policy may be rejected by Research Sponsors.


Note that, as explained above, travel costs require information to be submitted in order to ensure the University can monitor the carbon impact of travel claimed on expenses and Barclaycards. The preferred way to book travel and accommodation is through the University’s Travel Management Company (TMC) – currently Key Travel. Booking via Key Travel avoids the need to enter these details in Concur.

Who can use Concur?

Currently Concur is available to University staff members on the UK payroll. Where people outside this group need to approve claims we will look to set them up as approvers (please contact the helpdesk).

Work is underway to enable departments to request guest accounts so that visitors to the University can reclaim expenses via Concur. eg interview candidates, guest speakers who aren’t paid for their services.

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