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Five Real-Life Reasons Small Businesses Embrace Modern Travel, Expense, and Invoice from SAP Concur

Five Real-Life Reasons Small Businesses Embrace Modern Travel, Expense, and Invoice from SAP Concur

In honor of National Small Business week 2018 (April 29-May 5, 2018), SAP Concur presented a webinar and blog series on some of their small and medium business superstars, discussing the reasons the organizations moved to implement SAP Concur Travel Expense Management or Invoice solutions. Today, we would like to share the stories of five businesses who made the move to SAP Concur and the results of their actions.

Innovating in the Wake of Competition

There are currently more craft breweries in the United States than there have ever been. The number of craft breweries has more than doubled from 2013-2017, with more than 6,200 more breweries currently than the low water mark in 1978. With all of these breweries comes an immense amount of competition, and heartland states like Iowa are no different. Quickly becoming a destination for beer aficionados, the state’s 76 breweries (up from 27 in 2011) ranks 23rd and 3.3 breweries per capita ranks 17th in the United States.

For Backpocket Brewing, who traces its roots to 2008, innovation is a necessity as they continue to grow. Competing in the heavily saturated Iowa City market, the company needs to help draw brewery tourists to the Iowa City area (as opposed to Decorah or Des Moines), as well as compete well to draw people to their local establishments.

How SAP Concur Made Expense Management Easier

General Manager Aaron Vargas knew the brewery needed to take some necessary risks on what to brew and how to promote their company to stay competitive. Making these decisions required financial visibility, including the ability to measuring resources invested in different markets, and the ability to analyzing ROI. Backpocket Brewing and Aaron Vargas turned to SAP Concur for help.

By implementing Concur Expense, Backpocket Brewing now has the financial data needed to make risk assessments and ultimately move forward with strategic initiatives. This automated solution makes pulling financial data easy, and allows Aaron Vargas to set-up dashboard views with the most up-to-date information at his fingertips.

“The craft beer industry is highly competitive. You can’t afford to get married to a style of beer or business. You’ve got to take chances. The story of us in five years will be that we’re a good family business, conservative, but growing because we’re not afraid to take a good risk.” — Aaron Vargas, General Manager

Key Takeaway: Integrating an automated expense management solution allows you to brew up just the right amount of business risk.

Keep Everyone on the Same Page

Construction is a naturally challenging industry, and for Stevens Engineers and Constructors, the company faced not only those issues faced by the rest of the industry, they had another commonly held challenge: Getting employees to submit expense reports on time. Too often, unclaimed employee expenses were consistently showing up after a project was finished, Stevens Engineers & Constructors Inc. found themselves with costs that couldn’t be recovered.

Stevens Engineers & Constructors is an Ohio-based leader in commercial and industrial building. Known for a reputation of being detailed oriented and creating a quality finished project. Mary Ann Andrews, the firm’s corporate accountant, had reason for concern when she began to notice a troubling trend of expense forms not being submitted by staff until after construction projects were complete. This meant costs that couldn’t be billed to the client, and it was time to take action. Mary Ann Andrews reached out to SAP Concur for help.

By choosing Concur Expense, she is now able to easily track employee expenses across multiple ongoing constructions projects and reliably recover costs associated with each. Employees are able to claim expenses on their mobile phones, regardless if they are on a construction site or in an office, making claims and reimbursements much faster.

“We used to have issues with expense reports not being filed until after projects were complete, so costs couldn’t be recovered. With Concur Expense, that problem has simply gone away.” — Mary Ann Andrews, Stevens Engineers & Constructors

Takeaway Tip: Build better employee expense processes through the use of mobile automated software solutions.

Remain Nimble in the Face of Growth

You’ve seen the packages. 3 Egg Whites, 6 Almonds, 4 Cashews, 2 Dates, No B.S. With the U.S. market for clean-label foods expected to reach more than $4 billion by 2020, RXBAR has been a stalwart in the community, continuing to grow through traditional storefronts and locations like gyms and health spas.

However, as the company began to experience rapid growth, they needed “no B.S.” in their expense reporting, too, and turned to SAP Concur as they began to grow. Vice-president of Finance & Global Controller, Kelsey Letizia, found what she was looking for in cloud-based Concur Expense. This tool not only makes it easy for easy for employees and finance to keep track of spending, it includes a mobile app for tracking expenses on the go. Getting visibility into expenses allowed Kelsey to make more informed business decisions quickly, giving her the flexibility needed in a fast-paced marketplace.

“At RXBAR, transparency and innovation are built into our core. As we continue to rapidly scale the business, we strive to ensure we are remaining direct and nimble, while providing our customers with the best products possible. I like having a technology partner who shares these same values.” — Kelsey Letizia, VP Finance & Global Controller

Takeaway Tip: Rapid business growth starts with healthy visibility into employee expenses. Implement solutions that will give you the whole picture. For more information on RXBAR’s move to detox their expense reporting process, click here.

The Visibility to Make Smarter Decisions

For heavily regulated companies in industries like financial services, decisions need to be fast, accurate, and well-accounted for. Balanced with this, companies need their finance teams to put as much focus as possible on strategic decision making if they hope to grow.

Mairs & Power Inc. is an 87-year-old SEC-registered investment advisory firm located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. With more than $9.5 billion in managed assets for individuals, employee benefit plans, endowments, foundations, and three no-load mutual funds.

The firm needed a way to update their current accounting systems with an automated solution that was easy to implement, creating less, not more, work for their employees. After doing extensive research on available solutions, Accountant and Financial Analyst, CPA Luke Odegaard, turned to SAP Concur for assistance.

After implementing Concur Invoice, Luke Odegaard gained an entire day every week back to focus on strategically growing the organization. The company not only has a better handle on invoicing and expenses, but the automated systems gives them the visibility into spending they need to make important business decisions. Implementation of Concur Invoice was a smooth process and the user interface made it easy for employees to get started with the new system right away.

“Anytime you integrate new technology, it’s a big shift. I was shocked at how seamless the SAP Concur process was. There’s been vast and immediate improvements in our AP process and insights.” –Luke Odegaard CPA, Mairs & Power Inc.

Takeaway Tip: Use automated AP solutions to free up employee time for strategic initiatives and put balance in the ledger. See Mairs and Power’s journey to well-integrated invoice management here.

Keeping Employees Satisfied

For an organization that has been around as long as the Boy Scouts of America, it would be easy to rest on your laurels. Yet the organization, now celebrating its 108th year in existence, prides itself on the motto “be prepared.” That’s why the company turned to SAP Concur. With employees consistently on the go, they needed an expense management solution that could go along with them—whether the employees were at their desks or out camping.

CEO and Scout Executive Scott Seibert knew the Boy Scouts of America needed to update their financial systems. With the organization’s increasingly mobile workforce, they wanted to manage travel and other expenses with easy-to-use tools on their smartphones. With these requirements, Boy Scouts of America turned to SAP Concur for help.

SAP Concur Allows Boy Scouts of America the Ability to Be Prepared

Through the implementation of Concur Expense, Boy Scouts of America now has an expense solution that streamlines the submission, review, and processing of employee expense reports.

“The more we can manage in the cloud, and via mobile, the better. If we can do this, we’ll be more productive, better able to serve the millennial generation, and we’ll stick around another 108 years.  — Scott Seibert, Boy Scouts of America Executive/CEO, Blackhawk Area Council

Key Takeaway: Whether your workforce is on the go or in the office, streamlining expense management keeps your finances out of the woods. Learn more about The Boy Scouts of America and their journey to innovative expense management here.

Get to Know SAP Concur

At Wipfli, we have worked with SAP Concur for the better part of a decade, and understand the value that this product has in transforming the way companies do business. We invite you to learn more by watching the webinar, learn about our own success stories, and get to know our ExpenseConnect and InvoiceConnect solutions, designed to amplify the power of SAP Concur by connecting it to Sage Intacct or Microsoft Dynamics AX/GP/SL.


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