Business Travelers: Unchain Yourself From Your Expense Reporting Tool

In one of my least-read posts of the month, I wrote about business booking and travel expense management company Concur working to allow consumers to book travel on airline websites while still leveraging negotiated corporate discounts, and handling expense tracking.

Gee, I wonder why that wasn’t sexy? (This post was read fewer times, even, than the one about my regulatory comment filed with the Department of Transportation about new proposed transparency rules for ancillary fees. Now that means it was unpopular. Egads.)

Still, it’s sort of important.

I don’t think anyone actually likes Concur, but it’s a giant. They’ve been acquired by SAP. And Concur users, you have an ‘out’.

An expense reporting tool that I actually find to be innovative — Expensify, whose motto is “Expense Reports That Don’t Suck” — has an offer for both companies that have contracts with Concur, and business travelers stuck having to use it.

Here’s the rather amusing email they’ve sent out:

Hey there, you might have read the news that our friends at Concur have just sold to SAP, a global enterprise powerhouse.

This is great for nearly everybody: SAP, Concur shareholders, and especially for us. As for Concur customers… well the future just got a bit cloudier (and not in a good way). They probably feel locked into a long-term contract with a company whose focus has suddenly shifted away from their needs, and I’m sure that doesn’t feel great. Expensify exists to help people feel great about their expense reports, so in light of the news we’re offering a very special deal:

If you’re currently a Concur customer, switch to Expensify now and PAY NOTHING for the duration of your Concur contract.

If that’s one year, ten years, or a thousand years — no problem. There’s no need to stick it out to the end: you can switch today without stressing over the sunk cost. If you or anyone you know are using Concur and feeling uncertain about the future, please write sales@expensify.com (or respond to this email) and we’ll get you set up.

Alternatively, if you’re convinced the company will never switch, we’ve whipped up something this weekend for you too: we call it “Submit to Concur”. To enable, just sign in to https://expensify.com, click Settings > Connections > Concur, and enter your Concur username/password. Create your next report using Expensify as normal — including our cutting-edge mobile app and revolutionary SmartScan technology — and when you submit we’ll connect via the Concur API, upload the receipts, and create the report for you. So whether you’re in charge or not, there’s no reason to suffer through to the bitter end: you can make the switch to Expensify by yourself, today, without waiting for the rest of your company.

Regardless, it’s a great new day for the industry. Congratulations to Steve Singh at Concur; it was a fantastic run. We’ll take it from here!

-david
Founder and CEO of Expensify


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. I use the personal version of Expensify to manage all my charges, I like it much better than services like Mint (admittedly Mint has broader features). They support all major cards and finally allow you to name cards, helpful when you have several dozen. Some cards like Barclay’s and US Bank are troublesome and need to frequently be reauthorized.

  2. Are you really recommending that people provide Expensify with their *usernames and passwords* to Concur, a rival service?

    Do you have any idea how hideously insecure this is, not to mention the fact that it breaches standard IT rules almost all businesses have about not disclosing account credentials to third parties?

    Do you not see how *unethical* it is for Expensify to suggest to users that they provide Expensify with access to a competitor’s service?

    It’s amazing to me that someone with your experience in the field of technology would do anything but decry this as an extremely dangerous thing to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *