User-friendly expense management at Ajinomoto with SAP Concur
Managing employee expenses can be a real challenge. The accounting department has to keep up with all the requests, employees have to scan or take pictures of the receipts… In short: it’s a lot of administrative overload for everyone involved. At Ajinomoto Omnichem, they introduced SAP Concur to automate the whole process. Employees can now simply keep track of their expenses in the mobile app. Here’s how it went down.
Ajinomoto Omnichem, part of the international Ajinomoto Group, is comprised of different business lines that focus on pharmaceuticals, agro solutions, natural specialties and amino acid based solutions. To keep track of expenses, The HQ in Wetteren used to work with Excel spreadsheets, resulting in a completely manual and paper-based flow. This caused additional manual and administrative work for the accounting team.
To automate expense management in a uniform flow without manual overload for the accounting department, Ajinomoto Omnichem chose SAP Concur. Since the company already implemented a future-proof ERP backbone with SAP S/4HANA, broadening the SAP landscape with Concur was a logical choice. But that wasn’t the only reason to stay within the SAP ecosystem: Concur was the perfect add-on, as it is modular and can be used for expenses, travel costs, and invoices.
Our expense operation was excel-based, which meant a lot of manual labour and allowed little flexibility. We worked with physical 'receipts' that had to be handed in. This caused a frustration, administrative workload and loss of time. So overall, you can say that we did not have a lean process for our expenses.
SAP Concur conquers the paper flow
To ensure that the new expense solution was user-friendly for both employees and the accounting team, Ajinomoto joined forces with Flexso as their implementation partner. After drawing out the needs and expectations of all stakeholders involved, the team consolidated the relevant data from HR and Finance. Next, they set up communication flows between the data from the S/4 HANA core system and SAP Concur.
Some key challenges in the project included:
- the lack of a uniform expense management policy
- linking financial processing to the correct accounts and budgets
- integrating credit card expenses into the finance system
- convincing stakeholders of the effectiveness of Concur
User-friendly app, easy adoption
The introduction of Concur for all expense management was a home run. The results speak for themselves: reducing administrative tasks for accountants, eliminating manual work and control, and improving the speed of reimbursements. Moreover, the user-friendly mobile app for scanning receipts makes tracking expenses child’s play for the employees.
Concur is user-friendly, people can access it on any device like through the mobile app. They can also just take a picture of their ticket and don't have to hold on to receipts. It is also very transparent, everyone can track the status of their expenses at any time.
Partnership with Flexso
Concur was a logical choice as an add-on to the SAP landscape, as it allows customizing it for organizational-specific needs. Thanks to the great collaboration between Flexso and Ajinomoto Omnichem, the expectations were fully aligned. Change management and user adoption were a huge success factor, made easy by the user-friendly nature of Concur, which required minimal training.
Overall, the optimization of Ajinomoto Omnichem's Concur process has improved expense management and reduced administrative tasks, making it a success for both the business and IT.