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Travel & Expense Management System Under Development

February 28, 2012, Volume 58, No. 24


The University will be introducing online travel & entertainment reimbursement later this year, as part of a new, integrated Travel & Expense Management (TEM) system.  TEM streamlines the travel booking and travel & entertainment reimbursement processes for faculty, staff and students conducting University business.

The new reimbursement functionality—expense submission, approvals and payment—will be integrated with the online travel booking tool that was released in August 2011, in conjunction with the introduction of World Travel as Penn’s preferred travel provider. The underlying software for the integrated system is provided by Concur, a leading vendor of travel booking and expense management systems. Concur’s booking tool is used by World Travel and is already familiar to many Penn travelers.

The new system will offer a number of benefits to the University community including:
•     A more streamlined process for expense reporting, receipt submission, review, approval and payment;
•     University payment of charges from documented and approved expenses;
•     Concur mobile applications available for mobile devices;
•     Improved compliance with University policies—business rules are built into the system;
•     Lower costs—allows Penn to better track spending which provides more data for rate negotiations with University providers; and
•     Permits designated individuals to book travel and prepare expense reports on behalf of others.

In recent months, the TEM team has been working with Concur to configure the online expense management tool for the Penn environment and making incremental improvements to the travel booking tool. An advisory group comprised of School and Center representatives has been guiding this process to help ensure that the online system accommodates School and Center practices while adhering to University policy. Planning for a pilot is currently underway.

Additional communications about the project and related process changes will be disseminated later this year, and web sites managed by Business Services and the Division of Finance will be updated with the new travel and expense management information. In the meantime, University offices that have published travel or reimbursement information on their own web sites or in internal documents are advised to identify where that information resides, as it will need to be updated.

The TEM project is jointly sponsored by the Divisions of Business Services, Finance, and Information Systems and Computing.  Please address any questions about the project to the project team at askTEM@lists.upenn.edu

—Marie Witt, Vice President, Business Services
—Stephen Golding, Vice President, Finance and Treasurer
—Robin Beck, Vice President, Information Systems and Computing

Almanac - February 28, 2012, Volume 58, No. 24