July 18, 2024

New UCR travel and expense system launches

New UCR travel and expense system launches

UC Riverside is moving to a new travel and expense system with updated technology that makes it easier for travelers to manage payments and receive reimbursements.

The campus officially deployed the Concur Travel and Expense System on Monday, July 25 following eight months of planning. It’s the first of several updates to aging financial administrative software systems as part of the multi-year Impact23 initiative that will see more improvements over the next year. 

Here’s what to expect:

What is the Concur Travel and Expense System?

Concur is a secure cloud-based platform for booking university business travel that is aimed at increasing efficiencies for travelers, cardholders, and department representatives. It integrates invoice, travel, and expense management into one system. It replaces the current iTravel system. Employees will be able to use it to book and manage payments for airlines, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. This is the first phase of the move to Concur for travel expenses. The second phase, planned for 2023, will cover business meetings, entertainment and other reimbursements.

How to get started with Concur

After the traveler role is assigned by the employee’s department systems access administrator, employees can access Concur with their NetID and create a profile that allow use of Concur. Concur allows employees to obtain pre-trip approval and estimate expenses in advance. Travelers also have access to the new corporate Travel & Entertainment Card. Expenses charged to the Travel Card are paid directly by the university; however, the traveler (or their designated travel arranger) must reconcile the expenditures to an expense report within 30 days after the trip’s end date.

How to book travel

Employees can use Concur’s online platform to compare and select dates and prices for flights, hotels, trains, and car rentals. UCR has also contracted with Anthony Travel to serve as its designated travel agency to assist UCR travelers. Anthony Travel has UC-dedicated travel agents available to book trips or assist travelers online or by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Travelers can also book charges to a corporate card held by Anthony Travel.

What is the reimbursement process?

Under Concur, UCR will be billed directly during the booking process, reducing out-of-pocket expenses for travelers. 

UCR’s travel card program will shift from a personal liability to corporate liability program. Travelers must apply for and receive approval from their departments to be issued a Visa credit card to pay for approved travel and business expenses. The university will pay the charges automatically but the cardholder is responsible for the monthly reconciliation of expenses via an expense report.

What are some of the new features available to UCR travelers?

Concur allows Travelers to manage receipts and add expenses on the go. Concur’s mobile app provides travelers the ability to book air, hotel, and car rental, manage their itinerary, check flight status, and more. Users can take photos to attach receipts and record other expenses as they occur while traveling. Travel booked through Concur will register the trip with UC’s travel insurance program, UC Away.

Why is UCR changing from iTravel to Concur?

iTravel is an older internally developed software system that is becoming outdated. Concur is a company whose cloud-based software is widely used by many organizations, including other UC campuses.

What if I already have trips booked on iTravel?

The iTravel system and trips booked through it will continue to be supported during a transition period with the goal of phasing it out by Sept. 1.  All campus travelers should transition to Concur by that date.

How will student travel be booked?

Only career or contract employees with department approval can book travel and be issued travel and Travel & Entertainment Cards. Employees can book travel and arrange lodging for students. 

Will there be training and other resources available for the transition?

Several training courses will be available as part of the Concur roll-out. A 20-minute course on use of the travel card is required before applying for a travel card.

Resources include:

•    Concur Training & Resources: Register for training, view guides, and watch videos
•    Travel Arranger Sessions: Department travel arrangers can sign up for a 15-minute session with a UC Riverside accounts payable travel advisor to get live support for Concur 
•    Office Hours: Informal sessions to cover the most-asked questions about Concur, followed by an open Q&A
•    Impact23 Community of Practice (Travel Channel): Learn from and crowdsource answers from colleagues
•    For travel-related policy questions, technical or access issues, and T&E Card inquiries, email [email protected].

For more information, visit the Impact23 Concur Travel and Expense page.