Quite simple: because it saves you time and money.
Travel booked online is always cheaper. You get better prices and save on travel agent transaction fees. There is no need for communication for comparison quotes and selection.
With digital expense receipts in a modern system, recording, approving and auditing become much faster and easier. You can approve and review immediately. Your employees have the money in their account the very next working day and are satisfied.
Reporting functions give you valuable insights into all travel activities in the company.
New solutions support the entire process as an end-to-end solution ("E2E") and increase efficiency. Existing systems and service providers can be integrated in the process.
Travel booking has always been in the cloud. So have innovative expense reporting systems for many years. Strictly speaking, you no longer have a choice on this point today.
Cloud systems are quickly implemented and easy to operate. Billing is per transaction. Additional services of the providers relieve your IT department.
There are more than 50 systems on the market for online booking and travel expense reporting.
When booking online, it is important to know which reservation systems can be used.
For travel expense reporting, the legal regulations of the countries in which you want to use the application must be mapped. Germany and Austria are incredibly complicated here in international comparison. Especially products from foreign countries cannot map the legal regulations at all.
With just a few questions, the selection can easily be narrowed down to three or four possible systems. Together with you, we select the system that best suits your requirements and is the most economical.
We consider the following systems to be applicable in Germany.
We only recommend systems here that have passed our internal test cases for the correct recording and calculation of per diems according to German law. Essentially, we test very simple standard cases for one-day, two-day and multi-day trips at home and abroad. We expect that the recording of travel destinations and border crossings is possible and that the calculations for these are correct. Already here, unexpectedly many systems fail.
All systems are available directly from the supplier. However, travel agencies or other service providers often offer an attractive package as partners of the manufacturer, where you get the service and the system under one contract.
With a direct contract you first have to take care of the support yourself. However, the travel agencies also offer 1st and 2nd level support for "any" OBE. In return, you have full access to all functions and settings.
The reseller contract binds you very strongly to the service provider. If you later want to change the partner who offered you the software as a reseller, the software and the entire configuration is "gone" and must be set up again in a new product from the start. Almost all travel agencies work with predefined templates. This can lead to missing or limited features - which brings us to your travel behavior. For point to point flights in Europe certainly OK, but for long haul flights with several connections to choose from, these setups tend to reach their limits. Travel agencies also tend to integrate hotels via GDS into the reseller products and contractually prevent the use of HRS or Booking.com, although technically available. Please take a close look or ask!
If the volume is sufficient, we recommend the direct contract in order to secure your investment in the long term and make the best possible use of it. For some products there are also hybrids such as "Travel from TMC" and "Expense direct".
Systems from established providers have better functionalities. Further development, operation and support are better ensured here than with less leading or small companies.
Ask at least two vendors for prices for the use of the Expense Module, taking into account all costs for implementation, interfaces and operation. Note any minimum purchases/price scales.
Be sure to also ask about a possible timeline for implementation. Ask for explicit assurance of the availability of the implementation team.
Are you ready for the future?
We have compiled the most important information on the best systems for you.
These systems can be used in Germany and are legally compliant.
We have been accompanying selection and implementations since 2003 and know the strengths and weaknesses.
Our advice is always provider-neutral. We are in regular contact with most providers.
An end-to-end system is a travel management system in which the travel request, travel booking and travel expense report are mapped on a single system. The advantage is that employee profiles only have to be created once. Reporting on all subareas is available in a single system. Many systems have a partner network that uses the trip data from your system to support other subprocesses such as travel security or VAT reimbursement.
In our view, end-to-end is a PROCESS, not necessarily (exactly) a SYSTEM. Interfaces and architectures have evolved. Modern technology ensures that systems can be combined. This makes it possible to find the perfect solution for your requirements.
Many providers have standard interfaces to SAP HR or workday, and of course to SAP Financial Accounting.
The use of the systems usually incurs transaction costs per booking or settlement. In addition, there are the costs for implementation and support.
End-to-End is suitable for clients of all sizes who have a high volume of travel for flights or hotels.
The leading travel booking system in Europe is now globally available. cytric's proven online booking is fully integrated with its own travel expense module. In tenders, travel accounting has also been on par with other market leaders for years.
The product offers many country versions and global support through Amadeus.
The data center is located in Germany. Implementation and support are German-speaking, partly with the help of employees from France.
expenseBrain is familiar with Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense for many years and is always happy to accompany projects for international implementations.
At the moment there are difficulties for the introduction of the expense part due to lack of resources and methodology. However, we can fully recommend the product for travel booking (as of Sep 2020).
SAP Concur Travel & Expense is SAP's strategic product for the travel management process.
SAP Concur is recognized as a global leader with many innovations, particularly in the area of expense.
Numerous country versions and languages ensure optimal use of the system in Germany and for internationally positioned companies. SAP Concur can be seamlessly integrated into an existing SAP OnPremise or S4/HANA system landscape.
The pricing model is transaction-based with a fixed minimum purchase per quarter and a set-up fee. The data center is located in the EU. Implementation and support are partly German-speaking, often with the help of employees from the Czech Republic, UK, Ireland and the USA.
expenseBrain has been familiar with SAP Concur for many years and has supported many international implementations of SAP Concur since 2016. However, as neutral consultants we are not allowed to become an official implementation partner of SAP Concur at the moment.
The travel management system Atlatos Profi Traveller is a solution for medium-sized businesses and the public sector. All functions are available in good quality.
The system enables easy online booking taking into account travel policies, booking approvals and company conditions of the company. From travel approval to travel booking and travel expense reporting, all processes are mapped.
Atlatos is also available through some travel agencies as a reseller solution.
KDS and traveldoo meet German requirements and offer interesting functions, but have not really been able to establish themselves on the German market. We have already accompanied introductions of these systems and are carefully monitoring further developments.
Status: Spring 2020
Calls to the travel agency or offer ping pong cost time and money. Today, this can be done faster and better if you use a travel booking system. There are also suitable solutions for companies with few trips.
Travel services are available in different systems: Travel agency reservation systems, intermediaries such as HRS or Booking.com, or directly from the supplier. New are service providers like Egencia, Lanes & Planes or comtravo, where the travel agency is integrated "in the background".
For travel booking you can of course also use the corresponding modules of the end-to-end systems. Amadeus cytric, SAP Concur, KDS, traveldoo and Atlatos can also be used for booking only. Onesto is also a very good solution. Online Booking Engines are able to search different systems. The employee gets services displayed according to your travel policy and can book them directly.
Often a corporate portal for hotels already helps you. Even if you have only a few travelers, you should definitely use a hotel portal - because you get access to corporate rates that are not displayed in the private customer portals. This way you can save up to 30% per night.
If you have a lot of train journeys, you should think about the corporate rail portal.
And if you fly abroad often, you'll be well on your way with solutions from Egencia, Lanes&Planes or comtravo.
Depending on the type and number of your trips, a contract travel agency and reseller solution for a professional online booking tool can now become interesting. Check your travel behaviour and choose a suitable service.
You should definitely use a comprehensive online booking solution with integration for travel accounting.
There is a wide selection of over 50 systems available for travel expense reporting. But beware: especially systems from abroad are mostly only solutions for receipt entry and do not cope with the complex legal requirements for Germany (and Austria). Also many start-ups stumble through the market with immature products.
For processes before the trip, a travel request can be created and sent with most systems. Often, the integration of travel booking solutions is also possible.
Most systems have web-based interfaces to human resources and financial accounting.
Predefined solutions can be live with you in just a few weeks!
In addition to the end-to-end systems shown above, other systems are suitable for use in Germany:
Chrome River is an up-and-coming provider from the USA and part of the Emburse group of companies. The product is very flexible and ideally suited for international use.
Chrome River offers travel request and expense reporting without its own online booking engine. Integration with Amadeus cytric and other travel booking solutions is possible. The solution is based on a fully responsive design without dependencies on devices or operating systems. The architecture is modern and flexible. Customized developments are possible to a limited extent.
Chrome River can be seamlessly integrated into an existing SAP system landscape with web-based standard interfaces. Numerous country versions and languages ensure optimal use of the system in Germany and for internationally positioned companies.
The data center is located in Ireland. Implementation and support are partly German-speaking with the help of employees from the UK and the USA.
expenseBrain has been supporting Chrome River projects for customers since 2017, as the first consulting firm in Germany.
Last tested March 2020
Coupa also offers a travel expense module as part of its ERP solution.
The Coupa travel expense report can also be used in Germany. The use is especially useful for Coupa ERP customers. The use as a stand-alone solution is not recommended.
Expensya is new on the German market since 2018 and comes from France. The target group is companies of all sizes, with a focus on medium-sized companies.
Expensya offers an intelligent complete system for travel expense management as well as automated processes for data storage, data management and usage.
Expensya is quick to implement and easy to run. We also find the pricing attractive.
The calculation of the flat rates according to German specifications is correct, a country version for Austria is still being worked on.
Expensya's OCR+ technology with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is ahead of your time: not only does it capture all relevant information in seconds, it also recognizes Level 3 data.
Expensya offers a pure travel expense report without its own online booking engine. For pre-trip processes, a travel request can be created. The architecture is modern and flexible, customer-specific developments are possible to a limited extent. We consider the solution ideal especially for sales and service organizations.
The data center is located in the EU. Implementation and support are German-speaking with a charming accent, partly with the help of employees from France.
expenseBrain has already introduced the product to several customers this year, each time with positive feedback. Our first customer has chosen this solution in September 2019.
Last tested April 2020
MobileXpense is established on the German market and comes from Belgium. The target group are companies of all sizes. MobileXpense is quick to implement and easy to run. We also consider the pricing to be attractive.
MobileXpense can also be used internationally and can even map Austrian regulations well in the standard.
MobileXpense offers the travel request and the travel expense report. An integration to almost all online booking products is possible.
The data center is located in the EU. Implementation and support are provided in German and English.
expenseBrain has presented the product to several customers in the past. Some of our customers use the product with good satisfaction.
Last tested May 2020
Request a Demo | Provider Page | Whitepaper
Huh? N2 who? We were surprised to see how well this product from France copes with German and Austrian per diems right off the bat. The text recognition for receipts can read field contents and process them intelligently. We particularly liked the clear and well-structured frontend. The product offers a high degree of flexibility for custom settings. Nevertheless, a certain simplicity is convincing. Even the translations are good, which is not always a matter of course with French products.
N2F comes from France and is a product of a larger software service provider. The abbreviation plays with the French term "Note de frais" for expense report. There is currently no travel request or integration for online booking.
The solution targets companies between 50 and 5000 employees and can be live with you in a few weeks. German-speaking employees for IMplementation and support are available.
Last tested August 2020
Oracle offers a travel expense solution as part of the HCM Cloud.
Oracle Expense can also be used internationally and is functionally "on par" with other products.
The use is especially useful for customers of Oracle HCM. Here, added value is created through deeper integration. The use of Oracle Expense as a stand-alone solution does not make sense.
Yokoy is a new solution from Switzerland. The product has a different view of travel expenses and also works for the German market. The fast and flexible usability is convincing. An artificial intelligence and integrations to credit card and tax advisor (!!!) provide high automation.
The solution targets companies between 50 and 1000 employees and can be live at your site very quickly.
Last tested July 2020
There are a large number of other products on the market from Germany and abroad that have varying degrees of maturity. Many solutions are often still in the start-up phase and not sufficiently established. Important functions for the German market are still missing. However, the providers are working diligently to provide functioning solutions for the German market as well.
The expenseBrain team regularly tests new and existing products. We give our feedback to the provider to improve the product. We are currently in talks with some providers.
Surely we can soon recommend Rydoo, Lanes&Planes, Expensify, Pleo, Unit4 or workday Expense.
We don't see any movement on Fraedom and GetThere.
You are a provider and would like to be evaluated differently? Convince us! We are happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your product with you. This can help you to improve your offer.
We present our own experiences with the systems here and evaluate their use in Germany and internationally from our point of view. Source are own researches and customer projects. The presentation is not for sale.
In order to be able to guarantee independent and neutral consulting, we do not receive or accept any open or hidden commission or referral payments from providers or sales partners. expenseBrain, however, has partial economic relationships with some of the providers mentioned due to joint projects or provides customer-related services on behalf of the providers. This has no influence on our evaluation.
Travel request, travel booking and travel expense accounting are only half the story. There are many other important service providers and systems for special tasks in the business travel process. We present the most important services here. For each of them there is a multitude of providers.
Most vehicle manufacturers and independent providers provide electronic logbooks that allow you to manage your employees' journeys quickly and efficiently. Legally compliant recording also helps you meet the requirements of the tax office. Potentially, you can save taxes, as the records are more traceable than a manual logbook.
Travel has become much more complicated in recent years. You now need, in addition to the visa, in many cases the A1 form, an entry registration in advance, medical documents and health tests. You should also take care of income tax and business tax issues in the destination country. Services and software from various providers will help you with this.
Sapere Aude offers products and services for travel and mobility management.
Sapere Aude's Travel Compliance Monitor helps companies and employees comply with international legislation and minimise costly risks.
The software can be integrated with travel requests or travel bookings from other systems.
A web-based interface checks whether A1 forms, registrations or visas are required and assists in their preparation. For special tax issues, checks and warnings are sent to the user as an early warning.
During the trip, you can always inform your employees about changes in the itinerary, about disruptions or about the correct behavior on site. The app recognizes the location of the employee and sends targeted, appropriate notifications, for example, to inform about the right taxi provider or the alternative subway. This helps you save on travel costs. Also, safety wise are brought to the employee very quickly. We believe the use of traveler engagement apps is important and valuable.
With a process for refunding VAT from abroad, you can get an average of 12% to 15% back on European travel. Most EU countries and many more support VAT refunds on many services. Specialized service providers such as Taxeo, Taxback or VAT IT can help you with this. Depending on the travel expenses system, the data can be transmitted electronically. Further processing also takes place electronically.
Do you always know where your travelers are? And by what route did your employees get there?
The frequency and intensity of risks during travel have increased. As part of your duty of care, you should therefore take care of risks to your employees before, during and after travel. This includes sending out information in advance, but also emergency plans for evacuation from the destination country or for medical care. Specialised providers will support you in this.