Answering FAQs for Shared Services in Finance

Who are my contacts for Shared Services in finance?

A detailed breakdown of each schools/colleges contacts is available for download here.

How can I find an organizational chart for finance shared services?

The Finance Initiative has provided a organization chart in PDF form for download here.


Two New FAQs: Travel and Entertainment Savings and Reports

1) How does using Concur and CBT result in savings when there is a $26 fee when booking through CBT?

Under SMU’s previous travel management contract, the fee was $30 when the travel was booked through an agent.  Since airfare was typically paid using a central University credit card, it was easy to not notice the fee and just view the total charged for fares and fees.  The Concur system gives much more transparency to the fees by requiring the fees to be itemized when submitting travel reports.  During the RFP process to select a travel management partner, the fees proposed by all vendors were evaluated and CBT’s fee structure of $5 online/$26 agent assisted booking was the lowest cost option.  Most bookings under the previous system were made through an agent for the $30 fee.  Under Concur, approximately 60% of the tickets are being booked online at the lower online fee rate.  SMU is benefitting from the lower cost agent booking fee as well as the higher volume being booked online.

2) I am an org owner and need to be able to view travel requests and reports that I have previously approved for tracking purposes.  Can I view approved reports in Concur?

Yes, Concur keeps all reports.  Follow these steps to view prior reports: 

  • From the Concur homepage, select the “Approvals” option from the main menu. 
  • You will now see the options for “Approvals Home” “Requests” and “Reports”.  Select “Reports”. 
  • The default setting is Reports Pending your Approval.  Under that setting is a blue “View” drop down menu.  Select the drop down menu and you have the option to view reports submitted in the last month, quarter, year or all reports you have approved.

This same functionality is available under the “Requests” tab on the Approvals category.  This option would be an easy location to see what travel requests have been approved by you at a glance.

Some Concur users save all reports as a PDF file for their records.  Once you select a report, use the “Print/Email” drop down box and select SMU Detailed Report.  The report will generate and the standard options to PDF, Email or Print will be in the upper right corner.  The Show Itemizations option in the upper left corner provides budget detail with each transaction that could be a good reference in the future. 

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A New FAQ on the Facilities Initiative

Q: What is the difference between a Facilities Manager, Zone Manager and a Project Manager?

A: Three divisions in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management are Facilities Management, Facility Services and Project Management Services. A Facilities Manager reports to Facilities Management and has the responsibility to ensure the quality and integrity of their respective facilities meet SMU standards.  A Zone Manager reports to Facility Services and supervises the trades personnel that are assigned to specific subsections of campus and do the physical repairs of the building.  A Project Manager reports to Project Management Services and provides overall project management services from design inception to construction completion. For more information: See SMUs Office of Facilities Planning and Management.


New FAQ Regarding Travel Rates

Q: What do I do if the conference I am attending has a special conference or hotel rate?

A: You may still book a room directly through the conference organization to take advantage of such discounts. When Concur was implemented, SMU recognized that rates used for conferences are often discounted and therefore a general exemption was included in the travel policy.  Conference hotels can be booked outside the Concur system but will need to be reported through the expense process, whether they are booked through an SMU travel card or through a personal credit card seeking reimbursement.  As with all travel, a travel request must be submitted in advance noting that the conference hotel rate will be used.  Travel requests and travel reports should be coordinated and cross referenced.


A New FAQ on Concur’s Travel Prices

Q: I hear rumors that Concur’s travel prices are more expensive than ones we can find on our own. Do we have any evidence we’re getting a better deal with Concur?

A: Yes! The Procurement team has been periodically pulling data to compare Concur’s prices with those of other travel sites. They’ve found that in every case, prices for hotels and flights available through Concur are equal to, or cheaper than, rates for those same hotels and flights.

For example, in a recent check of hotel prices in three major cities, Concur charged the same rate as, Kayak, Expedia and the hotels’ own websites for properties in Houston and Chicago and  matched the hotel website for the cheapest rate in New York. Similarly, in a check of domestic and international airfares on Southwest and American, Concur offered deals that were as good as, or better than, the prices on travel sites and on the airline websites themselves.