Penn business travel made simpler with new management system

Making Penn-related business travel arrangements is becoming easier to handle through a streamlined online system that also offers simpler expense reporting and quicker reimbursement.

“It’s a start-to-finish travel solution,” says Hilary Easley, Penn Travel and Expense program manager. Faculty, staff, and students can use the Concur Travel & Expense Management (TEM) system to book their travel, fill out an expense report, attach their receipts electronically, and get reimbursed either through direct deposit or a pay card if they do not have a direct deposit account.

Easley says the system saves time and paper.

“Before, you had to fill out a paper form and submit it to your business administrator, and the business administrator had to ensure that all approvals had occurred before you could be reimbursed,” she says. “Now, expense report creation, submittal, approvals, and payment flow through an electronic system leading to quicker reimbursements.”

The Business Services Division, the Division of Finance, and the Office of Information Systems & Computing began phasing in the program in April, with nearly 15 schools, departments, and centers using the integrated system. 

Wharton, Nursing, and several other schools and departments will be added in the next phase beginning on Monday, July 22.

The entire University will be using the system by the end of August in time for the start of the fall semester. Students who travel for Penn-related activities such as an internship or research can use the Concur system as well, working with their school or department to activate their Concur account.

In addition, as part of the TEM project, the Bank of America Penn Travel Card is now integrated with the Concur system. Approved University expenses charged to this card will automatically flow into the application. Instead of paying the traveler, Penn will pay Bank of America directly for eligible travel, entertainment, and other expenses as defined in the University’s Travel and Entertainment Policies.

Information about Concur Travel and Expense Management and the Penn Travel Card is available on the new Penn Travel & Expense Management website. In addition, visitors to the site can find helpful travel links, get Penn discounts on hotels, air fare and ground transportation, and access the University’s best practices. Training materials and instructions on using the TEM system are also available, but travelers can also email the office or call the helpline for live assistance at 215-746-4357.

Penn Travel