Today there are software applications for nearly every imaginable business problem, but all that precision comes at a price: too many solutions to learn and teach to employees and too many headaches around making sure one system is compatible with others already in place or under consideration.

This means that in any decision on software solutions, two key factors are capability and compatibility, and that certainly holds true for travel and expense tools. Companies want T&E tools to do a range of tasks well all while remaining compatible with other related solutions. Those capabilities include:

Booking. The ability to book trips online provides a vital additional level of control for employers as well as convenience for employees.

Expense reporting. Manual processes remain all too common in expense reporting, keeping the door open for errors and fraud. Automation helps reduce those threats and paves the way for simpler and faster approvals.

Employee reimbursement. Automation of reimbursement processes means savings for companies and quicker turnarounds for employees.

Expense analysis. The ability to study trends makes T&E tools even more valuable because now they can help companies find issues that need policing and policies that need updating.

In a report on Travel Expense Management, PayStream Advisors noted, “Many organizations have seen improved travel policy enforcement, lower processing costs, increased visibility, and improved employee satisfaction and reimbursement time,” and that, “TEM solutions consolidate reporting tasks, reduce reliance on paper-based processes, and improve expense management visibility — all while providing advanced business intelligence and analytics tools to proactively control costs.”

PayStream advised companies choosing a provider that, “TEM solutions should be intuitive, flexible, and scalable, and should enable easy adoption. … Any necessary system administration should be simple enough to be managed by in-house AP and IT staff, rather than external professional services.”

Solutions also need to be compatible with software already in place. And for 60 percent of the Fortune 500 and at six of the nation’s 10 largest companies, the technology in place for travel and expense management is Concur. It is the only T&E tool that combines travel, itinerary, and expense management into one integrated solution.

PayStream reports that “Concur’s service integrates seamlessly with virtually every back-office system, from enterprise-wide ERP systems to smaller and even home-grown back-office processes. With over 15,000 clients of all types, there likely isn’t a back-office configuration that Concur hasn’t worked with.”

For several years, Concur has had a partnership with CompanyMileage. Used in combination, CompanyMileage and Concur automate employee mileage verification and integrate it seamlessly with new and existing Travel & Expense reports. Users simply enter their trips and submit them to Concur for review and reimbursement.

More recently, CompanyMileage announced its integration with Cerner, the healthcare technology leader, to automate the mileage reimbursement process for Cerner customers. The integration allows Cerner users to automatically import HomeWorks addresses and employee data into their CompanyMileage accounts at regular intervals.

Integrations like these are essential to achieving the service compatibilities modern businesses demand. After all, software doesn’t solve a problem if it creates one.