AccuWeather

AccuWeather
J. Gary Senko, Manager, Enterprise Business Solutions

“From the start, the experience has been very good. One of the reasons we chose Wipfli was because they’ve done these Concur connectors for so long. We wanted somebody who brought that knowledge, and they really did. It was a smooth implementation because of it.”


Situation

AccuWeather was using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (F&O) to process expense reports. Because the travel company they worked with was integrated with SAP Concur, leaders made the decision to move to Concur Expense. 

This presented a new challenge: Concur does not have an easy or automated way to move data into an ERP system like F&O. Concur’s basic extractor exports hundreds of columns of data that then need to be manually parsed and formatted so it can be uploaded into the ERP solution.

AccuWeather needed a way to connect Concur and F&O, eliminate that need to manually important and export data, and automate the process of expense reporting. They found the solution at Wipfli.

“We are always looking for innovations in efficiency, and ExpenseConnect fit the bill,” said J. Gary Senko, Manager, Enterprise Business Solutions, at AccuWeather.

Strategy

Wipfli’s ExpenseConnect solution provides a secure, seamless connection between Concur and F&O. It allows users to continue working in F&O without having to move between systems to Concur. Plus, its automation not only saves time but also eliminates the chance of making manual errors that come from having to download, manipulate and reupload data between two platforms. 

Wipfli also has a bi-directional sync module for clients who do a lot of project work in their ERP system, such as adding or modifying projects and job codes. The bidirectional sync module takes the master data from F&O and automatically pushes it into Concur custom lists. This allows Concur users to choose the correct data values when they are creating expense report entries or setting up new users. And no one has to enter the same information they entered in F&O all over again into Concur.

AccuWeather made the decision to move forward with both ExpenseConnect and the bi-directional sync module. Because F&O was a new product from Microsoft — F&O being an enhanced, cloud-based solution meant to replace Microsoft Dynamics AX — AccuWeather was one of the very first clients Wipfli implemented the F&O connectors for.

The implementation involved working with AccuWeather’s accounting staff on field mapping the data that would flow from Concur into F&O, testing and validating with sample expense reports, and conducting user training sessions with AccuWeather staff.

The bi-directional sync implementation also involved setting up a SQL database in Microsoft Azure so that data (such as new employee records) could flow properly to Concur from F&O. 

Results

Because Wipfli brought extensive experience implementing ExpenseConnect and the bi-directional sync module for other Microsoft Dynamics products (such as AX, GP and SL), the process for implementing the connectors for the newer F&O product went smoothly. AccuWeather was also fully committed to getting the connectors up and running, answering questions and working out any issues that popped up along the way.

Without ExpenseConnect, AccuWeather’s accounting staff would have had to spend hours every week transferring and manipulating data between Concur and F&O and checking to make sure there were no manual errors made. 

With ExpenseConnect, these hours are completely eliminated. AccuWeather staff do not have to spend any extra time on expense reporting than they had to when they were exclusively using F&O. And they don’t have to worry about the integrity of their data.

Client profile

AccuWeather provides weather forecasts and warnings around the world, helping more than 1.5 billion people plan their day through radio, television, newspapers, smart devices, the AccuWeather Network and AccuWeather.com. Known for its proven Superior Accuracy™, AccuWeather also produces and distributes news, weather content and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites.