Track travel expenses with your BlackBerry

Concur's new mobile solution helps travelers book trips, find restaurants, and complete expense reports

Frequent travelers will be eager to try out the new offering from Concur. Announced Tuesday, Concur Mobile assists users in making or changing flight arrangements, booking hotels and restaurants, reserving a car or taxi (and paying for it), and getting directions. Currently, Concur Mobile is available for RIM and Windows Mobile handsets only, but an iPhone app should be available later this year.

Concur Mobile is a companion to Concur Travel & Expense and was developed to provide users with a single platform for all their travel needs. Concur's product marketing director, Christopher Juneau, said that Concur first looked to identify the most common tasks of a business user on the road in order to both improve the traveler's experience as well as to reduce traveling costs.

[ Competition among business smartphones is heating up. See InfoWorld's guide to next-gen mobile and Test Center reviews of the BlackBerry Storm, iPhone 3G, T-Mobile G1, Palm Treo Pro, and HP iPaq 910c. ]

Using Concur, a traveler can book a trip and make choices on flights and other details (based on a company's travel policies); when they are done, an expense report has already begun for that itinerary. Travelers can add expenses as they occur, saving time filling out endless expense report details later. Expense reports can be updated, corrected, even approved or denied using Concur Mobile.

Concur works with OpenTable for restaurant information and reservations, and has partnered with RideCharge so that users can book and pay for a taxi with their corporate credit card. If your taxi doesn't take credit cards, Concur can cover that as well -– simply use the camera on your phone to capture receipt images for items purchased with cash.

Concur Mobile adds a real-time twist to Concur's value proposition -- encouraging employees to behave within expense guidelines and improving the accuracy of expense reports. For example, if an expense is registered as a business lunch, you're required to enter who was in attendance and can even capture an image of the client's business card for verification. Concur is working on a way to pass travel alerts to mobile users and plans to add geotagging to notify employees when certain key people are in their area.

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