The purpose of this post is to help you integrate iDempiere and ADempiere, open source ERP, and Concur expense management tools.
Summary: Concur activities result in expenses in an ERP. These expenses appear in the form of either payables to employees or payables to credit card providers. The purpose of the integration is to automate the entry of these payables. The good news is that you can import Concur payables with little to no code changes in iDempiere and ADempiere.
Concur Example: Let’s assume you are a $50M company. You have 7 directors and above with corporate credit cards. You have 5 road warriors racking up expenses right and left. Concur helps you monitor and approve the 500+ lines of monthly travel and corporate expenses going through your company. Concur routes the expenses to the appropriate people for approval and ultimately routes them to accounting for payment.
ERP Example: Accounting collects and exports the approved Concur expense reports. Accounting imports the expenses into ADempiere. AMEX, Mastercard, VISA, and other credit card charges get imported as AP Invoices to the appropriate credit card business partner (BP). Expenses incurred by the employee get imported as AP Invoices payable to the employee. Once the expenses exist in your ERP as AP Invoices, you can handle the invoices according to your standard processes.
AP Credit Card Processing: When you export the Concur reports, the report lists the employee who used the card as the business partner (BP). If the Concur Payment Entry Code field equals the code of one of your credit cards, you need to change the Business Partner (BP) to the name or ID of your credit card BP. This BP swap can happen in either XLS before importing into ADempiere or in iDempiere’s Import Invoice process prior to creating the AP Invoices. Which method you choose depends on how comfortable you are with modifying ADempiere’s code.
In a previous post, I described the best practices for managing AP credit cards. You are best served if you import each credit card expense as its own AP Invoice. Doing so allows you to use the credit card Bank Statement feature to reconcile your credit card statement. Be aware that to make the Import Invoice process create a single invoice for each credit card expense requires you to change a couple lines of code.
Import Invoice: This section introduces you to ADempiere and iDempiere’s record import framework.
- Step (1) Import Loader Format – helps you map a specific file format to iDempiere’s I_Invoice (Import Invoice) import table. Creating your own Import Loader Format allows you to minimize file manipulation before you import into ADempiere.
- Step (2) Import File Loader – is a dialog to choose a file, choose an Import Loader Format, and preview results before importing them into ADempiere’s temporary import table (I_Invoice).
- Step (3) Import Invoice – is a process called from the Import Invoice window. This process updates the values in I_Invoice to ensure all required fields are present and accurate. Any records with issues will get flagged as isError and get an error message. All records without errors will get imported into iDempiere as invoices. The Import Invoice window allows you to edit the problem records and re-import.
The Import Invoice process can be used for much more than Concur. I am continually amazed at its utility to get invoices into the system. For example, if you provide potential BP details as part of the import, the process will look up the right business partner (BP) for you. If no BP exists, the process will create a new BP for you. The code is easy to read and understand. If you need to tweak the how the system works, changes are typically within the ability of most junior developers.
I hope this helps!!
Why consider Open Source ERP
Open source ERP gives you every opportunity to prove or disprove its ability to support your company’s ERP needs on a timeline that satisfies your organizational needs. With open source ERP, you do not face the same financial constraints nor do you face the same conflicts of interest as with commercial ERP. Instead, you invest in the appropriate skills and knowledge for your people and processes. Best of all – if open source ERP cannot solve your company’s needs, you can safely justify spending the additional $2K to $5K per person per year for life of your commercial ERP to help drive your organization’s success.
ADempiere vs iDempiere vs Openbravo vs Compiere
Please note that ADempiere, iDempiere and Openbravo are forks or copies from Compiere. Therefore, they have similar abilities mentioned above. The biggest difference is that ADempiere and iDempiere are pure open source. There are no features held behind a commercial or paid license.
About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.
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