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Chrome River

Chrome River is the University of Illinois System’s travel and expense management tool. Chrome River includes a lot of user-friendly features that are very well suited for the University of Illinois community.

Chrome River is used for

  • Automated approval routing
  • Automated spend control
  • Mobile access and approvals
  • Integration with leading financial systems
  • Credit card integration
  • In-application feature training and assistance
  • Online dashboards

Getting Started

Training is not required to access Chrome River. All University of Illinois System employees are encouraged to use the system directly or through their delegate (formerly proxy) function.

There is a variety of training resources available to help users navigate the system. Please take advantage of these resources and register for a live webinar, review the provided job aids and access the pre-recorded webinars.

Roles and Responsibilities

Role: Required Chrome River Profile

Responsibility:

  • General Users can request Advances, Employee Travel Reimbursements, and Employee Miscellaneous Reimbursements. Individuals must have a UIN of User’s Reviewer (Manager Reviewer) assigned within the profile, and this Reviewer must be an active Chrome River user.
  • The Manager Reviewer will approve the Expense Reports and Pre-Trip Approvals of the employees assigned to them. Usually, this assignment is the supervisor or the department head.

Role: Charge Code Reviewer*

Responsibility: Each Banner organization code (org code) must have a Charge Code Reviewer and an Alternate Charge Code Reviewer. Employees in this role review and approve C-FOPAL information on Expense Reports for the org codes assigned to them.

Role: Charge Code Maintenance

Responsibility: This role should be designated to individual(s) that will perform routine maintenance on C-FOP additions or removal from Chrome River.

Role: Invoice Access

Responsibility: Process non-purchase order related payments to vendors.

FAQ: Expense

Q: What is Chrome River Expense?

A: Chrome River Expense is the online employee reimbursement and card reconciliation program for the University of Illinois. Payments to non-employees or students should be processed in Chrome River Invoice.

Q: How do I add a new user to Chrome River?

A: There will be a section added to the Security Application (SecApp) to add employees to Chrome River. The process will be handled by the unit's Unit Security Coordinator (USC).

Q: When I use the Chrome River log-in, it asks for a company name. What is that?

A: If you are directed to the vendor’s log in page you do not have Chrome River permission. Once your USC grants you access, you will be directed to the University’s single sign on which is the same as any other university application.

Q: Is there a preferred browser for Chrome River?

A: You may use the latest version of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Q: Is VPN required to access Chrome River?

A: No, at this time Chrome River will not require VPN. You can access it from any computer or the Chrome River app on a smart device.

Q: Do I need to train my travelers on how to use Chrome River?

A: We highly recommend new travelers review the training and reference materials posted on the Chrome River Resource Page.

Q: Do I still need to keep paper documentation for each expense report?

A: Yes, departments will need to retain paper receipts in accordance with retention policies of the university.

Q: What is the difference between a Delegate and an Approval Delegate? Do I need both? How many delegates can I have?

A:

  • A Creator delegate is assigned by the document owner. We highly encourage all users to have one delegate, but you can also have multiple delegates if needed. The delegate has access to the user's profile eWallet, Receipt Gallery and can create reports on the user's behalf.
  • An Approver Delegate is for those in a Manager Approver or Charge Code Approver role. You can only have one Approver Delegate at a time. During the time an Approver Delegate is assigned, the Approver will not receive any notifications or be able to approve anything themselves.

Q: How can I add and remove delegates?

A: When you are signed into Chrome River, your name will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Click on your name and select Account Settings. On the left click Delegate Settings and +Add New Delegates. Find the person you are looking for in the list and click on their name. To remove them as your delegate just click the X next to their name.

Q: Do I need to submit separate expense reports for multiple transactions from the same event/trip?

A: Anything related to a single trip (or event) can be included in the same expense report including TCard and non TCard expense
Example: Airfare, mileage, conference registration, paper submission fees, and poster printing can all be combined onto one expense report.

Q: Can I combine multiple trips onto one expense report, or do I have to submit multiple expense reports?

A: As long as the Trip Type is the same (In State, Out of State or Foreign), you can combine trips onto one expense report. You will need to have clear and specific business purposes for each trip.

Q: Where is my report number?

A: Once you have completed and save the header screen, the report number will populate in the lower left corner of your report screen. It is a 12-digit number beginning with “0100”.

Q: Is there a character limit for the title and business purpose fields?

A: The title field of the report is 45 characters long and the business purpose field is 1000. Each line item also has additional fields for notes.

Q: My expense report says "Pending Approval" Who is it pending approval with?

A: Under "View All Submitted" section of the Expenses Ribbon click on the Expense Report that you are questioning. Click on the "Tracking" tab, a tracking data box will appear, click on "Currently Assigned." The system will now show you who your expense report is currently pending with and where the ER will route next.

Q: What happens if I choose "Athletics" in the "Transaction/Purchase Type" box on the header screen?

A: This routes the report to the NCAA Compliance approval queue. Please make sure that your expenses/card charges should be reviewed by this group prior to making this selection.

Q: What is my Banner report number? How do I find the TE# in Chrome River?

A: In Banner, Chrome River reports will be identified with a TE#. Once your report has been completed and approved in the system, a green approved box will appear on the "View all Submitted" section of the Expenses Ribbon. Click on the report so the preview opens. On the preview scroll down to the comment section and you will see the TE# listed. All items on the expense report will be under the one TE#.

Q: When am I able to recall an expense report?

A: The report can be recalled until it is ready to export to Banner.

Q: How do I delete an Expense Report?

A: There are two options, depending on a report’s status.

  • First, if an Expense Report has been submitted, but not fully approved (i.e. the entire report is Pending Approval), you can click on the Expense Report in your “Submitted Last 90 Days.” Click once on the report you are looking for then click “Recall” on the report preview. A confirmation box will appear, click “Yes.” This action will move the report back to your Draft Expense Reports. Under Draft Expense Reports, click on the report, and the Delete function will be available.
  • Second, if an expense report has been returned, you will see the report in your “Returned Expense Reports” with a “Returned” status. Click on the report you are looking for. On the preview screen you will see a delete button.

Q: Can I claim reimbursement for individuals who traveled with me?

A: No, a reimbursement is an out-of-pocket expense paid by a traveler and employees should not be paying out of pocket for any other traveler. A TCard should be used.

Q: What is the routing/approval process in Chrome River?

A: Chrome River Routing/Approval Process

Q: Can reviewers change items on an expense report? And if able, what can they change?

A: Reviewers can edit the business purpose, the Allocation (cfoap) and the expense tile.

Q: What should I include on my Pre-Approval?

A: The intent of the Pre-Approval is to seek authorization for the trip and an estimated amount of all trip expenses. Include estimates for all items that may be part of the travel such as airfare, baggage, per diem, hotel, and taxi.

Q: How long does my Pre-Approval stay on my dashboard?

A: Fully approved Pre-Approvals will be visible in the “View All Submitted” for 180 days and will be available to attach to an expense report. All Pre-Approvals will expire within 180 days. Once expired, you will need to create a new pre-Approval.

Q: I accidentally used the travel card for a personal expense. What do I do?

A: The card holder will need to deposit a payment with the Bursar’s office in the amount of the personal charge. To make the deposit bring a department deposit form listing the unit’s C-FOAP, along with the payment in the amount of the personal charge to the Bursar’s office for deposit. The receipt from the Bursar’s office should be attached to the ER.

Q: What file formats are accepted in Chrome River?

A: The file types accepted in Chrome River are JPEG, PDF, PNG, OFD, and TIFF.

Q: How do I delete a receipt that is attached to an expense report?

A: When viewing the receipt on the line item, there is a trash can icon in the upper left corner. You can click that to delete the receipt. If the receipt was loaded from your Receipt Gallery, the receipt will return to the Receipt Gallery.

Q: Will a receipt image disappear from by eWallet once attached to an expense report?

A: Yes, once an image is attached to a line item the image will disappear. If you have a need to use the same receipt for multiple travelers, the receipt can be scanned or loaded to the eWallet multiple times.

Q: Can my receipts be reorganized in my eWallet?

A: You cannot reorganize the eWallet or Receipt Galley, but there are many ways to sort the items in it.

Q: Do I need to scan a coversheet for my receipts?

A: No, there is a statement on the PDF view of the report and receipts, but items do not need to be sent with the barcode. The vendor is unable to remove this statement at this time.

Q: Can we upload all receipts as one combined PDF for all expenses listed on the ER?

A: There are two places you can attach receipts: at the header level and on the individual expense line items. Documentation that applies to the whole expense report (approvals, travel plans, emails, etc.) should be uploaded to the header. Receipts that apply to each individual expense should be attached to the expense line. If you are unable to provide a receipt, do not attach any documents to the line item so that it is flagged as a missing receipt. Proof of payment (if required) should be attached to the header.

Q: How can I submit my receipts with my mobile?

A: Use the CR Snap app on your mobile phone to take a photo of the receipt. It will automatically upload to your eWallet.

Q: Why can I not find the traveler name in the drop-down?

A: Only employees with Chrome River access will be in the drop down. If your traveler does not have Chrome River permissions, you can type TRAVELER NOT FOUND and choose that result.

Q: Are there Log numbers for PCard in Chrome River?

A: No, if you need a substitution for a log number you can create your report and use the report number (12-digit number beginning "0100"). Your report would just remain in draft status until your charge has loaded into Chrome River for reconciling.

Q: Do PCard transactions need receipts? What if I do not have one?

A: All card transactions require a receipt. If you do not have a receipt you will be required to provide an explanation why a receipt was not provided.

Q: Can I have multiple PCard charges on one report?

A: Yes, Chrome River supports up to 99 separate line items on one report.

Q: Can we change the fiscal year in the report?

A: Yes, if you are submitting a pre-approval for travel in the next fiscal year, you can change the default year to the next fiscal year. It will also be available during the first couple weeks at the beginning of the fiscal year, when there are two fiscal years open.

Q: Can I split charges to multiple FOPALS?

A: Yes, charges can be split to multiple FOPALS. When adding allocations to your report select the options to add an allocation. The system will automatically split the expense by equal percentages, but these percentages can be modified. Additionally, allocations can be split by dollar amount. However, State and Local funds cannot be combined.

Q: How will my DCM manage our department cards?

A: DCMs will manage the Purchasing Card (PCard) and Travel Card (TCard) in the same manner they currently manage the cardholder (CH) profiles. For PCard, they will use the PCard Web Solutions. For TCard, the Travel Card Solution.

Q: Are there EDDIE reports for Chrome River?

A: Yes, there are many standard reports in EDDIE. Please contact Decision Support if you need help in creating a specialized report.

Q: Am I able to update the account code selected on a Pcard transaction when I am reviewing as a Manager or Charge Code Reviewer?

A: Yes, reviewers can change the account code for a Pcard transaction.

Q: What if my destination address in not populated in Chrome River?

A: Please select the destination address or location name that is closest to your destination. Chrome River uses Google Maps to determine the miles traveled. An address can be requested to be added to via Google if you want to submit the address.

Q: My ER has been returned. Can I edit it in Returned Status?

A: If you need to add a note, upload a document or delete a line item, this can be done in Returned status. The original submit date remains the same. If you need to edit an amount, add or edit an expense line, you will need to move the ER to Draft status. When submitted, the submit date will change to the current date.

Q: The header is greyed out? How do I edit items in the header?

A: Choosing the correct responses in the header drop-downs is very important as these determine the rest of the ER (ex choosing PCard as the Purchase Type only allows PCard tiles to be available). Once the header is complete and an expense line is added, the account code has been determined. To make corrections to the header, the expense lines will need to be deleted; then the header will be available to edit.

Q: When will Payables review my expense report?

A: ERs are reviewed in order by document submit date. Please see the Payables Processing Status page to see what date we are currently working on. You can find a link to the page on your Chrome River dashboard.

Q: My report has been returned with instructions to submit a Payable’s exception. How do I do that?

A: To submit a Payables exception, you will need to complete a new Service Desk ticket. After completing the top portion, you will choose your campus, then you will choose "University Payables (Invoice, Vendor ID, Travel, P-Card, Chrome River)", you will then select an area of concern "Exception Requests", from here you will complete the exception request. The link to the Service Desk is located on your Chrome River dashboard.

How do I contact Payables if I have specific questions?

A: Please submit a Service Desk ticket. Your question will route to the appropriate subject matter expert. The link is located on your Chrome River dashboard.

FAQ: Invoice

Q: What is Chrome River Invoice?

A: Chrome River Invoice is the online program to request Non-PO payments to vendors, non-employees and students for the University of Illinois. Employee reimbursements should be processed in Expense.

Q: How do I know if I was granted permission to Invoice? What do I do if I need permission?

A: If you have Invoice permissions, you will see the green Invoice Ribbon on your dashboard. If you need permission, please contact your Unit Security Contact (USC) for access.

Q: My delegate does not see my green Invoice Ribbon and my Invoice Reports.

A: There is no delegate functionality in Chrome River Invoice. Delegates will only see your Chrome River Expense activity.

Q: Where is my report number?

A: Once you click Create on the Invoice Ribbon, you will receive an Invoice ID number in the middle of the page. It is a 12-digit number beginning with “0500”.

Q: Does Chrome River Invoice allow Temporary Vendor Payments?

A: Yes, under certain circumstances, a vendor may be paid as a Temp Vendor with no Banner Vendor ID required. Please see the job aid on the Chrome River Resource page.

Q: My vendor does not appear in the Vendor Name Field. What do I do?

A: Only active vendors will appear in the drop down. If your payment is allowable as a Temp Vendor, choose +Create Temporary Vendor. If your payment is not allowable as a Temp Vendor, the vendor will need to submit a Vendor Information Form in order for them to be added to Chrome River.

Q: I entered the invoice as a Temp vendor by mistake. How do I change it to a regular invoice?

A: All fields in Invoice are editable. Click on Vendor Name and type in the payee’s name or enter the UIN/VID. The vendor should appear in the drop-down.

Q: The correct address does not appear in the Vendor Address Field. What do I do?

A: If the payee is a current employee or student, they will need to update their address via My UI Info. Once this has been done, the address should be available in Chrome River. If you are paying a vendor, click +Create Temporary Address and list the new address in the notes. This will route the invoice report to the Vendor Group to add the address or instruct you to submit an updated Vendor Information Form.

Q: I don’t have a traditional invoice. What do I use as the Invoice Date?

A: Please enter the last date of the service/expense.

Q: What is OCR and when can I use it?

A: OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. This allows the system to read your invoice and enter information in the correct fields. If you upload an invoice to a report at the beginning, OCR will attempt to fill out the invoice date, invoice number and amount for you. If you have already entered these fields or you do not have a traditional invoice, click SKIP when prompted.

Q: I've submitted an Invoice Report. Where does it go now?

A: If you have submitted a report with a Temporary Vendor or Temporary Address, the report will route to the Payable’s vendor group queue, VendorFixer. It will then route the appropriate Charge Code Reviewer or Alternate. In certain circumstances, it may route to an additional compliance review – Athletics, UPB Foreign Services, or Grant review depending on the details of the report. After all unit reviews have been completed, it will route to Payables.

Q: My Invoice Report has been returned and/or I recalled it. Where did it go?

A: Unlike Chrome River Expense, returned invoice reports will go the document owner’s orange Approval Ribbon. The document owner will be able make any corrections and re-submit from this queue.

Q: How do I know a report has been returned?

A: You will receive an email notification.

Q: I need to delete an Invoice Report. How do I do that?

A: If the invoice is in Draft status, it can be deleted using the Delete button at the top of the report. If the invoice has been returned and it is in the orange Approval Ribbon, the document owner cannot delete. Please submit a Service Desk Ticket with the invoice number and Payables can delete it for you.

Who to Ask

To report issues and feedback related to the system, please complete a Service Request Form. For Chrome River Specific issues and feedback, please select University Payables (Invoice, Vendor ID, Travel, P-Card), which will enable you to specifically select Chrome River Inquiries.