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Travel Resource Page

Chrome River

Chrome River is the new software solution that replaced the University of Illinois System’s current travel and expense management system (TEM) on February 14, 2022. The three universities and System Offices chose Chrome River as a modern, intuitive, cutting-edge technology solution to improve the overall customer experience for the U of I community.

Chrome River includes a lot of user friendly features that are very well suited for the University of Illinois community, such as:

  • 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 the new system. 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 below to help users navigate the new 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

If you held any roles in TEM, no action is required. If you have not previously held roles in TEM as a General User, Manager Reviewer, or Charge Code Reviewer, contact your Unit Security Contact (USC) for access. Expand this section to learn more.

Role: Chrome River Profile

  • 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.

*The Charge Code Reviewer role will be deactivated in TEM with the roll-out of Chrome River on February 14, 2022. If requested in Chrome River the request will impact both Chrome River and TEM.

Role: Invoice Access
Responsibility: Process non-purchase order related payments to vendors

Training Resources

Webinar Training

All users can register for a live webinar conducted by University Payables. This webinar will cover the following topics in Chrome River: Dashboard, Settings, Delegates, E-Wallet, Approving Expense Reports, How to Deal with Returned Expense Reports, and Tracking Your Expense Reports. The webinar will also include a demonstration of how to submit the following types of expenses in reports: Mileage, hotel, airfare, TCard, PCard, and miscellaneous reimbursement.

Pre-Recorded Webinar Training

A pre-recorded video of the live webinar trainings.

Delegates in Chrome River

  • Watch the clip below to learn how to quickly assign a Delegate in Chrome River.


Job Aids

Please expand this section to access and utilize these various job aids on specific tasks.

Web Resources

Please expand this section to access additional web resources and information.

FAQ: Expense

Please expand this section to view the frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Q: What is Chrome River and when will it be available?
A: Chrome River Expense is the online employee reimbursement and card reconciliation program for the University of Illinois. Chrome River Expense became available to all employees on February 14, 2022.

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). All current users will be migrated to Chrome River automatically.

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 user Chrome River?
A: We highly recommend attending one of the trainings offered by Accounts Payables along with reviewing the training and reference materials posted on the Chrome River Resource Page.

Q: What will happen to documents stored in TEM?
A: TEM will remain active  for audit purposes and in compliance with the retention guidelines.

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 univiersity.

Q: What is the difference between a Delegate and an Approval Delegate? Do I need both? How many delegates can I have?
A: 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.
A:b. 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. It is not a shared role as it was in TEM.

Q: What happened to the proxies that I have designated in TEM? Will they transfer to Chrome River?
A: The term proxies will no longer be used in Chrome River, that roll is referred to as a delegate. The proxies will not transfer to Chrome River. It will be the employee’s responsibility to assign a new delegate.

Q: How can I add and remove delegates?
A: When you are signed into Chrome River you 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
        i. 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 "Submitted Last 90 Days" 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 who has seen it.  

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 "Submitted in the Last 90 Days" 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.
            i.  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.             ii.  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 individiuals 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: Reviewer can edit the amount of a line item, the business purpose and the Allocation (cfoap) that has been chosen. If any changes have been made the report will route back to the report owner for review and approval.

Q: How quickly will approval happen in Chrome River?
A: Chrome River expense reports will be subject to the same approval process as TEM.

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 on your dashboard for 90 days. After 90 days, it is still in the system, 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. On the report “personal expense” should be chosen from the expense types and a copy of the receipt should be attached along with the TCard charge.

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 your mobile phone to take a photo of the receipt, then attach it to an email and send it to from your phone or tablet.

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: Can I still request a check pick up/funds from the Bursar's office for my advance?
A: No, all funds will be direct deposited to the advance requestor. You will need to contact your financial institution if you will need cash for your advance. 

Q: Do I need to have my U of I email account on my cell phone to use the Chrome River SNAP app?
A: No, the Chrome River SNAP app will ask you to input an email address and you will have to list your university email address.

Q: Will we have one credit card moving forward?
A: This would be a separate project and is not currently in discussion.

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: Chrome River information will be available in EDDIE as soon as possible. 

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: No, you are not able to update the account code entered by the expense owner or the delegate. You are able to modify any of the information in the selected allocation, but because the account is locked in as part of the expense report information this selection cannot be changed by with reviewer role.

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.


FAQ: Invoice

Please expand this section to view the frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Q: What is Chrome River Invoice and when will it be available
A: Chrome River Invoice is the online program to request Non-PO payments to vendors, non-employees and students for the University of Illinois. Chrome River Invoice became available on October 3, 2022.

Q: How do I know if I was granted permission to Invoice? What do I do if I need permission? 
A: Chrome River Invoice was granted to any user who had submitted vendor payments in TEM or has Charge Code Reviewer or Alternate Charge Code Reviewer responsibilities. 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 to 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.

Q: Is there a live/recorded training for Invoice?
A: At this time, there are no plans to record training for Invoice as there is such a wide variety of payment types to Vendors, Non-Employees and Students. Please see the job aids on the Chrome River resource page. You can also submit a Service Desk ticket with any questions.


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.

Last Updated: January 31, 2023

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