Great software with lots of options. Fast and efficient to use.
August 09, 2020

Great software with lots of options. Fast and efficient to use.

Mark Garcia | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Chrome River EXPENSE

We use Chrome River Expense throughout our organization. It helps us pre-approve our travel expenses and is used for our executive purchase cards. For travel, anyone who wishes to have their travel expenses reimbursed uses the system. Previously, the approval expense sheet was an Excel sheet that had to be typed out, then printed with maps and other items. Then it was physically passed along to each approver and finally approved by the board of trustees. This was a slow process with lots of room for error in filling out or getting lost along its path of approvals. Now, as the system is digital, the process of moving to the next approval is instantaneous and avoids lost in the mail issues. We have imported the data required to know what items require approval and by whom. This speeds up the process and helps make sure the routing of approvals happens correctly. Then after the trip or expense occurs, the receipts can be scanned or emailed into the system and they correctly connect to the appropriate trip and the approval process occurs again to finalize payment. Reports are generated monthly for fiscal and auditor review, and everything goes quickly and smoothly.
  • Approval system is great. Quick, online, and efficient.
  • Rules are good. They help people remember the details needed for items like international flights and mileage attachments.
  • The user interface is very straight forward. There are good descriptions and help guides to get users through the process smoothly without frustration.
  • Reports are customizable so you can adjust them to your needs.
  • Integration is a lot of Excel spreadsheets. Would be great to build APIs or a smoother process.
  • The manager pass-through is automated from the integration. Would be great if you could make temporary adjustments for when managers are on vacation or approvals are going to a different person for a short period of time.
  • Reports are a little complex to get started. Perhaps a little more guidance or documentation would help.
  • The process has greatly reduced the amount of time needed for expense approval. I'd say on average it reduces an expense form by 15 minutes and we process 1,000s per year. So the time saved is literally days of effort.
  • The approval process also saves time by not requiring interoffice mailing or getting lost. This improves the approval time from almost a week to half a day if people are in their office checking emails.
  • Approvals after the trip are also faster. This has resulted in payment going to employees in just a few days instead of a couple of weeks which was the old system processing time.
The interface is very straight forward for all levels of users. The screens go in a logical progression and there are little help boxes on most of the screens. Chrome River also has some help videos and guides in case users need additional support to complete the process. I think the biggest thing is that you need to make very clear error messages for your company's rules. Otherwise people might hit an error message for violating a policy but they may not understand why. And I also think it is best to teach everyone at least once the process in a online video for your organization so they feel comfortable. But with chrome river, I believe the majority of our users could succeed with no training at all.
There are a number of expense request software out there. Many have pros and cons just like Chrome River. We chose Chrome River because it was very straightforward for our team to use. It will have integrations to track budget expenses and managers that are automated and so it will require very little maintenance from an administration point of view. Lastly, the reports and rules are very customizable. As we are large and our ruleset is complex, this software is able to meet all our requirements.
Chrome river is very supportive and aware of our needs. They helped us set up very quickly and walked us through rules, imports of data, and testing in a very efficient manner. Their project manager was diligent in answering questions and keeping us on track. She did a good job pointing us to resources and there were not any struggles in reaching support when needed. I think the only change I would have hoped for was knowing what integration options were possible before making our purchase.
I think Chrome River works well for large organizations that have clear approval and expense rules. There are not many places for exceptions, so you need an organization with a strong culture of fiscal rules and details so that the setup is done one time correctly and you are ready to work. I think small organizations or places in which lots of exceptions can be made with travel and expense reporting would be difficult to use or not efficient. By the time you set up all the rules, if they changed frequently or had lots of exceptions then you would spend more time trying to change rules and fix items then appreciating the automation.