Chrome River Has Growing Pains at Times But It's the Right Choice - Period
September 10, 2020

Chrome River Has Growing Pains at Times But It's the Right Choice - Period

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Chrome River EXPENSE

Chrome River EXPENSE is being used for travel and entertainment expenses across the company. It was initially set up for high-volume users and eventually rolled out to everyone within the company who needs to be reimbursed occasionally for travel. We have recently decided to add other business expenses to our account, which will add 20-40% more expenses to the system each month. Prior to using Chrome River we had a manual system. So this platform has allowed us to automate, use routing rules to speed up approval, and compliance rules to ensure that users adhere to company policy more consistently than before this was implemented. We now know what's being spent on a regular basis with a few clicks.
  • Flexibility - able to fit the company's structure instead of forcing us to change our G/L codes, structures, and IT setups.
  • Innovative and Responsive - always working on new updates to roll out based on feedback.
  • Practical -the program is user-friendly and easy to figure out, especially for those who are familiar with computers or phones.
  • The company has merged with other competitors and expanded with new customers in the last year. Some things take longer than they used to, though they are offering better products through the merge. I think it takes time to train and hire with the circumstances.
  • Customer Service - when you discover problems you have to help the initial service reps realize that you are reporting an error but you have no intention of being the main person fixing the problem...that's their job. Sometimes they are too quick to consider a matter resolved instead of checking to make sure I'm satisfied with the fix. (I often escalate serious issues from the start because the next level of management gets the job right the first time).
  • Reconciliation - the reports will work for you if you figure out how to get them arranged for what you want. In our case, we needed special reports for our bank reconciliation and ended up building them ourselves instead of using their standard report because it couldn't do what we needed.
  • We consistently get reimbursements out in a quarter of the time it used to take, without cutoffs.
  • We are able to see where expense reports are in the approval process at any time.
  • We know are numbers with a few clicks and can review receipt data without issue, which is especially helpful in tax season.
  • It's been easier to meet business objectives with this tool, though it has not been used as much as I would like for regular decision-making.
  • I have not witnessed negative impacts, though I would say that some employees were reluctant to change to a modern expense management system. Most have loved Chrome River after encouragement and one-on-one training.
There is room for improvement but I think this company has the best products on the market, along with strategic partnerships through its parent company, Emburse.
We initially looked at Concur, Chrome River, and Certify as potential products for our company in 2017. Since that time, Chrome River and Certify are now owned by Emburse, so they are together...though separate. Concur did not offer as much for the money and seemed more complicated, though also a great program. I just think Chrome River has grown organically at a scale that has made it more flexible than Concur. Any time that we hire new executives or managers that have previously used Concur, they say that Chrome River is much easier to use. I take their word for it because they seem pretty competent on the system without much training.
They have great training and support materials. They also have a customer service team that has improved, especially over the last months with a revamp. But they hit a period of growth where they added new customers faster than having adequate staff to handle the added responsibility. So they came up with creative ways to give administrators more responsibility in resolving things that used to be handled through customer service. Let's just say there was a transition, but I ultimately like having more power to resolve issues without their input. So it has worked out.
If you have a business with 100s-1000s of expenses/month, this will make life easier. If you have a small operation, you will probably want something less robust. The platform has lots of capabilities and we have probably only used it for 50% of what we could at this time. We're expanding uses by next year.
If you need a platform that works in the office and in the field, this is great. We have people traveling all over the world and can conveniently submit expenses as long as there is internet. We have people working in multiple currencies and other languages. The adaptability of the system allows operations that span countries to harness the full spend in one location, regardless of currency.