Overall Satisfaction with Chrome River EXPENSE
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette uses Chrome River Travel and Expense Module as the only software to preapprove and expense all travel expenses that the university is responsible for. We also utilize it for reconciling our university's credit cards for general expenses. The entire university is using the system which integrates with Banner. The solution has greatly reduced the amount of paperwork that was necessary for these tasks. It also has brought a new level of accountability and audit that was not possible before with manual processing. We are able to track noncompliance of purchasing rules and have eliminated the possibility of fraud to such a low amount that it has won the approval of the state travel auditors. We are also able to plan the expenses for travel in a much more real time manner since the system encumbers as soon as the preapproval is fully approved making budgeting much more possible for individual departments and for upper management. During COVID teleworking, the ability to process everything electronically has been critical and we are thankful that we did this last year. While we haven't completely been able to utilize the analytics because of time and personnel restraints, we are looking forward to doing so as we learn more of the capabilities of the system.
- Preapprovals are very concise and routing provides transparency at multiple levels.
- The ability to customize different categories of expenses is extremely helpful as it integrates with the ERP system and we can easily track the spend of certain goods and services.
- The ability to include the lodging and meal rates so that the sytsem automatically checks the compliance of these saves a lot of time for the auditors.
- We were able to incorporate the use of Cornerstone to check that those who request mileage or rental of vehicles that they have completed a safety driver's training which not only reduces our risk but also remains in compliance of state regs.
- The advance payment process is difficult since it is a separate process. There are no safeguards that the user will return the funds that he has been advanced if he requests a reimbursement.
- We have had some inconsistency with the liquidation of encumbrances.
- It would be helpful if the creation of rules that conflict with one another provide a warning to the administrator.
- A report is needed at the cardholder level that replicates the bank statement. You can create one by choosing a particular range of transactions but sometimes they overlap. There should be a standard report for this.
- The most positive is the impact on the indirect cost of personnel processing due to the quick electronic processing vs manual paper processes. We were able to reduce the personnel within the Finance Office by 2 and repurpose others to do more auditing instead of manual processing.
- The ability to impose strict compliance rules on allowable rates has reduced the expense of travel for the university since we are able to have employees reimburse the university for overpayment easily. There is no longer any middle of the road of when this happens.
- The only negative impact is that the university is made up of academics who resist change and/or don't value the financial impacts as much as administrators. This has led to a few new hires of additional personnel in the administrative offices of the departments.
The sytsem is very user friendly and has so many flexible ways to customize. The users have been able to navigate within the application since it works well within mobile devices.
Concur was more expensive and didn't seem to have an much flexibility to customize.
There are some in the support area that don't know the product well enough to resolve a problem. They also take too long at resolving.
It is very well suited for public higher education who are governed by one set of rules and regulations by the state. It has all of the capabilities to add compliance rules, approval routing and expense tracking that auditors are looking for. There are challenges when the expense must be split between university and non-university entities but the ability to comment and attach documents provides a way to include those.