FAQs for Chrome River Pre-Approvals and Expense Reports

This page contains helpful Chrome River FAQs:

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GENERAL CHROME RIVER FAQS

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Q. Chrome River is not working on my browser. What should I do?

A. Clear out your browser's cache (cookies and history), or try a different browser. For help on clearing out your browser's cache, contact the USI IT Department.

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Q. Is there a preferred browser for Chrome River?

A. Google Chrome works best, but you may use other browsers.

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Q. Can I access Chrome River on my mobile device?

A. Chrome River is a web-based software and it does not require an app. Log in to Chrome River via your MyUSI account on your mobile device's browser.

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Q. Can students sign in to Chrome River?

A. Students cannot log in to Chrome River unless they are an employee of USI or an account has been created for them. Email the USI Chrome River Helpdesk for questions.

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Q. How do I convert an email to a PDF?

A. See the steps below (applies to Microsoft Outlook only):

1. Open the email message you want to save as a PDF.

2. Click on the File tab in the email.

3. Find and select Print.

4. Locate the Printer drop-down menu and then choose Microsoft Print to PDF.

5. Click Print.

6. Choose a folder, in the Save Print Output As box, and enter a file name.

7. Click Save.

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Q. How do I convert a webpage to a PDF?

A. This depends on the Internet browser (e.g., Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) you are using to access the Internet. Below are two options that may assist you.

Option 1:

Open a Search box, in your preferred browser, and type "Convert a webpage to a PDF". Follow the instructions.

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Option 2 (For Google Chrome/Microsoft Edge Users):

1. Press the Ctrl and P keys, on the keyboard, to bring up the Print menu.

• Note: You can also right click your mouse, and click Print from the pop-up menu.

2. Find the Destination/Printer drop-down menu, and select either Save as PDF or Microsoft Print to PDF (both are acceptable).

• Note: You can use the Pages drop-down menu to change what pages you want saved as a PDF.

3. Click Save/Print.

4. Choose a folder, in the Save As/Save Print Output As box. Enter a file name if prompted.

5. Click Save.

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PRE-APPROVAL FAQS

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Q. I need help with my Pre-Approval. Who can I contact for assistance?

A. Email your Pre-Approval questions to USI's Chrome River Helpdesk. This box is monitored by Travel Procurement (and Accounts Payable).

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Q. My Pre-Approval says "Pending". What does this mean?

A. It means your Pre-Approval is awaiting approval from one or more approvers and, therefore, is not fully processed. The approvers group includes Travel Procurement and financial managers, and may also include Provost Office and/or Student Affairs.

Tip: View the guide Tracking a Pre-Approval

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Q. My Pre-Approval says "Approved". What does this mean?

A. It means the Pre-Approval is fully processed in Chrome River (i.e., all approvers in the queue have approved the Pre-Approval).

Tip: View the guide Tracking a Pre-Approval

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Q. My Pre-Approval says "Partially Applied". What does this mean?

A. It means some of the funding on your Pre-Approval has been used. The amount shown is the balance currently available.

Tip: View your Expense Report(s) for the trip to see details of funding used.

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Q. My Pre-Approval says "Used/Expired". What does this mean?

A. It means either the funding on your Pre-Approval is fully exhausted (used) or it has been 90 days since the trip end date and it is no longer available (expired).

Note: Pre-Approvals are set to automatically expire 90 days after the trip end date. Giving the traveler three months to reconcile trip expenses.

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Q. In the Pre-Approval Ribbon, on Chrome River's homepage, there is a number in the Draft field. What does this mean?

A. It means a Pre-Approval was started, but it was never submitted for approval in Chrome River.

Tip: View the Chrome River Pre-Approval Guides for helpful information.

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Q. In the Pre-Approval Ribbon, on Chrome River's homepage, there is a red number in the Returned field. What does this mean?

A. It means that a Pre-Approval has been returned because corrections are needed on it. Click on the red number, select the Pre-Approval, and review the Comments section on the Pre-Approval to see what needs to be corrected on it. After the requested changes have been made, then resubmit the Pre-Approval.

Tip: When a Pre-Approval is returned, the traveler receives an email from Chrome River notifying him/her of the Pre-Approvals return. View the Chrome River Pre-Approval Guides for helpful information.

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Q. What do I do if a Pre-Approval has been returned?

A. Review the Comments section of the Pre-Approval for notes on why the Pre-Approval was returned.

Tip: View the guide Editing a Returned Pre-Approval

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Q. Can documents be added to a fully processed Pre-Approval?

A. Yes. Select the Pre-Approval in Chrome River, scroll to the bottom, click Upload Attachments.

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Q. Can documents be added to the Pre-Approval during the approval process?

A. Yes. Select the Pre-Approval in Chrome River, scroll to the bottom, click Upload Attachments.

Note: Those who have already approved the Pre-Approval will not see the new attachment.

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Q. Can I begin, stop and later come back to a Pre-Approval?

A. Yes. If you do not click on submit, then it will remain in your Draft folder.

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Q. Do I list all my trip expenses on my Pre-Approval if I am only getting limited funding?

A. No. Only expenses that equal your allotted funding.

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Q. What is the limit on how many document pages should be uploaded?

A. Please do not upload more than a total of 50 document pages to the Pre-Approval. Uploading an amount greater than 50 document pages may cause a submission issue for the Expense Report.

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Q. When can I delete a document from a Pre-Approval?

A. An uploaded document can only be deleted from a Pre-Approval when the Pre-Approval is either in the Draft folder or in the Returned folder.

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Q. How do I delete a line item from a Pre-Approval?

A. View page 5 in the guide Creating and Submitting a Pre-Approval.

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Q. How do I delete a Pre-Approval?

A. View the guide Deleting a Pre-Approval.

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Q. How do I edit a Pre-Approval?

A. View the guide Editing a Pre-Approval.

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Q. How do I track a Pre-Approval?

A. View the guide Tracking a Pre-Approval.

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Q. My registration requires a check to be sent. How is this done in Chrome River?

A. This is an Expense Report function. View page 17 in the guide Detailed Expense Type Examples.

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Q. My trip is not receiving funding from or through (grants) the university. Do I still need to enter a Pre-Approval in Chrome River?

A. If you are not receiving funding support from or through the University for your trip, then do not create a Pre-Approval in Chrome River.

Note: Your department may have an internal process that requires you to communicate travel plans regardless of funding support from the University.

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Q. What does the Routing Rule number mean in the tracking of a Pre-Approval?

A. View the guide Routing and Workflow for a Pre-Approval.

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Q. Will I know if a Pre-Approval is returned?

A. Yes. An email will be sent from Chrome River to notify you (and a delegate, if applicable) that the Pre-Approval has been returned.

Tip: View the guide Editing a Returned Pre-Approval.

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EXPENSE REPORT FAQS

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Q. I need help with my Expense Report. Who can I contact for assistance?

A. Email your Pre-Approval questions to USI's Chrome River Helpdesk. This box is monitored by Accounts Payable (and Travel Procurement).

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Q. My Expense Report says "Pending". What does this mean?

A. It means your Expense Report is awaiting approval from one or more approvers and, therefore, is not fully processed. The approvers group includes Accounts Payable.

Tip: View the guide Tracking an Expense Report

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Q. My Expense Report says "Exported". What does this mean?

A. It means the Expense Report has been exported from Chrome River and imported into Banner.

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Q. My Expense Report says "Paid". What does this mean?

A. It means the Expense Report has been exported from Chrome River, imported into Banner, and paid out to the traveler.

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Q. My Expense Report says "Multiple Statuses". What does this mean?

A. It means the Expense Report has line items that are in different stages (e.g., one line item might be labeled as "Exported" and another line item on the same record might be labeled as "Paid").

Tip: View either of the following Expense Report FAQs, for more information:

My Expense Report says "Exported". What does this mean?

My Expense Report says "Paid". What does this mean?

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Q. Can documents be added to a fully approved Expense Report?

A. Yes. Select the Expense Report in Chrome River, scroll to the bottom, click Add Attachments.

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Q. Can documents be added to the Expense Report during the approval process?

A. Yes. Select the Expense Report in Chrome River, scroll to the bottom, click Add Attachments.

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Q. Can I start and come back to an Expense Report?

A. Yes. When you return to Expense Report, it will be in the Draft section of your Expense Report ribbon.

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Q. How do I delete a line item from an Expense Report?

A. View page 4 in the guide Creating and Submitting an Expense Report.

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Q. How do I delete an Expense Report?

A. View the guide Deleting an Expense Report.

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Q. How do I track an Expense Report?

A. View the guide Tracking an Expense Report.

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Q. What does the Routing Rule number mean in the tracking of an Expense Report?

A. View the guide Routing and Workflow for an Expense Report.

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Q. How do I delete a document from my expense line item on my Expense Report?

A. Pull up the attached document you wish to delete. Only documents with a paperclip icon in the upper left corner of the document view may be deleted. Click on the paperclip icon to delete the attachment.

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Q. How do I edit an Expense Report?

A. As long as the Expense Report is in Draft in your profile, you may edit the report. Click on the trip you wish to edit. Click Open. From here you can edit Start Date and End Date of the trip, add new expense lines, or click on an existing expense line to make changes to the specific expense already entered.

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Q. How do I reimburse a candidate for travel expenses (e.g., mileage, bag fees, etc.) in Chrome River?

A. View the guide Directly Reimbursing a Candidate.

Reimbursements directly to a candidate do not require a Pre-Approval. For these submissions, approval from the Financial Manager must be attached to the Expense Report indicating the FUND/ORGN and amount approved for the expenses. All direct purchase expenses require itemized receipts showing a $0 balance due. Reimbursements for mileage require the Google Maps information completed in the mosaic.

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Q. How do I enter an Expense Report for a guest in Chrome River?

A. View the guide Creating and Submitting an Expense Report.

Expenses paid with a travel card must include an attached Pre-Approval set up by the individual making the purchases.

Contact Accounts Payable before offering the guest or seeking direct payment for out-of-pocket travel expenses for the guest as they may be considered a vendor and require a contract through Procurement using BuyUSI.

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Q. I am a student reconciling my trip's expense. How do I enter an Expense Report in Chrome River?

A. If you had a delegate enter your Pre-Approval, then that same delegate will also enter your Expense Report.

If you created your own Pre-Approval, then see the guide Creating and Submitting an Expense Report.

If you did not require a Pre-Approval, then you may have qualified for a Travel Award and should seek guidance from the department(s) who awarded you the funding.

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Q. What do I do if an Expense Report has been returned?

A. Instructions will be in the comments indicating the needed corrections for the Expense Report. Remember, the Expense Report will not be sent to Accounts Payable until you actually click on the Submit button. If the Expense Report remains as a Draft item on your Expense Report ribbon, Accounts Payable does not have access to move it forward for processing.

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Q. What if I can't recall an Expense Report?

A. Expense Reports should only be recalled if instructed to do so by Accounts Payable.

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Q. Will I know if an Expense Report is returned?

A. Yes. You, and if applicable your delegate, will receive a notification from Chrome River notifying you that the Expense Report has been returned. Instructions will be in the comments indicating the needed corrections for the Expense Report. Remember, the Expense Report will not be sent to Accounts Payable until you actually click on the Submit button. If the Expense Report remains as a Draft item on your Expense Report ribbon, Accounts Payable does not have access to move it forward for processing.

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Q. How often should I complete an Expense Report?

A. Submit an Expense Report within two weeks of using the travel card. It takes a few days after the transaction date for the transaction to post to your Chrome River profile.

Any expenses paid out-of-pocket for a designated trip should be submitted after the traveler returns from the trip.

Any out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. mileage) applied to a blanket Pre-Approval should be submitted monthly.

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Q. Can I request a cash advance?

A. Cash advances are available on a very limited basis. They are not available for employee only trips. Contact Accounts Payable if you are traveling with students and would like to see if you are eligible for a cash advance.

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Q. How do I add travel card transactions to the Expense Report?

A. View the guide Adding a New Expense Line Item.

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Q. How soon after using the travel card do I need to submit an Expense Report?

A. Expense Reports should be submitted within two weeks of the travel card transaction date posting to your Chrome River profile.

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Q. What are my options if I am over my funding limit?

A. Either reduce the amount you are claiming on out-of-pocket expense(s) or email your financial manager requesting the increase in funding. Should you choose the latter option, attach the email with the financial manager's approval to the Expense Report. The email approval will need to include the Fund/Orgn and amount approved for increase.

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Q. Is it necessary to submit an Expense Report before a trip?

A. It is necessary to submit an expense report before a trip if you have pre-trip expenses such as airfare and/or registration purchased with a travel card. Expense Reports should be submitted within two weeks of the travel card transaction date.

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Q. How can I find travel card transactions posted in my Chrome River profile?

A. Travel card transactions post to the eWallet in your Chrome River profile. Access the eWallet by clicking the drop-down menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the homepage, aka Dashboard.

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Q. I used my travel card but cannot find the transactions in my eWallet. Should I go ahead and enter the expenses on my Expense Report?

A. No. If you just returned from a trip where you used your travel card, you should wait to submit your Expense Report. It sometimes takes a few days before the transaction shows up in your profile. Once all your travel card expenses appear for the trip, you will be ready to apply the transactions.

This does not mean you have to wait to start the Expense Report. You can go ahead and apply other expenses that may be out-of-pocket, such as per diem, but you should not click submit until you have all of the trip expenses included on the report.

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

A. Not typically. A reimbursement is an out-of-pocket expense paid by a traveler, not payment using a travel card. Typically these types of expenses require each traveler to complete a Pre-Approval and Expense Report(s). Contact Accounts Payable regarding the specific details if you encountered an unusual situation during the trip.

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

A. Add the travel card expense to the Expense Report and change the allocation to Personal Matter. The personal expense will reduce the total amount owed to you. If the personal expense exceeds the total amount owed to you, Accounts Payable will email directions on how to repay the University. Continued use of card for personal expenses may result in reduced card privileges.

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Q. Can I manually adjust the allocations in the Expense Report?

A. The allocations can be adjusted in limited circumstances, but only after speaking with Accounts Payable.

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Q. Do I need a separate Expense Report for each expense?

A. You should enter all expenses possible at one time that are for the same Pre-Approval.

For individually specified trips, you may have pre-trip expenses that will need to be allocated before you ever travel. In this instance, you will have multiple Expense Reports.

For blanket Pre-Approvals, apply all expenses you have to one Expense Report for each reporting period. For purchases made using a travel card, you should allocate your expenses twice a month. For mileage reimbursement, you should allocate your expenses monthly.

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Q. Do I need receipts for items purchased with a Travel Card?

A. Yes. Itemized receipts are required for all purchase transactions. Google Maps serves as your receipt for mileage.

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Q. Can I import the Pre-Approval more than once?

A. Yes, the Pre-Approval can be imported multiple times.

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Q. I have a Pre-Approval for mileage. How often do I need to submit an Expense Report?

A. You need to submit an expense report monthly that includes each trip during that period.

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Q. I do not have access to Blackboard. Is there anywhere else I can view a video on how to use Chrome River?

A. Yes. Keep in mind that the videos available through Chrome River are general videos. Some functionality you see if the video may not be available in USI's configuration of the program. To access the videos, open Chrome River, click on your name in the top right corner and then click Help.

These informational videos are to assist you on how to use Chrome River and do not include specific requirements of USI. You must watch the video on Blackboard or have received Travel Office approved training in order to be eligible for a travel card.

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Contact

USI Chrome River Helpdesk

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