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Chrome River FAQs



  1. Why am I receiving delegate email notifications when I was not the specific delegate that created the Pre-Approval or Expense Report? 

    If you are set up as a delegate, then you will receive email notifications for all users in which you are set up as their delegate.  Delegates cannot opt out of receiving the email notifications.  The only option is to opt out of ALL notifications, but then you would not receive notifications on your own Expense Reports or email approvals. 

  2. Why don’t Pre-Approval requests go to my Vacation Approval Delegate when activated?  

    Vacation Approval Delegation does not extend to Pre-Approval.

  3. Who can I set up as a delegate?

    The following employees have a profile in Chrome River and thus, can use the delegate functionality: classified, faculty (adjunct, admin, teaching), hourly, graduate assistants, post docs, and select affiliates that are in operational roles. People who are with MVCH or MCVP and are EXAF in Banner can access Chrome River. If someone is in the Generic AFPR role, they will not be able to access. Departments can either change the individual's status in Banner to EXAF or process as a non-employee reimbursement. Students and student workers do not have profiles in the system.


  1. If my dates of travel change from my approved Pre-Approval, do I need to complete a new Pre-Approval?  

    When you attach a Pre-Approval to an Expense Report, the only items that carry to the Expense Report are the estimated buckets of spend – air, ground, etc.  No other items captured on the Pre-Approval affect the Expense Report – dates of travel, the purpose, even the index code.  If the change could potentially affect authorization of the trip, then you should complete a new Pre-Approval.  

  2. What should I include in my Pre-Approval?

    The intent of the Pre-Approval is to seek authorization for the trip; therefore, Procurement Services recommends capturing the most complete estimate of all trip expenses.

  3. Is policy built into the Pre-Approval?

    No.  Compliance warnings are not triggered on the Pre-Approval.

  4. My Pre-Approval says “Pending Approval”, who is the report pending with?

    Under “My Submitted Pre-Approval” click on the Pre-Approval that you are questioning (it will turn blue). Click on the “Tracking” tab, a Tracking data box will appear, click “Show Current”. The system will now show you who your pre-approval is currently pending with.

  5. Now that my airfare has been approved on my Pre-Approval, how do I proceed?

    Now that your travel has been approved, you can book your arrangements through the Online Booking Tool, or with a Christopherson Business Travel full service agent.

  6. How long does my Pre-Approval stay on my dashboard?

    Fully approved Pre-Approvals will be visible on your home dashboard for 90 days. After 90 days, it is still in the system, but will only be available to attach to your expense report.

Expense Report

  1. Why does the mileage rate default to the higher rate? 

    Travel Services changed the process for mileage reimbursements beginning April 15, 2013. All mileage reimbursement requests will be reimbursed at the IRS allowable rate regardless of miles traveled. Departments may be more restrictive. Chrome River allows for the rate to be edited to accommodate budget restrictions, grant parameters, etc.

  2. Why doesn't Chrome River deduct for incidentals before calculating the 75% Travel Day? 

    Travel Services changed the process for calculating the per diem travel day beginning April 15, 2013.  The travel day reduction for meal per diem will change to 75%. This calculation does not back out incidentals from the calculations. Chrome River is configured to reduce the travel day to 75% when selected.

  3. Why can't I look up my per diem rate by zipcode?

    Per diem zip code data is not loaded into Chrome River.  Chrome River receives this information from the federal government, and unfortunately, zip codes are not included in the feed. 

  4. Why do my paid expenses not show on my Dashboard?

     The Home Dashboard “Approved for Payment” shows only expenses that have been approved but not exported or paid.  Once the expense is exported or paid, it will not show on the Dashboard.

  5. My Expense Report says “Pending Approval” who is it Pending Approval with?

    Under “My Recently Submitted Expenses” click on the Expense Report that you are questioning (it will turn blue). Click on the “Tracking” tab, a Tracking data box will appear, click “Show Current”. The system will now show you who your expense report is currently pending with.

  6. How can I submit my receipts with my mobile?

    Use your mobile phone to take a photo of the receipt, then attach it to an email and send it to from the phone. Your message should come from your VCU email address. The Subject should be the amount of the expense with no currency symbols. 

    You can also download the Chrome River mobile app from iTunes, available for iPhones and iPads only. To log in, your username is your eID and the company ID is To retrieve your password, you will need to go to Options>Mobile App>Request pin while logged into Chrome River online. The App will be linked to your account until you click “Log-out.”

    Images will appear in your "Offline" items - and will need to be attached to your expense report.

  7. Should we submit non-travel Personal Reimbursements through Chrome River?

    Yes.  All Personal Reimbursement requests must be submitted through Chrome River. 

  8. If the status of my Expense Report reads “Awaiting Receipts,” what should I do?

    You will have to upload an image to start the expense routing.  Highlight the report and select “Upload Image.”  The status reads “Awaiting Receipts” because the “Receipts Attached” box was checked on one of your expense items.  To avoid this in the future, uncheck the “Receipts Attached” box if your expense does not require a receipt and you do not plan to attach one. 

  9. How do I delete an Expense Report?

    There are two options, depending on a report’s status. 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 “My Recently Submitted Expenses”. The report should be blue – then click “Recall”. A confirmation box will appear, click “Yes”. You can then click on the report, and the Delete function will be available. Second, if an expense report has been returned you will see the report in your “My Unsubmitted Expenses” with a “Returned” status. You can only delete an Expense Report once you have deleted all expense items within the report. To do this, open the Expense Report, and delete the expense items highlighted in yellow. The yellow indicates that these are the expense items that were returned to you. You will have to delete each expense one at a time. Once all returned expenses have been deleted, you will have the ability to delete the Expense Report. Return to your “My Unsubmitted Expenses,” highlight the report, and click Delete.

  10. What does the Status "Exported" mean?

    Exported means that the reimbursement has been exported to Banner.  Once the Expense Report has been exported, the reimbursements on that file should cut the next business day.

  11. My Approver says she has approved my Expense Report, but the status still reads “Pending Approval.”  What should I do?

    Ask your Approver if she approved via email or within Chrome River.  If she approved via email, then please ensure that she clicked “Accept” and then “Send” to complete the final approval.  If your Approver approved within Chrome River, please ensure that she clicked on the “Submit” button to complete the final approval.

  12. When I upload a receipt, why does Chrome River sometimes cut off a portion of the document?

    During the conversion process from a PDF file to a SWF file, the system first creates a temporary jpg image that trims some of the receipt image for quick display. Once the final conversion has taken place and the PDF is now a SWF file, the full image is available.

  13. I need to add an expense to an Expense Report that has been returned to me, what should I do?

    You cannot add an expense to an Expense Report that has already been submitted. Create a new Expense Report with that expense item and use the Notes section to explain how the new Expense Report relates to the former report.

  14. I accidentally chose the wrong Authorized Approver for my Expense Report, so my report was returned. How can I re-route this to the correct Authorized Approver?

    You cannot change the Authorized Approver attached to an Expense Report once it has been submitted. Therefore, you will need to create a new Expense Report and route to the correct individual.

Special Processes

  1. What do I need to send to Procurement Services with my check when paying back a Travel Advance?

    Any portion of a Travel Advance not spent on business travel must be paid back.  Please attach a PDF version of the accompanying Chrome River Expense Report for the Advance and mail to Procurement Services with your check.

  2. What is the best method to identify a Non-employee Pre-Approval and Expense Report?  

    Include the Non-employee’s name in the Report Title.

  3. Do I need to submit the Guest Reimbursement form for a non-employee who already has a V# in Banner? 

    Yes, please see the bottom of the form for this information.  If the V# already exists, we simply have to add a code in Banner so that the individual is fed from Banner to Chrome River.   After you send in the form, you will see the non-employee in Chrome River the next day. 

  4. What level of access is required for process travel through Chrome River?

    Banner access isn't required for submitting Pre-Approvals and Expense Reports through Chrome River; however, it would be helpful.  If you are responsible for your department's fiscal reconciliation, you may want to consider working with the Controller's office to get Inquiry Access to Banner.  Inquiry Access does not offer the full suite of Banner privileges, but it gives you access to Vendor information which is helpful for processing non-employee travel.  

Tech Tips

  1. Why isn’t my e-mail accepting my approval?

    Chrome River is loaded with everyone’s email address. If you use a or email address, please contact Patricia Shazer at to manually update your email address in Chrome River. You will not be able to approve/deny requests via email unless your email matches the email in Chrome River. Please note, users can still log into the Chrome River system to approve expense reports with no issue.

    If you have a, please follow the steps below to default your Gmail “sender” address to your address. With Gmail, go to Settings> Accounts> Send mail as > Select the address as your default. If the address is not there, you can set up the address by clicking on “Add another email address you own.” Once your address is set up, click “Default” to ensure that all mail sent is sent from this address.

    Please Note: If you receive a message stating "Functionality not enabled" you will need to log into the Chrome River system to approve all expense reports. ​ You will not be able to approve expense reports via the e-mail you receive. IT does not recommend that students, who may also be graduate assistants or student workers, change their email settings to send as as this will cause mail routing issues.

  2. What happens if Microsoft Outlook launches with approval emails?

    If Microsoft Outlook launches when you click accept/deny, you will need to change your computer’s default mail client. This is not a change within Chrome River. You can change your computer’s mail client in your Control Panel, or you can work with you TS staff to align your computer with the mail client you use (Gmail or Lotus Notes).

  3. Do VCUHS employees have access to Chrome River?

    Please note that we cannot manually set up VCUHS employees in Chrome River. Chrome River was configured to reimburse VCU employees and guests with VCU funds. Even though VCUHS employees have an eID, their Vnumbers are not captured in CAS, our single-sign on service, so setting them up manually is not possible. If you would like to reimburse a VCUHS employee, please follow the non-employee reimbursement process.

  4. Do Adjunct professors have access to Chrome River?

    If your adjunct professor cannot log into Chrome River, please ensure that you have set him or her up with a university email address. Email accounts are not automatically created for VCU affiliates. Please ensure that you have requested a university email account by submitting a helpIT ticket at Once created, the adjunct professor will be able to log into Chrome River the next day.

  5. Is there anything special to know about Mac and Lotus Notes users?

    If you use a Mac computer and you also use Lotus Notes for email, please be aware that Lotus Notes sometimes truncates the Report ID in approval emails making approval via email more difficult. In the second email that generates after you click Accept (the email that you have to SEND to Chrome River when approving), Lotus Notes cuts off a portion of the Report ID, so Chrome River doesn’t know what expense report you would like to accept. Technology Services has confirmed that there will be no future upgrades to fix this issue, as this system is being retired.To ensure that you can approve your requests, you can either 1) log into Chrome River to accept/deny or 2) after clicking Accept, type in the Report ID numbers that were left off in the email. As long as you have the full Report ID in the second email, your approval response will go through.

For More Information

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804-828-1077 (ext 3)