Elsevier needed a customisable, user-friendly solution that could centralise expense management across their global locations.
Emburse Chrome River

Media enterprise centralises
global expense management

Elsevier’s global operations faced complex expense management challenges, including various tax systems, multiple currencies, and country-specific per diem and mileage allowance regulations.

Their prior system, Oracle iExpense, couldn’t support these use cases, so finance created workarounds for each country. This resulted in varying processes and an exhaustive number of expense categories. An already time-consuming process was also paper-intensive—with no digital receipt capture or mobile capabilities.

iExpense also caused a slowdown by requiring finance to audit every line-item—more than half a million annually. Blocking single line-item rejections, the system made extra work for everyone when a single error provided cause for resubmission. With more than 45,000 expense reports processed annually, the inefficiencies added up.

Elsevier began looking for a more configurable, innovative solution, and ultimately selected Emburse Chrome River. Maria Garcia, Elsevier’s Travel & Expenses Manager, touted the solution’s flexibility as a deciding factor, “Emburse Chrome River was eager to work with us to create custom country-specific rules and workflows to address all our unique needs, all within one central system.”

Emburse Chrome River was the best and most flexible solution to address our complex, global requirements and help us more effectively manage a large volume of expense reports.

Maria Garcia Travel & Expenses Manager


Elsevier was founded in 1880 as a small Amsterdam-based publishing company and has since become a leading global information solutions provider. They enhance science, health, and technology professionals’ performance, empowering them to make better decisions and deliver better care.

Elsevier gains time back
for more valuable work

“Emburse Chrome River helped us optimise our processes, which was critical for a successful global rollout,” said Garcia. For example, Elsevier’s overwhelming number of expense categories emerged as a key area for improvement. The implementation team helped them consolidate 75% of the categories, leading to a significantly easier allocation experience for users and more accurate finance data.

Chrome River’s mobile app and electronic receipt capture capabilities were other valuable user benefits. Users can quickly submit expense reports from anywhere and on any device, eliminating the need for paper receipts. Such cloud-based features not only support a dispersed team, but save users considerable time.

From an operational perspective, Chrome River helped Elsevier address country-specific requirements—including their most complex use cases in Germany. Automatic translations and built-in rules simplified the audit process and eliminated the need for finance to check every expense line-item, which empowered the team to focus on more strategic work.

Emburse Chrome River streamlined expense management across our global locations and helped users and finance gain efficiencies.

Maria Garcia Travel & Expenses Manager

Challenges & Results

  • Varying processes and rules for different countries
  • Confusing user interface and lack of a mobile app
  • Inflexible system required line-item audit but did not allow single line returns

  • Reduced expense categories by 75%
  • Centralised global processing of 45K expense reports
  • Mobile features enabled remote work and saved time
  • Built-in rules simplified the audit


  • Centralised global expense management
    Custom configurations automatically translated country-specific per diem and mileage allowance regulations.
  • Streamlined financial operations
    Built-in rules automated the audit process, resulting in significant efficiency gains.
  • Training and support
    Implementation experts offered recommendations, best practises, and training resources to ensure an optimal rollout.
  • Provided flexibility
    The solution’s high degree of configurability matches ever-revolving and complex global business needs.
  • Enabled dispersed teams
    Easy-to-use mobile app and digital receipt capture capabilities made submitting expense reports quick and easy, from anywhere.

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